There’s no need to run from this cute little vampire!
Nosferatu – Run from the Sun is an interesting game, though perhaps not in the ways its creators might have intended. Case in point: the aesthetics of the game are arguably more engaging than the actual gameplay, which is generally why people tend to look at a game like this.
For one thing, we have no idea how they managed to pull off such a cutesy-vampire. In this instance, it’s not a Universal Pictures-styled Dracula, as is often the case with making vampires appealing to children. Rather, just as the name implies, they have taken the German version of the concept– large bald head, pointy ears, near-bulging eyes, and all — and managed to give it a simple cartoon form which borders on adorable, rather than scary.
And that in itself is almost scary, if you think about it.
And yet, the game manages to be surprisingly morbid — as Nosferatu runs across the rooftops and bridges of a very cartoonish version of what appears to be some sort of 19th century European town (probably Transylvania, but possibly Wismar, Germany given the origins), a moon follows you in the background all the while. This trollfaced lunar entity threatens to disappear at a moment’s notice should the little vampire’s swift-footed campaign suddenly halt; and should that happen, a very enthusiastic sun rises in its place, instantly incinerating the ghastly pale flesh from Nosferatu, leaving a charred skeleton behind.
It’s all such a bizarre blend that we honestly have no idea who the developers were targeting; we imagine it’s safe enough for kids to play with minimal scarring, while adults will likely appreciate the overall strangeness and black humor described above.
But while the presentation may get the lion’s share of the attention, the game itself isn’t too shabby either. It’s basically an “endless runner,” as you race to keep one step ahead of the rising sun, collecting coins all the while. On occasion, you’ll (literally) run into one of a variety of different humans– ladies, pirates, and… Robin Hoods? Little Red Riding Hoods? — and “turn them into friends,” which we’re guessing is just a nice way of saying that Nosferatu likes to eat and run. There are also power-ups such as speed-boosters, magnets (for grabbing coins as you pass), and triple-jump items (as opposed to the standard double-jump) to help you make it through the night.
In one of Run from the Sun‘s more inspired twists, the game also allows you to take on the form of a bat at certain points. During these portions you move up and down to collect coins and avoid UFOs by simply moving your finger accordingly. We would say this turns it into an “endless flyer” game, but these portions are disappointingly brief.
Worse than that is the general lack of variety in the levels– or maybe that should just be “level.” As far as we can tell you only have the one, and the only way you see any variety is by holding out for long enough to watch the scenery change. But one goof-up, and you’re sent all the way back to the beginning. As a result, things wind up feeling a bit more repetitive than we would like.
Nosferatu – Run from the Sun isn’t a bad game by any stretch, though it may seem a little uninspired beneath the hood (flying portions excepted). If anything, its presentation helps set it apart… and maybe that’s what the developers intended after all?