Thank you 13AM Games for sending us this game to review!
Runbow was originally released for the Wii U in August of 2015. Since then there has been added DLC which is included in the Deluxe Edition along with the game’s soundtrack. The rest of this 2D platformer party game remains the same.
While playing by yourself is an option I don’t recommend it. In total there are over one hundred and forty challenges that require making your way through changing terrain to collect a trophy as fast as possible. Certain platforms are only usable when the changing background is a different color. Like many platformer games, there are numerous ways to die including spikes, crushing blocks, boulders, and wide chasms. With each death you’ll see a random witty slogan that makes fun of your efforts. My favorite taunts include "Never give up except now," "Take a deep breath," and "Like that but better." If you find the challenges too much you can usually skip them or enlist a friend to join in your game to help out.
As you progress you’ll unlock new characters to play as and many of them are from popular indie games. My family recognized Shovel Knight, Shantae, Gunvolt, Commander Video from the Bit Trip series, and Lilac from Freedom Planet. Each character has unique abilities and attack moves.
Aside from the single player adventures, there are four multiplayer modes to choose from. In the run mode all of the players run towards the trophy and the first one to get to it, wins. Another take on this mode is Colour Master where the player with the gamepad can drop bombs, lightning bolts, colors, enemy AI units, and can temporarily reverse the controls for the rest of the players to prevent them from getting to the trophy. The running team gets points for each player who reaches the trophy.
While my kids enjoyed the Colour Master Mode, the Arena was probably their favorite. If you enjoy brawler games, then you’ll find plenty to love here. The King of the Hill mode is fun and some of the locations for the coveted crown are a challenge to get to and stay put for several seconds.
The included DLC unlocks a whole new adventure mode along with several new costumes and multiplayer levels. The soundtrack is bundled in via a bandcamp code. That portion alone is worth $9 if you enjoyed the music. While the soundtrack is energetic and fitting for this high energy game, I had no desire to own it.
Despite not falling in love with the music, the kids and I enjoyed the rest of the game. There is cartoon violence, but other than that, Runbow is a fun game that can be enjoyed by the entire family. Like many games, it’s way more fun when you have friends to play alongside or against you! This is a great addition to any Wii U owner’s library.