Runbow hits Nintendo Switch after first appearing on the WiiU in 2015 and it’s as colourful as a bag of Skittles. But what is it? Well…Let’s get ready to Runbow!
Runbow is a platforming brawler with a twist. The background constantly changes colour throughout, meaning that platforms constantly disappear, then reappear throughout. It’s joyous, confusing, irritating and awesome all at the same time. Now sit tight, because Runbow has a ludicrous amount of content to get stuck into. For starters, it’s one hell of a party game – boasting up to 9 player multiplayer (nine!) and 8 players locally (eight!). Now I don’t even know 8 or 9 people but still, it’s good the option is there.
As I played Runbow pre-release, I sadly can’t say too much about the full extent of the multiplayer as every game I had was only against one other person. I can however tell you about the couch and co-op multiplayer modes on offer. First up is Run Mode, where you simply have to leg it to the finish line (or finish trophy). Then there’s Arena Mode, when you essentially just try and not die before your opponents. And finally there’s All Hail The King Of The Hill mode, where you have to guard the crown till the seconds run out. So don’t worry, Runbow offers lots of different ways for you to get your ass kicked.
If you’re a recluse however and would rather do your own thing, there is plenty to keep you happy too. The superb Single Player campaign, known as Adventure Mode is bursting at the seams with running, brawling goodness. Now each level operates with a Medal system, so the more you nail a level the more medals you gain. These then unlock loads of cool extras in the gallery. For starters, there’s an in game achievement/trophy list for completionists called Records and on top of that, there’s new characters to be unlocked by performing various in game requirements. Now the characters are perhaps one of the coolest things about Runbow, as they are from other well known indie games. Juan from Guacamelee and Rusty from Steamworld Dig being just a couple of many highlights. It’s a stroke of genius on 13AM’s part, as it means that you always want to keep playing, as the incentive to unlock characters is pretty high.
The replayability factor is not just huge due to unlocking perks too – it’s also down to the fact that Runbow is (a) ridiculously good and (b) it’s unforgivingly hard. Add (a) and (b) together and you have one hell of an addictive game on your hands (literally). The ridiculously good side of things is a long list. First of all, the colour mechanic is genius. You have to see it in action to appreciate it fully. Secondly, the game is incredibly inventive. The difference in levels varies so much; you don’t know whether you’re going to be running upside down, or being chased by a spiky wall, or just getting your ass handed to you online. And finally, the game has a wicked sense of humour. Every time you die (which will be a lot – trust me), the loading screen offers little quips at your expense. I won’t spoil them for you but they are laugh out loud funny. And you know what they say – it’s always good to have a laugh when you’re dying. Ok no one says that. But maybe they haven’t played Runbow yet.
Runbow is a colourful, crazy, chaotic game that will keep you coming back for more. Trust us, platforming pandemonium never felt so good.
Punk rating: 8/10