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Run, Mayor, run!

Hi players!
Here we are, with Mayor on the Run, a quite recent (2022) Rpgmaker MZ game made in 5 weeks for IGMC: Rebirth by SeaPhoenix, the author of a couple of games I liked a lot: the very cute Forest Star (that I reviewed HERE!) and the funny The Ghost Cage (that has its review HERE). See? They both have good ratings, that's why I was really ager to try this one. At the same time I was a bit worried by the premised since it sounded like a "rural sim game" not unlike one I recently played that was about a chubby farmer. Eh no it wasn't so good, if you check that review I also wrote that I hoped that was an funny adventure game, and not a repetitive simulator that feels like a chore.
Luckily this is NOT the case of this game!

Talk with everyone and check everything! Even squirrels can be helpful when they have money!

Mayor on the Run is basically an adventure that takes place in a week: our hero is "Carrot", but that's a false name since he's running from someone (but this will be explained only at the end of the week), he arrives in this little village and becomes mayor, because the small population of the hamlet is really desperate: there are rats everywhere, crops do not grow, and they need someone that can help them making the village thrive. Will you able to do that?

I wrote that this game is an adventure because what you have to do is talking to people, learning their needs and search for the items they need, soon you will be able to build new houses and then you will have to choose who will become the new resident: do you prefer a tailor or a sculptor? An adventurer or a hair stylist? Each one will provide some benefits, but unfortunately you've to choose, and to make them comfortable you will also have spend money to furnish their home, but how they like of course! Here the carpenter and the painter of the village will help you, but for money, of course, money that you will earn each day thanks to that hated contributions called taxes!
Moreover, building new houses will remove some trees from the area, unlocking new locations can previously cannot be reached! But remember that you have six days to make people happy... or to find a way to deceive the pursuers (the combo hairstylist and tailor comes to mind but I was not able to do that, see later!).

Well, I guess not, anyway let's check, since in this game we cannot die... uhm I hope!

The game has no battles/puzzles/minigames of course, just some small tasks (like finding out which mushrooms are not poisonous!) and fetch quests, but above all is a game of management and choices: even if you start from the first day to work for the village, I supposed that it's impossible to do 100% in a single run, first because you have to choose between the new villagers, second because you need lots of money for some upgrades, but this means that you will have to sell some items that are used to complete some tasks, so it's your choice. My first run ended with Carrot being arrested, the second I was able to be confirmed as mayor, anyway I guess there are better and worse outcomes because I did not solve every single quest (a mini-spoiler in two words: dragon's treasure!).

Visually the game uses RTPs, but mapping is very good despite the presence of a total of just about 12-15 maps). The game uses a simple but intuitive interface that's always visible but you can press Esc to open the menu that shows items possessed, lists the villagers' needs and also lets you save. There are a couple of odd things like when they ask you to position your bed, that has no impact on the game and also isn't followed by the chance to buy and place more forniture (you can only buy them for the other villagers!), since you just earn them as a gift from the residents.

Another odd thing is that you get items as a reward or exploring, but sometimes it's hard to understand what you can keep and what you can sell, so a second playthrough can clearly help obtaining a better result (anyway remember to INTERACT with EVERYTHING, it's true that some npcs will give you hints but you have only six days so faster is better!). A final issue I found is that I was NOT able to get the fancy dress from the tailor despite furnishing and painting his how as he wished (I did get the new hairstyle from the hairstylist, but that was not enough!), even if I wrote down exactly what he wanted... (UPDATE!!! I just realized that in the dialogue the tailor asks for a sofa, but instead in the diary it list he needs an armchair! I later realized this small error that prevented me from getting the fancy suit! Always trust the diary!).

Awww I got an happy ending, even if surely not the best one! But I'm happy, anyway which ending will you get?

Final Verdict
Mayor on the Run is a nice little game that you can play 2-3 times with very different results, depending in what you want to focus and the choices you will make. The fact that you can save anytime means that you can also avoid starting over, so you can try different paths for every day.
Considering that the game was made in just 5 weeks for IGMC: Rebirth is also important, (for some aspect it reminds to me of Phina without the custom graphics a minigames but with the same concept of being set in a small village with a time limit of some days) because despite the time limit the final result is an enjoyable and peculiar adventure, even if I may assume that some parts that may have be cut due to time restrain (like the opportunity to customize the Mayor's bedroom, except for the bed, or maybe I missed something but it's unlikely due to the small size of the explorable areas).