Runbow is a colorful, 2D platformer made for parties and gamers of all ages. It is a game where obstacles and paths change depending on the background color, leading to an almost certain death when a platform you were on disappears. While there are several modes of play – with single player, local multiplayer, and online multiplayer available for your choosing – Runbow is most suitable as a party game. Of course, at the end of the night when all your friends leave, you can also enjoy it at your own pace with their single-player mode (tip: this can be your practice time so you can be better than them the next time they come over).
Because I have like two friends, I was happy to learn that Runbow offers a pretty comprehensive campaign for solo players like myself. While sometimes I do crave companionship (which is why we are also blessed by 13AM Games with an online play option if physical friends are not available), if I had a choice, I do prefer accomplishing missions on my own. Thankfully, there are multiple adventures I could go on by myself, and the controls were incredibly easy to learn. As a reminder, to fully enjoy online multiplayer mode on PS4, you will require PlayStation Plus. As another reminder, to fully enjoy local multiplayer mode, you will also require friends.
I started off with the Adventure Mode, which provides over a hundred levels for solo gamers. It has a unique way of choosing levels to advance in, too. Unlike many other games where you move from Level 1 to Level 2 to Level 3, Runbow allows you to choose from a couple of options. Instead of a linear progression, the levels are laid out on a grid where you can opt to move up the grid, or move to the right, and so on. You also get rewards based on how long you took at each level – the shorter the time, the larger the reward. Sometimes, if I felt frustrated with a level, I had the option of skipping it and trying another level instead. However, with this many levels in a platforming game, it does get fairly repetitive. There are small challenges in each level to keep it interesting, such as collecting coins or running away from a spiked wall, but I found it a bit less amusing to play on my own.
How Strong Is Your Friend Game?
Another option (for when your friends aren’t around) is to give a shot at the “Bowhemoth”, which is for single player masochists. This mode is where you can die many deaths while trying to attempt the hardest platform running the game has to offer.
But when your friends are around, Runbow really shines as a multiplayer platforming game. There is the classic Run experience, where you race against your friends for the trophy at the end of each level. It is extremely chaotic and competitive, but also a lot of fun. While the levels may offer similar obstacles and challenges, no level is the same because of your friends’ actions. Besides racing to a finish line, there is also the Arena and King of the Hill. Arena involves being the last one standing, with players jumping around platforms trying to knock one another off. King of the Hill is more challenging and can be slightly frustrating – the goal is to get to a crown and touch it for a total of 6 seconds. These two modes can be the ender of friendships, but it’s probably worth it.
My first impressions of this game were very positive. The introduction was short and sweet, with extremely fitting background music to go along with the colorful theme. Nothing was overly complicated, and it was easy to appreciate the artwork and colors the developers have put their time into. Everything about the game was well organized into sections, with clear visual indications of which mode is for one player and which mode is for multiple players. The little tune being played while running was fun and whimsical, and even my cousin, who never plays video games, wanted to try it out because of the music.
Truth be told, Runbow really challenged my response rate and processing speed, and I actually think my attention span and reaction time has improved because of this game (yes mom, video games can be beneficial!). It does become more and more intuitive the more you play, but I did feel there was a learning curve. However, do not be discouraged by dying too many times, because eventually, it will become almost natural to you. Once you get the hang of the color changes and controls, it is really an enjoyable game to have in your collection.
Runbow really is most suitable as a multiplayer game – even a solo player like myself will have to admit that I would rather play this with friends. While the Adventure Mode was fun on its own, in comparison to everything else the game had to offer, it was hard to just focus only on a single player mission. Overall, I will have to say that Runbow has impressed me with its gameplay and simplicity, and all I need now are more friends to play video games with.
*** PS4 code provided by the publisher ***
- A great and entertaining party game
- Has both local and online play available
- Many levels to play as a single player
- Levels and challenges can get repetitive
- Multiplayer mode can be overly chaotic