Runbow made a pretty excellent entry into the gaming world back in 2015 for the Wii U and since then it’s made its way onto pretty much every platform. This month it rounded the collection off by coming to the PS4 and the Nintendo Switch so we’re here to give it a review.
Runbow is a chaotic, racing platformer with hints of Smash Bros blended in. It’s a very solid party game with so many variables once you get nine players all on screen at once that it’s got a lot of replay value. That can’t exactly be said for the single player modes though… They end up being more of a practice mode but we’ll come to that later. The gameplay is the heart of Runbow and every extra player you add brings a whole new level of challenge and fun. So if you’re in the market for a party game that will go great with friends (and a few beers) you’ll properly want to keep reading.
Runbow has a few different game modes but usually the most popular one is the racing mode where you and up to eight other players jump and smash your way across a map to reach a trophy at the end. The catch? A series of horizontal, and sometimes vertical, screen wipes of varying shades of colours will swoosh across the screen and change the environment. That platform you need to hit in order to make the next jump? Well it’s about disappear as soon as the background switches to green because it’s a green platform. It’s that split second decision making which really makes the gameplay of Runbow shine. You get a moment of warning before the next colour swipes the screen and that’s where you need to decide if you’re on a platform that’s about to disappear or if you’re about to be. All the while you’ve got eight other players contending to rush ahead of you or punch you off track. Pretty hectic.
Runbow blends the frantic speed of a race with the care of a platformer and then adds in a healthy dose of being a dick to your mates for good measure. The single player modes offer a ‘story’ but its generally just a collection of funky still images before you get presented with a nifty obstacle course. It’s considerably less fun to run these solo but it definitely teaches the skills that you’ll need to dominate a party match. Tricks like the double jump followed by an upwards punch will keep you in the air for a little longer and potentially smack some rivals about. That being said you’re unlikely to have a whale of a time just going through all of the levels for the heck of it by yourself; And if you do you’re probably going to annihilate any mates you invite to try it with you which may end up putting them off a great experience.
There are several other more combative modes that you can enjoy with a full party. King of the hill or survival type modes can be a lot of fun, particularly where the coloured environment is actively trying to kill you. You can also choose from a whole host of extra characters from a wide variety of other games to spice up the action and make it seem even more like Smash Bros. Fancy making Shantae Half Genie Half Hero fight Shovel Knight? Runbow makes it happen!
Overall you can have a lot of fun with this game as long as you can enjoy online multiplayer or secure a small crowd of folks in your home. The GReviews top party tip is for all players to take a shot for every death your character suffers. Enjoy the brutal hangover!
Great multiplayer gameplay
Variety of game modes
Repetitive when played alone
Far from compelling soundtrack