Run Dorothy Run

Run Dorothy Run is a PSVR game based off The Wizard of Oz that implements music, rhythm and movement into a Guitar Hero style gameplay.  You play as Dorothy running through the many fantastical landscapes while unfolding what truly happened to the Wicked Witch of the East.  As you stand still, crystals will quickly approach you while you move your magical scepters to collect them.  Along the way power-ups will help you collect crystals, obtain a higher score and fight off enemies trying to slow down Dorothy's progress.  The music is catchy, gameplay is fun and provides immense amounts of challenge that will leave your arms sore and head sweaty.  

 

Quick Facts

Game Style: First Person Rhythm Game
Controller: Move Controllers
Length: ~50 min to finish one difficulty
Price: $29.99

Back in the day I played Guitar Hero and loved it.  I kind of quit with the franchise after that, but Run Dorothy Run reminds me of that type of game, just much more physically demanding and a little less focused on the music.  I was impressed with how much I enjoyed the game and the immersiveness of it.  I am ashamed to report that the first time I played it I could only finish 3 stages, then had to take a break because of shoulder fatigue.  Of course I am going to blame that on the intense game of tennis I played earlier that day not that I am a total wimp. 

You play as Dorothy who is continually running throughout the land of Oz, trying to recover the Wizard's crystals.  The crystals come at you in all types of patterns, varying frequency and at times hidden by upcoming objects.  To collect these you must use your scepters (motion controllers) and place them in the correct spot at the right time. Even though this is the extent of the game play, the easy to follow and learn controls make for a very enjoyable experience that allows the player to just enjoy themselves rather than focus on complicated control schemes or unclear intentions.  

The music is a big draw for this game as it is kind of upbeat dance music.  It is pretty catchy and makes for a very fun time.  I don't know if this would be music you would put on your phone and listen to while hanging out, but for a video game it is very good, especially for this type of fast paced cartoonish style game.  As you collect each crystal a small musical note can be heard and when you collect a string of them it actually makes a significant impact in the sound of the music.  This helps the player not only enjoy the game but get into the groove, feel the rhythm and ultimately play better.  Just like Guitar Hero, this type of rhythm based gameplay is fun and addictive. 

One of my favorite things about RDR is the difficulty.  Even on easy it is quite challenging until you start getting used to the speed and stages themselves.  However, once you bump up the difficulty you will see more crystals, need require fewer mistakes for failure and the game puts you in a more physically demanding situation.  For example, in easy mode you can just stand there and other than moving your arms all around, you don't have to do much.  But on medium, some of the obstacles are lower, so it forces you to squat down to the ground or you will get hit by the obstacle.  The crows require you to actually punch them, rather than just come to you and run into the scepters.  I was really happy to see that they didn't just speed it up and make failing easier.  Each stage and difficulty is different enough to be considered an entirely new level.  

There is a minor plot line to follow through the game, but certainly don't make a decision on purchasing the game for the plot.  It is silly and fun, but doesn't have much depth.  It almost is just background music honestly.  Definitely focus on the music and gameplay.  I was actually just a tad disappointed that the Tinman, Lion or Scarecrow never made an appearance.  How can you have a Wizard of Oz game without even mentioning them?  I'm not sure, but regardless I stand my the fact it's about the music not character development or plot.

There are a host of trophies and in game perks to replay the game and test different difficulties.  The scoring system will allow you to challenge yourself (sadly there are no worldwide or local leaderboards.....yet) and in each level you can collect valuables that will unlock trophies.  In each stage, there are power-ups for Toto (represented by a dog bone) where Toto will run ahead of you and grab an article of clothing that was the Wizards.  This is a fun silly little thing, but it unlocks trophies and those results are recorded in your treasure room so there is always a reason to replay a level.  

The only negative I have about Run Dorothy Run isn't about its gameplay or mechanics.  My complaint is about the price.  $29.99 seems pretty steep for this game.  I was surprised to see that a straight play through of the game only took about 50 minutes.  Granted, once you play a higher difficulty you will eventually lose on some levels which increases the playing time, but still..... The game is a ton of fun, challenging, a good way to tone those arms and overall a very pleasant experience, but I think the price is still high for the amount of content.  

Run Dorothy Run is immersive and delivers one of the most complete PSVR experiences to date.  The music is catchy, gameplay is simple yet challenging, replay value is decently high, will provide tons of fun for those new to PSVR and overall is one of the more fun titles to play on the PSVR.  If these rhythm type games are your jam then don't hesitate on Run Dorothy Run.  If you are skeptical, possibly wait for a sale then pull the trigger because I promise you will be entertained.  

SCORE: 8/10