Runbow Deluxe Edition Wii U Review
9 simultaneous players can offer intense multiplayer matches
Tons to unlock
Playing off disc doesn’t take up hard drive space
Gameplay takes some time to fully grasp
Multiplayer is pretty much required; single player is more of an afterthought
Price of the disc is basically the same price if purchased from the eShop
Nine Players On One Disc
Bundling the game with all DLC, Runbow Deluxe is the ultimate edition of this WiiU party platformer. For more on Runbow Deluxe, read the exclusive myGamer interview with 13AM Games HERE.
Sold for $30 in physical disc format, here is a breakdown of everything that is included with Runbow Deluxe on WiiU:
-Runbow the game (normally $14.99 on Nintendo eShop, 1281mb)
-The Professionals Pack (normally $1.99)
-The Anime Pack (normally $1.99)
-The Steampunk Pack (normally $1.99)
-The Winter Pack (normally $2.99)
-Satura’s Space Adventure (normally $6.99)
-Lilac from Freedom Planet DLC character (free)
-Shantae DLC character (free)
-One download code for the complete soundtrack.
The total for all this content if bought individually through the eShop would cost about $31 not including the soundtrack download. The other important aspect to note is the file size. If downloaded from the eShop, Runbow will use more than 1GB of precious and very limited WiiU hard drive space. Playing off the disc only requires one low file sized save file. Curiously, each DLC pack is only 64kb when downloaded from the eShop making me wonder if this content was there the entire time and this 64kb of space sneakily unlocks it. Either way, all the content listed above is burned onto this disc and nothing else has to be downloaded or installed include Shantae. Just keep in mind you are not really saving any money by buying the physical disc version or the eShop downloads as they basically come out to the same price.
Runbow was designed around multiplayer. Using pretty much any Wii or WiiU controller available, up to nine same-sofa players can compete simultaneously in a race to the finish, king of the hill, or a handful of other playlists. But the goal is to keep moving forward, timing jumps that correspond to the color of the background, and reach the goal before your opponents. It is sort of like an endless runner mixed with a hint of Smash Bros. Regardless, each match is usually pure chaos especially with a full roster of players.
Instead of creating even more DLC, the developers opted to include a wealth of unlockables through means of gameplay, a long lost videogame art form. With dozens of characters to unlock through performing certain in-game tasks, some of which are protagonists from other popular indie titles, there is almost always something new around every turn. If the creative multiplayer won’t make you stay, the wealth of unlockables will.
Race mode has players competing to be the first one to grab the trophy at the end of the stage. Arena is a multiplayer only mode with the goal to survive for as long as possible. King of the Hill is a hybrid of these previous two modes as it is a multiplayer race to the top whereas Defeat the Color Master mode is essentially the WiiU gamepad versus everyone else. Even though each mode is slightly different, all modes will have the players running and jumping their way through colored stages.
Outside of the competitive multiplayer environment, I still found the single player offerings compelling despite not having as much staying power. Adventure, Sakura’s DLC, and Bowhemoth modes also involve running and jumping in a single direction until the end is reached but provide an obstacle course form of gameplay not unlike a Mario platformer or even Super Meat Boy. Death requires a restart of the entire stage but most stages are only about one-minute long. Adventure and Sakura’s DLC offer an addicting form of progression as new adjacent stages become unlocked on an Excel spreadsheet-like tile based system which was borrowed from Super Smash Bros’ achievement system and even Kirby’s Air Ride. The Bowhemoth mode has the player running through the stomach of a beast in one continuous gauntlet of a challenge which sets a creative plot point to run against.
Runbow is a game that is easy to suck at. The background color swapping mechanic is interesting but takes time to fully grasp. Even though all playable characters are just pallet swaps with no different abilities, new players will most likely get smoked by players with previous Runbow experience. And this isn’t through level design but rather the timing of the jumps in conjunction of how the color mechanic works. There really isn’t a game out there quite like Runbow, it takes some time to get used to, but can offer some entertaining multiplayer sessions.
Even though there are single player offerings, Runbow was designed and works best with a few friends sitting next to you. It can be played online but found myself waiting in the online lobby for quite a while before another player joined and even then it wasn’t a full nine player match; the limited player base is a letdown because this game needs many players to be the best it can be. But with its 50s dance music soundtrack, unique gameplay, and distinctive character design, Runbow has plenty of personality. If you want a break from 8-player same sofa Super Smash Bros Wii U, Runbow can offer your local buddies additional entertainment.
There is a Runbow demo available for free on WiiU eShop if you wanted to try the game for yourself. Also, Runbow Pocket Deluxe Edition will also be available as a physical cart for 3DS sometime in 2017.
Not As Good As: Super Monkey Ball 2 (GC)
Also Try: The Adventures of Cookies and Cream (PS2)
Wait For It: Powerstone 3
By: Zachary Gasiorowski, Editor in Chief myGamer.com