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Review #026: Runbow (Nintendo Switch)

Reviewed By: Chad M.

Developed By: 13AM Games

Published By: Headup Games

Category: Action, Platformer

Release Date: 07.03.2018

Download Runbow from the Nintendo eShop here.

Purchase Runbow physically on Amazon here.

Let the Race Begin

Adventure platformers are all over the eShop, with more seeming to pop up all the time. So I was surprised when I came across Runbow, an adventure platformer party game with a racing element that is anything but new. The team over at 13AM Games first brought Runbow to the Wii U and 3Ds and has now made its way to the Switch. Crazy enough I had never played Runbow, but I had heard quite a bit about it, so I knew it was time to jump in and get to running. 

The Great Race

Runbow starts out as a by the numbers adventure platformer with a twist. You choose a character that you can customize. You have the choice of Hue or Val as standard Runbow characters as well as a slew of indie characters from a number of other games. The beginning levels are almost too easy, but that doesn’t last long. As you move through the levels the platforms and places to jump through changes as the colors change on screen. An example would be a green ledge to land on is visible but as the screen changes from green to red the platform disappears and may in some cases move turning red.  This is what makes Runbow anything but average. As the levels in single player go on I found it to be extremely colorful, vibrant, fast paced and sometimes frustrating in the best way. 

Starting off there are two single player options with Adventure and The Bowhemoth. Adventure is a single player game that seven friends can join along to defeat The evil femme fatale Satura in what looks like a crazy old school 50’s sci-fi movie. It’s very light on story, but heavy on action platformer fun. It quickly ramps up difficulty as the levels progress. 

The Bowhemoth is the second option that again can be played alone or with a party of eight.  This game begins with a humongous monster swallowing your character(s) whole and now you must escape this huge beast. The Bowhemoth doesn’t even take time to ramp up. It starts out of the gate frantic at breakneck speeds. This is truly meant for skilled players as it has no saves and a kill counter showing you how many times you die.  There is also a third single player option called Satura’s Space Adventure that can be purchased as a DLC in the eShop. This is also single player with an option for up to 8 players. 

Running Around the Party

I’d say more than a simple action platformer, Runbow shines as a party game. The multiplayer kicks off with three options Run, Arena and King of the Hill. In Run, you and the other racers head toward a trophy that is at the end of each level. In Arena, you challenge opponents to a battle to the end. In King of the Hill, you fight to keep control of a tiny platform for a limited amount of time across several rounds. Each of these modes are easy to pick up and play, making it great for parties. Runbow is the perfect party game for this reason. It’s begs to be played by the max amount of people you can find as you scratch and claw your way to the top of each game. 

All of these amazing modes can be found on the multiplayer mode that allows for nine players to battle it out all at once. The online multiplayer shined just as the local multiplayer did. I never had issues with players or connection and it was a load of laughs and a must when in search of a game to kill some time. 

Controls & Fun Factor

The fast paced gameplay and sometimes relentless courses cannot be for the layman. So luckily the local and online multiplayer are a must to break things up, making the game extremely fun. One of the funniest parts of the game is when you die, a screen pops up where there’s a witty jab taken at you on how you died. These never got old and sometimes were so good I laughed pretty hard. The controls felt nice and tight, and if I had a single gripe on the control it’d be that sometimes the jump punch didn’t always feel accurate. 

Audio & Visuals

The sounds are crisp and nice throughout and the music was great. This had a very upbeat soundtrack that I’d rank an A+ that had my foot tapping and songs stuck in my head long after I was done playing. The visual are bright, vibrant and they pop right off the screen. As the visuals play such a large part in the game it’s almost as if they’re their own character. Runbow ran perfect both docked and handheld. 

Final Thoughts

Runbow is the perfect party game with an ever changing world. It will give level after level of challenges and allow you to move forward when it gets too hard so as to not punish you. But this game screams to be played in multiplayer with friends. I’d say this is must own party game and staple to any switch collection. 

Final Score: 9/10

Download Runbow from the Nintendo eShop here.

Purchase Runbow physically on Amazon here.

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