Zynga is out to prove that even the endless runner can be social. VentureBeat got a first hand look at Running With Friends, which will soft launch in the Canadian App Store today and be released worldwide in around a month.
The iPhone title takes its inspiration from other apps in the popular genre like Temple Run 2 and Jetpack Joyride. Set at the famous Running of the Bulls Festival in Pamplona, Spain, gamers are tasked with outrunning the not-so-happy animals by jumping, ducking, and even switching paths.
Interestingly, Zynga made the game in a partnership with Eat Sleep Play, which is known for console games like Twisted Metal and the God of War series. Zynga’s Justin Cooper said that did lead to some interesting discussions during the game’s development:
“They wanted to move into mobile and partner with us,” Cooper said. “They shared our vision of mobile gaming. They were a phenomenal partner, though they naturally tended toward a darker game. We shifted them to what we though was cute and funny.”
Zynga also wanted to add its experience with social gaming to the title:
“Most of the other experiences we saw were lonely,” Cooper said. “This is a lot more competitive than a standard With Friends game. What’s wonderful about this category is that it is so simple.”
Just like with other popular games in the With Friends series, gamers can challenge friends to garner the best score or times.