‘If you can’t see it, it doesn’t exist’, in real life that message holds no value, in Runbow, it means everything. The frantic, multi-coloured multiplayer game that debuted on Nintendo Wii U is back once again, this time on Nintendo Switch. Get ready to run, jump, and punch in this multi-coloured package of fun anytime, anywhere, with anyone!
Is Runbow a rainbow dash of fun, or is it more dull than being stuck in the Dulux store? Find out in our review, after the break!
Nintendo Wii U, New Nintendo 3DS (Pocket Edition), PS4, XBOX ONE, PC, and Nintendo Switch
Developed by 13AM Games
Published by Headup Games
Released: 3rd July 2018
Review copy provided by Headup Games
Reviewed on the Nintendo Switch version
Screenshots courtesy of Headup Games
When I first purchased Runbow on the Nintendo Switch in 2015, it instantly became a multiplayer staple in the student house I was living in at the time. Whenever there would be people over for a game night, we would always whack out a few hours of Runbow. It was simple to learn, but a right hoot to play, so when I heard that the game was being ported over to the Nintendo Switch, I was completely overjoyed!
Runbow, for those of you who have yet to play, is a unique platformer/runner/brawler that has the mysterious ability to make you scream obscenities like there is no tomorrow, but in a perfectly good way… if that were even possible. The whole concept is rather simple where you have to run through a treacherous course, and to make things difficult, the background colour is constantly changing. Though this may look pretty cool, if a platform or object blends into the background colour, it doesn’t exist until the background changes again. One moment a ledge you’re standing on may be sturdy and solid, the next moment, it will be gone and you’ll fall into the abyss! This isn’t limited to platforms, other hazards, such as spikes and lasers, will often follow the same rules.
The game comes packed with a variety of different game modes, both competitive and cooperative, all accessed from an excitingly sleek menu. Though you can play with as little as two players, the game is a lot more fun with more players, and Runbow allows more players, in fact, Runbow supports up to eight players on the same console, nine if you are playing online. I just wish that there were the option to add AI players when you are on your own or have a small group of friends, but at least up to four people can play on the same console when going online, just bear in mind it can take a while to find players, and your gameplay may be a bit twitchy at times while playing online (playing offline is a completely smooth experience however).
There are three competitive modes: Run, Arena, and King of the Hill. In Run, the aim of the game is to essentially get to the trophy goal first. Arena pits you in an enclosed arena where you have to battle it out to be the last one standing. King of the Hill has players fighting over the goal platform, if you are able to stay on the platform for a specific amount of time without getting kicked off, you win. All simple and all fun… especially when you can get a full house of players! It’s also pretty cool the different customisations you can make, such as how many rounds you play, the difficulty, what powerups appear, what music will play, as well as the colour palette. Why have four colours when you can have eight!
If you are looking for something to do solo, or on a cooperative basis, then you could also try out Adventure Mode or the Bowhemoth. Adventure mode tells the story of how Satura has crashed a Luau the residents of Runbow were holding. You’ll need to complete up to 145 challenging courses and defeat Satura. If you want an even higher challenge, then you’ll want to enter the Bowhemoth. This mode puts you into the belly of the beast, quite literally, as you will have to complete a succession of gruelling courses. Try to get to the end in as little time and death as possible… just try and not smash your JoyCon into the ground while failing, I mean playing; somehow I don’t think game rage is covered by Nintendo’s warranty!
Not only is Runbow a fun and challenging title, but it also seems to be a love letter to a bunch of different Nindies, as a lot of characters from previous eShop titles make a playable cameo, such as Shovel Knight and Commander Video! There are about 18 different playable characters that accompany Hue, Val, and their various colour and costume variations. The music is also very painstakingly catchy and wonderful, no matter how simple it is. It’s perfect for some good competition.
Runbow also has a few pieces of DLC which can be purchased, either separately or as part of a bundle. The DLC includes a bunch of different costumes, even more catchy music, more stages for multiplayer, and even another adventure mode story, Satura’s Space Adventure! If you purchase the physical Deluxe version, all the DLC is included, if you opted for the Digital version, the Extra Val-Hue Bundle can be purchased for £11.69 extra, it’s a pretty decent value if you ask me.
Runbow was fantastic when it came out on the Nintendo Wii U, and it is still just as fantastic on the Nintendo Switch, especially with the versatility of the console. The gameplay is solid and extremely fun, and it also provides a really good challenge, whether you are playing competitively or cooperatively. Even though nothing new has been added and the online can be a bit niggly, Runbow is a Switch title that everyone should have, ready to play at a gathering!
If fast paced multiplayer action ain’t your thing, then it’s best to give this a skip, but if you are looking for a fun and hectic game to play with your mates and love a bit of competition, I fully recommend Runbow for the Nintendo Switch!
Final Rating – 4 out of 5
Runbow is out now for Nintendo Wii U, New Nintendo 3DS, Nintendo Switch, PS4, XBOX ONE, and PC.