Tales Runner is a 3D MMO racing game where players run, jump, dash, ski, and climb across various stages inspired by both Eastern and Western fairy tales.
Type: MMO Racer
Release Date: April 22, 2014 (NA)
Shut Down Date: April 20, 2017
Pros: +Cute art style. +Multiple game modes. +Single-player and cooperative content. +Several social and mini game options.
Cons: -Limited graphic settings. -Low playerbase. -Buggy client, crashes often. -Repetitive gameplay.
Tales Runner Overview
Tales Runner is a Korean developed animated racing game similar to Kart Rider that offers a variety of game modes and characters to choose from. Unlike other races, the game has players mainly run on foot rather than in a vehicle. Tales Runner has a casual and friendly atmosphere, and offers plenty of single-player and cooperative gameplay content. Players looking for a greater challenge won't be disappointed because many of the stages are extremely difficult and require patience to master. Tales Runner shut down on April 20th, 2017.
Tales Runner Key Features:
- Plenty of Characters – the game has a total of 18 characters, though new players only have access to two.
- Various Race Modes – participate in various races including singles, team, relay, tournament, and 30-player races.
- Solid Character Progression – gain experience by racing to improve character abilities and unlock new clothing and equipment.
- Use Alchemy to Make Equipment – craft new equipment using cards earned by winning races.
- Get Social – Tales Runner has guild, marriage, and other social features to explore.
- Farming – decorate and run your own farm. Players use the experience they earn to grow and harvest items.
Tales Runner Screenshots
Tales Runner Featured Video
Tales Runner Review
By Erhan Altay
Despite enjoying enormous success in Asia, free-to-play racing games haven’t managed to find much of an audience here in the West. Tales Runner first came to America in 2008 but was closed within a few years. OGPlanet is giving the game another go and has released a version with much more content available than the previous version that gPotato had to offer.
A Running Start
Tales Runner is accessible through OGPlanet’s own game launcher or through Steam, but both versions require the use of an anti-cheat program called X-Trap. This program, combined with other client issues, can cause the game to either crash or fail to launch at all. Playing the game on windowed mode alleviates most of these issues, but this setting can’t be changed until character creation and a brief intro are completed. New players have two characters to chose from: Billy and Ming Ming, each with three dress options. Both characters have low, but balanced values in the game’s four stats: Max Speed, Acceleration, Strength, and Control. Additional characters can be purchased from the shop using in-game currency called TR earned by taking part in races or completing quests.
Questing While Racing
After a brief intro scene where new players have the honor of meeting the King of the Tales Runner world and completing a simple track, players gain access to the main lobby screen. The first order of business is switching the display to Windowed Mode using the settings option on the top right. Sadly, there are no resolution options besides the default 1024x768, but players are free to customize their movement, Jump, Item, and Dash keys. It is from the main lobby screen that players can access all of the varied game modes Tales Runner has to offer. Three tabs display the race options available: Let’s Race, Co-Op Race, and Guild Race. The first tab under the Let's Race option is ‘Quest,’ which serves as the game’s single-player content. The first set of missions teaches the basics including dashing, jumping over obstacles, boosts, and so forth. All of these missions could have been combined into a single mission, but instead players must complete half a dozen individual quests that take perhaps 15 seconds each. Thankfully, each tutorial quest comes with an item, experience, or TR currency reward. After completing all seven, players are awarded their first license, proving they are ready to compete in real races.
Race Across Tales
Tales Runner attempts to divide players into different skill and level brackets with the inclusion of Amatuer, Semipro, and Pro lobbies, but due to the game’s chronically low playerbase, players won’t have very many active rooms to choose from at any given time. While this may throw off the balance at times, the colorful fairy-tale-inspired maps should still prove entertaining to new players, even if they have no hope of beating veterans. Some of the more interesting maps include are those based on Aladdin, Peter Pan, and Jack and the Beanstalk, tales many Westerners are familiar with. The Aladdin map has players dashing through streets crowded with fez wearing children and camels in an Arabian-themed desert city. Asian-inspired stages also enter the mix with tracks like Heungbu Nolbu, Sun and Moon, and Momotaro. Some original concepts have proven to be the most popular tracks among the playerbase and have players dashing across cartoony block worlds and hexagons that appear and disappear according to set patterns. There are even maps with unique camera angles. Most races have a third person perspective, but a few offer a side view similar to the view found in many 2D platformers.
Race Alone or Together
A single-player option allows players to race alone on any of the various tracks to improve their personal records, or simply get in some extra practice. More interestingly, Tales Runner also supports various team racing modes. In one popular mode, two sets of players must work together to reach the end of a stage before their opponents do. Various walls prevent progress through the stage until a minimum number of players from each team make it to certain check points. There’s even a co-op racing mode where players don’t race each other but instead run to stay ahead of a boss chasing behind them. Most races are done on foot in Tales Runner, but certain stages also allow for skiing, climbing ropes, and swimming during certain portions.
There’s even a mounted racing mode. After completing the first stage of the animal license requirement, players are awarded a giant yellow chick to ride. Animal races are largely the same as regular races, but players can ‘drift’ around corners on their mounts just as cars would in traditional racing games. Sadly, the low playerbase again becomes an issue with these alternative game modes. Finding a co-op boss room, and more importantly not getting kicked for being a beginner, can be difficult. During my brief time in Tales Runner, I was unable to experience the 20- or 30-man race modes. I don’t even think I ever saw that many people in all the lobby rooms combined at any one time.
Explore the Plaza
Perhaps the oddest set of features in Tales Runner is the myriad of social options and mini games. There’s a dedicated persistent-world Plaza for players to walk around in and chat. From here, players can access various shops, such as the Alchemy Store where they can combine card drops earned randomly by completing races into new cosmetic items. There’s also a guild search feature and vending machines to purchase items for player-run farms. The strangest amenity found in the Plaza would have to be the singing frog piano towards the north end of the map. The Plaza feature with the most potential is the mini game hut, but it's well hidden on the left corner of the map and only offers two mini games as of this writing. The first is Jester Rescue, which requires players to save drowning clowns while avoiding hungry alligators in a small section of a river. The second is Stop The Penguins, in which bomb-carrying penguins come charging down three lanes with each lane protected by a cannon that must be manually fired to stave off the Penguin bombers.
Farming and Settling Down
Another bonus feature in Tales Runner is the ability to maintain an instanced farm. Players can decorate their land with trees, furniture, structures, and plant crops using experience points earned via racing. Anyone can visit another player’s farm so the utility of these farms goes beyond harvesting items. They’re a complete player-housing zone where players can show off their creativity. I visited snow-covered farms complete with ice slides and herds of cows and multi-colored flowers, though the time it must have taken to grind enough TR to purchase these exotic decorations is dizzying. Even grinding enough to purchase a new character is daunting. Expect to earn only a few thousand after several races, and at 82,000 TR for a new character, it can take quite a while to unlock characters, costumes, and equipment. The cute, colorful maps in Tales Runner are fun to experience for the first few times, but it's easy to see how a game like this could start getting extremely repetitively.
While the playbase may be small, the developers have tried to do all they can to ensure they bond. Besides guild features, Tales Runner also supports a marriage and entire family tree system. All of this can be tracked in an in-game achievement book that also tracks many other stats including wins, losses, total time played, achievements earned, and so forth. The more I dug into Tales Runner, the more I was surprised at what strange features I uncovered. Ultimately, however, the main draw here is the racing gameplay. And while it's decent, I doubt it will succeed where other racing games like Kart Rider and Need For Speed World have failed.
Final Verdict – Fair
Tales Runner is, at first glance, a simple racing game. But dig a little deeper and it's clear that the game offers plenty of depth and challenges to master. Unfortunately, a dated game client and low playerbase prevent Tales Runner from reaching its potential.
Tales Runner Videos
Tales Runner Links
Tales Runner System Requirements
Operating System: Windows XP
CPU: Intel Pentium 3 800 MHz
Video Card: GeForce 2 MX
RAM: 128 MB
Hard Disk Space: 2300 MB
Operating System: Windows 7 or higher
CPU: Intel Pentium 4 2.0 GHz or better
Video Card: GeForce FX or better
RAM: 1 GB
Hard Disk Space: 5 GB or more
Tales Runner Music & Soundtrack
Tales Runner Additional Information
Developer: Rhaon Entertainment
Open Beta: April 22, 2014 (NA)
Shut Down Date: April 20, 2017 (NA)
South Korea: 2005 (SMILEGATE)
Japan: 2010-2011 (Rhaon)
Taiwan/Hong Kong/Macau: 2006 (Funtown)
China: 2007 (Shanda Games)
Thailand: 2007 (TOT)
North America: 2008-2011 (gPotato), 2012 (nowcom), 2014-current (OGPlanet)
Singapore: 2013 (Winnerhub)
Indonesia: Gemscool (2014)
Brazil: 2014 (Nurigo Games)
Development History / Background:
With the first closed beta appearing way back in 2005, Tales Runner has quietly spread across the world. Despite initial setbacks in North America with the closure of the gPotato service, Tales Runner has made a return and is stronger than ever. The game is now hosted in over nine countries and attracts 60 million players from across the globe. The developer behind Tales Runner, South Korean studio Rhaon, boasts community of over 10 million gamers worldwide as of 2011.