"Running Fred" is a survival game in which the player navigates Fred past deadly obstacles as he flees from Death. The object of the game is to reach the end of the stage before Death catches Fred. The player earns points for the speed with which she clears each stage.
The left and right arrow keys maneuver Fred while the space bar allows him to jump. Fred can execute a double jump by pressing the space bar a second time during a jump, and he can run up walls by jumping toward them. Fred never stops running, though colliding with non-lethal obstacles like walls or pillars knocks him down. Being knocked down does not kill Fred, but slows him down, possibly allowing Death to catch up.
Failing to avoid lethal obstacles such as swinging ball chains, Fred-sized mallets and spiked pit traps kill Fred instantly, as does capture by Death. The free-to-play online version "Running Fred Lite" is a straightforward run through a randomly generated dungeon. The downloadable Running Fred app has multiple game modes such as adventure, survival and challenge, as well as an in-game store that offers many upgrades and outfits for Fred in exchange for game coins or real world currency.