VICE vs Video games

Please, Just Leave This Drake Game the Hell Alone

'Runnin' Through the 6' might be funny for a few seconds, but your iPad deserves better.

by Mike Diver
10 April 2015, 2:20pm

The App Store's just taken receipt of another endless runner. Big deal, indeed. But this time it's an offering bearing a very familiar face.

Having flogged over a million copies of latest mixtape-cum-album-cum-contract-fulfilling-piece-of-crap If You're Reading This It's Too Late (and I say that as someone who likes him), Canadian rapper-actor Drake has now moved into mobile gaming. Sort of.

Runnin' Through the 6 is yours to download for free to your iOS device—if you hate yourself. The basic-looking rooftop runner features a cartoon caricature of Aubrey Graham, the simple objective to collect floating "6"s while avoiding disabled signs, which prevent the Degrassi alumnus from double-jumping from building to building.

All the while—well, for as long as you keep running—Drake's song "Know Yourself" plays in the background, its opening line of "running through the 6 with my woes" evidently comprising the entire conceptual core of this appropriately miserable experience. It's not the worst track on its parent LP, so that's something, I suppose. Programmed by Nico Uribe, Runnin' is the kind of crap that must infuriate mobile developers actually looking to do something innovative in the medium—like Flappy Bird, only, more Cash Monied. And here we are, in the press, writing about it instead of Much Better Games. Sorry.

I've played Runnin' five or six times. I get it, and now I'm done with it, thanks. If you're a Google Play user and completely insane, you can actually pay money for the game.

The "6" in question refers to Drake's hometown of Toronto, a city with two area codes both featuring said number, 416 and 647. (There's also a third, 437, but I guess Drake never went there.) When the rapper first started calling the place a number instead of, you know, a name made up of actual letters, residents got pissed: He was accused of being "attention seeking" and giving the city an identity crisis. Sheesh.

Uribe's not as dumb as his game is, though. On the title menu he's provided an option to "get IG followers," directing users to another of his apps, GramFamous, which does just that. "Wish you were Instagram famous?" its store description asks. Not really. But you can bet more people than ever are about to have a go, thanks to Runnin'.

Of course, this isn't an artist/management-sanctioned Drake product—at least, it doesn't look like one—so the man behind such hits as "Over" and that one with Rihanna that took Jamie xx's "I'll Take Care of U" remix and made like it was a new song isn't joining Katy Perry and Kanye West as a pop sort genuinely pursuing new opportunities in the mobile market.

Something tells me that search engine of his isn't his, either.

If you're really desperate for an endless runner on your iPhone, right this minute, may I suggest some alternatives to the Drizzy-starring Runnin'. Alto's Adventure. Jetpack Joyride. Canabalt. Robot Unicorn Attack. Temple Run 2. Impossible Road (it counts, right?). Punch Quest. Any one of the numerous Flappy Bird clones. Have fun!

Follow Mike on Twitter.

kanye west
katy perry
Mike Diver
Mobile Gaming
Runnin Through the 6
Endless Runner
Don't download this shit