Sawbuck Gamer

Alpaca Run

Domesticated Bliss

Alpaca Run is a game for the self-esteem generation.

By Derrick Sanskrit • June 21, 2013

Sawbuck Gamer is our daily review of a free or cheap game ($10 or less).

Heartwarming TV shows love to tell us how much better life is when shared with others—how, even in the face of insurmountable failure, everything is under control if you’ve got good friends by your side. The West Wing did it. Friday Night Lights did it. And the browser game Alpaca Run does it. Oh, you’ve never heard of Alpaca Run? Let me tell you about Alpaca Run.

It tells, through a combination of play and song, the story of Ingrid the transcontinental alpaca as she does what transcontinental alpacas apparently do: run forever, from left to right, coast to coast, with her best friend (who sings a song about it). Through the amazing power of friendship, Ingrid cannot fail or die. She is unerring in her goal of crossing the country with her best friend, and through that devotion, they travel even farther than they’d dreamed.

There is a refreshing amount of confidence to be found when you know that you can’t run out of lives or disappoint your friend. It allows you to relax. The harsh light of reality is taken away, and you’re left with a cute song about your best friend eating apples and sporting a natural hair sweater. “Ingrid can’t stop now, she’s on a roll!”

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  • Roswulf

     Aw. That was delightful.

    • Fluka

      Yeah, I’ve really got no other constructive response beyond “Dawwwwwww” and a generally warm and fuzzy feeling.

      • Roswulf

        I do wish the game did not inform me of my (very, very high) number of deaths upon completion. Sort of undercut the fuzzy comforting joy of the experience.

        • Cameron Kunzelman

          The reaction to that information has been super divisive–many people have had your experience, but an equal number of people have reported that the positivity of “only” made them feel better about the deaths and encouraged them to go for fewer the next time. Such a wonderful thing.

        • Roswulf

          @cameronkunzelman:disqus I think it’s the word deaths that put me off. Telling me only 30 falls would have been fine, but I didn’t want to think of a pile of dead alpacas after such a gleeful diversion.

        • Cameron Kunzelman

          I didn’t take it as a quibble! Just giving some information about the whole thing on my end. Glad that you enjoyed the game!

  • C Bone

    If you collect all 5 apples, Ingrid goes all multicolor. Yes, I replayed it 3 times to collect all 5 apples. I am aware I have a problem.

    • http://gameological.com/author/derricksanskrit/ Derrick Sanskrit

      Yes, and she does it just as the song lyrics talk about “transcontinental” not being enough and wanting to go into outer space (which she does regardless of apples).

  • Cameron Kunzelman

    Hey I made this game and just a note that Samantha Allen, Joseph Culp, and Guy Conn also collaborated on the game! 

    • http://tmaiblog.wordpress.com/ Chalkdust

       Is the song available apart from the game?  I need some more songs to add to my novelty alpaca mix-tape (yours would be track 2!)

      • Samantha Allen

        The song is available at qxrtheband.bandcamp.com.

  • boardgameguy

    Only died 11 times! Somehow, not excited or satisfied by that number.

  • TreeRol

    I was grinning throughout this game. I feel like if it had gone on for 2 minutes longer I would’ve stopped grinning and wondered where the hell it was going. So, I conclude it was just about the perfect length. Well done.

  • http://www.facebook.com/mike.podgor Mike Podgor

    This was a marvelous little game, but I think it would benefit from a little warning before the game to turn the sound on. I almost played it muted, and doing that would have been a travesty. 

  • Brainstrain

    14 deaths, all 5 apples on the first try. I may be the master of impossible-to-fail alpaca games. This is a useful skill.

    • http://www.facebook.com/mike.podgor Mike Podgor

      I had five deaths and all five apples.

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