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Robot Unicorn Attack 2 (iOS) review: The most majestic running game just got better

The epic Robot Unicorn iOS game from Cartoon Network's Adult Swim is back. And this time, it's more glorious than ever.

Lynn La Senior Editor / Reviews - Phones
Lynn La covers mobile reviews and news. She previously wrote for The Sacramento Bee, Macworld and The Global Post.
Lynn La
4 min read

When I first learned that Cartoon Network's Adult Swim released a sequel to Robot Unicorn Attack (RUA) a few days ago on iOS, I could barely contain my excitement.


Robot Unicorn Attack 2 (iOS)

The Good

<b>Robot Unicorn Attack 2</b> adds new features like levels and challenges, customization options, and an online community -- all at no cost.

The Bad

RUA2 drops vibration feedback, and now that it’s free, you’ll need to buy Erasure’s “Always” if you want to hear it during gameplay.

The Bottom Line

With its vibrant graphics, ironic sense of humor, and epic New Wave soundtrack, Robot Unicorn Attack 2 is a free game that you shouldn't miss.

As one of the first apps I ever downloaded onto my device, it holds a special place in my heart. I forked over $2.99 for it, and ever since then, I was able to travel to a world with so much wonder and color, my eyes cried rainbows after 10 minutes of gameplay.

And while it's hard to improve a game that already features jumping dolphins and severed unicorn heads, the sequel pushes the original into further reaches of awesomeness with tons of new features, levels, and challenges. The best part, though? It's now free.

Always, I wanna be with you
Like the original, RUA2 is an infinite runner game. Initially, you'll navigate your unicorn along a dirt terrain (though, as you progress, you can run in different worlds), collecting fairies and unicorn tears, and jumping through rainbow hoops (yes, you read all of that correctly).

Press the bottom-left corner of your screen to avoid gaps and jump, and press the right corner to dash through gigantic stars that block your way. The longer you run, the faster you go. And if you're doing really well, dolphins will jump up from the bottom of the screen as if to say, "Way to go! Keep making your dreams come true!"

Robot Unicorn Attack 2
I can only hope that when I die in real life, it looks this glorious. Lynn La/CNET

You die by either falling or running into a star or side of a cliff. You get three chances (or "wishes") before your total score is tallied up. Unlike the first RUA, where the only challenge given to you was to "not die" and get a higher score, RUA2 offers numerous incentives for continual gameplay.

At each level, you'll need to finish a certain achievement in order to unlock the next rank. These can include things like "collect 50 tears" or "jump through three hoops." Reaching certain levels enables you to have more gaming options. For example, once you reach the fourth level, you can start customizing the look of your unicorn; the sixth level lets you join the online battle; and the 15th level lets you enter the Ice World terrain. If you have enough points, however, you can skip achieving a task and pay your way with unicorn tears to another level.

The splendor of Robot Unicorn Attack 2 (pictures)

See all photos

Am I here in vain?
With so many challenges, bonuses, and extra powers, the game loses a bit of the appealing simplicity the original game had. I also felt that launching, quitting, and navigating all its different menu items felt a bit laggy. Though it wasn't slow enough to be distracting, compared with the original, the app itself felt just a hair sluggish.

However, all the new additional features do an excellent job at motivating players to keep on leveling up. One of my favorite new options is joining the unicorn community. Now, you don't actually get to play against anyone; rather, you choose one side to belong to (either team Inferno or team Rainbow). The team that logs the most destroyed stars by the end of a 24-hour period wins extra unicorn tears for each of its members. You can also contribute toward a communal achievement, like jumping through 860,000 hoops.

Robot Unicorn Attack 2
Worry not, Erasure l'amour! With a little bit of (licensing) respect, you can break these chains of silence and purchase the Lynn La/CNET

Unfortunately, RUA2 did away with one of the most satisfying features of the original, which is the vibration option. Every time you crash through a star, you get haptic feedback for it. Sadly, this version doesn't have it. In addition, you now won't know when a star is coming. In RUA, there was a sort of whooshing vacuum-like sound effect that let you know a star was being formed a few seconds ahead of you. Sorry to say, there is no such noise anymore, and you'll just need to be that more hyper-focused with your unicorn.

Aside from the more vibrant and lush graphics, the most noticeable change in this version is the initial absence of Erasure's "Always" looping in the background. Instead, you get a stock electronic song playing. This was jarring at first, because "Always" was the most charming and hypnotizing aspect of the original game, immortalizing it into cult fandom.

But as with any world where unicorns are running around, all hope is not lost. As the app goes on to explain, players can purchase the song (along with other epic electronic, New Wavy songs) starting at 99 cents each, to comply with licensing agreements. I strongly suggest you purchase it. You don't need it to play, but the song is the very soul of the game. And for future reference, any time in your life that you find yourself asking, "Should I buy Erasure?" the answer will always be: yes. Forever.

There will be no shame
If you know what's good for you, you will download and play this glorious game. For one thing, it's free. And even if it weren't, I'd still slay up to four real-life unicorns to play this game. Sure, you'll need to buy the Erasure song, but that'll be the best 99 cents you'll spend all month.

Plus, compared with the original, you'll get better graphics, the ability to join a legendary battle of historic proportions, and epic abilities like flying, and having a mane and tail made out of fire. Fire. Need I say more?


Robot Unicorn Attack 2 (iOS)

Score Breakdown

Setup 10Features 9Interface 9Performance 8