Meme Run Review (Wii U eShop)

Meme Run Review (Wii U eShop)

Play 2 troll u m8

Meme Run is ugly. Its “air horn soundtrack” gives me a headache. The game is plagued by numerous bugs that lead to frequent unfair deaths.

And, oddly enough, it’s entertaining.

As an endless runner, Meme Run has you in control of a troll-faced swaggy dude who is always running forward. You can slide to fit through narrow passages or jump to make it over pits and avoid raised ground. Fall in a pit and you die. Fail to slide or jump over obstacles and you’ll lag behind and die once you move off-screen.

The title is clearly not developed by Nintendo, as everywhere you look there is an astonishing lack of quality. Of course, this was an intentional decision made by Ninja Pig Studios. The game’s creator, Jordan Schuetz, told Nintendo News that despite the hatred players have directed towards his work, this is a game anyone can enjoy.

He may be right.

Then again, he may be wrong.

Let’s start with the issues. Meme Run looks like some pan-dimensional worm traversed the outskirts of Reddit, YouTube and Tumblr, ate a full course meal of random images and spastic memes, and pooed out the results. It is grotesque. I never want to see salmon pink again and the repeated graphics stamped all over the screen can’t even be called mediocre.

At times, a random bug would kick in and kill me. There were times I was standing on solid ground and yet I randomly plummeted to my death. There were times after sliding forward I couldn’t stand back up, which caused me to lag behind and die. There were numerous times my jump button did not work and I fell into a pit.

Yet every time, I’d try again, determined to do better. Part of that had to do with SWAG Points.


Normally, you’d earn ten SWAG Points for every second you remained alive. However, nabbing a multiplier would increase that rate. Yet multipliers come with a tradeoff: distraction. The Illuminati multiplier would temporarily cover your screen in All-Seeing Eyes while a robotic voice announces “Illuminati confirmed.” The 52% multiplier covers your screen in large images of the text “52%” while a chaotic chorus of men scream and shout in ear-splitting madness. This is on top of the assault rifles, air horns, dollar bills and … rainbow slugs … that normally engulf you in psychedelic wonder.

When you die, you can upload a screenshot of your final score to Miiverse to tell everyone how many SWAG Points you earned. Yet the game lacked any online leaderboard and didn’t even record your own personal high score. There are no other game modes or levels either. It’d be nice if, once you made it so far, you’d be rewarded with a fresh scene with new colors, new memes and new sounds. But Meme Run just has the same, repeated, randomly-generated nonsense.

As for things it did well, I have to say I’m impressed with how easy it is to pick up and play. The jump button—when it worked—was extremely responsive and on-par with major platformers allowing me to time and land precision jumps. And the over-the-top randomness isn’t all headaches and grimaces; I couldn’t help crack a smile or even laugh when some boy starts shouting something about “ripples” (yeah, I don’t get it either).

Meme Run is fun, which is by far the most important thing a video game needs to be. It’s also poorly put together, ugly, repetitive and broken. Fun only goes so far. If this seems like your sense of humor, you may want to consider the $4.99 price tag and download it. I doubt you’ll get more than an hour or two of entertainment out of it, but it can be worthwhile if you’re looking for a chaotic distraction every now and then.

Graphics & Sound
Shawn is a Super Nintendo fanatic at heart. A frequent visitor of Hyrule and Kanto, he always makes sure to take his 3DS and Ocarina along for the ride.


  1. well.. well… Meme Run…. the game itself IS a meme… the developer never had the intention of doing anything serious with that, its intentionally ugly and irritating. Period. It´s just a troll game. But it is also a critics to the videogame market and specially videogame press. Some people are taking this too seriously, but it´s not intented to be serious in any sense/case. Even the game description on the Eshop and the trailer make clear that this is just for humor and nothing more.


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