Run Run Run! Board Game Review
Run Run Run!
WBG Score: 7.5/10
Player Count: 1-4
You’ll like this if you like: Escape: The Curse of the Temple, Sub Terra.
Published by: The Flying Games
Designed by: Bruno Cathala, Anthony Perone
Success! You have reached the tomb of Tutankhanine, the Cursed Pharaoh! But watch out! A booby-trap has been triggered. You now need to escape as fast as you can. Mummies are approaching from all sides and must be stopped before they reach the relics of the Pharaoh and gain the ultimate power. You need to fight back and find the exit of this crumbling pyramid before it's too late. Not the most relaxed set-up to a game is it? Let's get this to the table to see if things calm down a bit. Spoiler, they do!
For a small-ish box, and minimal components, this game actually takes a fair bit of space on the table, and has a high number of moving parts. But it is all very simple.
First, find the double hex Pharaoh's vault tile, and place this into the centre of the board. This will be your stating space. Each player will choose their 'Catventurer', and places their chosen character board in front of them, along their character onto the central space. Then take all the other hexes, separate the exit tile (setting that aside), shuffle the remaining tiles, and create a face-down stack.. Place the door mechanism tokens, torch pieces, health tokens, two sets of dice, four mummy cards, and regroup tokens into a central reserve.
Finally, you must choose one of the three end-of-game Boss Mummies to fight. Shuffle them, and pick one at random and place it face down, discarding the other two into the box so you don't know which one was chosen. You are now ready to play.
How To Play
To win, you need to create three triangles of tiles, to find the mechanisms needed to create the exit and find the way out. Eliminating all the mummies along the way. If you ever run out of cards, you will lose. And if any of the mummies make it to the starting vault, you lose.
On your turn, you will first activate the mummies. To start, there will be just one dice to roll, but as other mummies are introduced to the game, this will increase. Roll the dice, and then if it shows a mummy icon, you must add one heart to the first mummy card. When a mummy card reaches five hearts it will awaken and be introduced to the board. You can place it wherever you like. If you ever have any mummies on the board when you roll these dice, the mummy symbol will move the mummies one space towards to the starting tile as well as adding another heart to the next mummy card.
Once the mummy's have finished their turn, each player will then carry out one of three actions. Explore. Fight. Or Cooperate. Cooperate can only be done three times in the game. It uses up one of your three re-group tokens. This will allow you to all move to the same hex on the board and exchange cards if you wish, and draw extra tiles into your hand. Crucial if you are running low, but use this power sparingly.
Fighting will come into account when the mummies enter the board. You cannot let any mummy reach the starting hex, and the more on the board, the harder the game will get. The only way to stop them is by fighting them. To do this move onto the space the mummy is currently located at and then discard cards to acquire dice to fight with. The cards all have a different number of exits, from one to six. You can take dice equal to the number of exists you discard. Then roll the dice and carry out the roll. You will either be able to inflict damage on the mummy you are fighting, draw another tile, move out of the room you are in once the fight is over, or your own special action. Each character has their own small asymmetric power, and this is activated by the question mark on the combat dice.
The mummies you are fighting all have their own small asymmetric power too. Some will add more mummy dice to the board. Others will steal torches from you. And you only start with five. All of them will take tile cards from you when they land on the space you are on. They all have five health and will be removed from the board after they lose all their hearts.
The four powers you have access too are the opportunity to draw an extra card, torch, sarcophagus token, or an extra hit in combat. All great options.
When defeated, the mummy cards are shuffled back together, so you could face the same one again and again. When you face the final boss mummy, all other remaining mummy's are removed from the board, and you now must focus on defeating the boss. Each one has a different starting health and power. Either taking extra moves when they travel through the pyramid or cancelling all player powers; and they will all take tile cards from your hand.
Other than fighting and cooperating, the main action is to explore. This is how you will move through the Pyramid, find new rooms, gain new torches and powers, and find the exit. When you choose to explore, you must place one of the tile cards in your hand onto the board. It must connect with one of the existing tiles and cannot block any pathways or exits already made. It must also be accessible by your Catventurer meeple. You can only move three spaces each time, and you cannot move through a mummy without stopping to fight. If you need to move more than three spaces at once to reach a recently placed tile, then you must discard a card from you hand. Discarding cards in this way works using the same method as fighting, by allowing you to move one space for each exit shown on the discarded tile.
Once the tile is placed and you have moved onto it, you need to see if that tile needs to be lit. By that, I mean lit in the literal sense. It doesn't have to become "exciting or intoxicated," as the internet suggests is the modern meaning. Most tiles do require this, but some show a flaming torch on it already, so don't need any more light. But if they don't, you need to add one of your group torch's onto the tile. You can place a tile if you have run out of torches but you must then add a heart to the next mummy card, bringing it closer to becoming awoken. Once this is done, you will then activate the room tile you just placed. Each room is different and will either be a sarcophagus room which will allow you to draw the next sarcophagus token, gaining you a bonus. Or it will be a glyph room. If you manage to group a triangle shape of rooms with either the same glyph, or three different glyphs, you will gain a bonus. For three matching glyphs you will get five new torches. If you create three different glyphs, you will place one of the door mechanism tokens on it. When you do this the third time, this is how you activate and place the exit door, and the final boss mummy.
Is It Fun?
Playing Run Run Run! you will go through a mixture of emotions. As you play, it will feel tense, exciting, and very balanced between your chances to escape and the game stopping you. After playing multiple times now, each game has felt very close to finishing with a loss. It could go either way. However, all games then moved to a fairly simple finish, and an easy win. This may be luck, or down to the fact that I played with people used to playing cooperative games, but I would say the game is a little easy.
There is only really one way to modify the game's difficulty, and that is through the final boss mummy. But whichever one you face, it won't make a huge difference to your game experience. Perhaps just taking one extra turn to finish them off. I mention this as the game is good. Really fun, tense, and an enjoyable puzzle to work out as a team. But I would like for more ways to make it harder.
That said, this is a solid family level cooperate game, that will introduce a number of mechanisms and game techniques to your family or friendship group, all packaged in a fun theme, (Catventurers?! come on!) and simple ruleset. I enjoy the flow of the game for the first 80-90% of the game. It just always seems to end a little flat, with what seems like a simple victory. But for a younger group, perhaps this would be welcome.