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[Beyond PlayStation] Runbow Review

[Beyond PlayStation] Runbow Review
  • On July 12, 2018

Runbow from 13AM Games and Headup Games is a colorful and fast-paced action platformer now on Nintendo Switch. Learn more about this very fun game in our Runbow review!


In Runbow you take on some solid and colorful 2D platforming action either on your own or with up to an extra eight players for some crazy hectic eight-player offline or nine-player online multiplayer action. The basic premise is that as you take on any given stage, the background color will shift, thus making any platform of the same color disappear. Most of the time this ends up sending you to your doom as you, say, fall down a bottomless pit or end up swimming in deadly lava, while other times it will only delay you in your attempt at beating everyone else to the finish line.

Runbow Review - 1

The game offers an Adventure mode in which you take on a ton of carefully crafted stages with goals that vary from reaching the end of the stage to collecting X number of coins to defeating Y number of enemies. If you want to 100% the game, then you also need to know that you can get up to three medals for each stage depending on how fast you complete any given goal, so you will probably end up replaying some of the stages once you get some extra practice and can thusly claim you’ve managed to get good.

Runbow Review - Adventure

Along with the Adventure mode, there are options for taking on the game in the aforementioned offline and online varieties for up to eight and nine players, respectively, and it is here where the game gets even crazier. Having eight or nine people on the screen trying to complete the same goal is a completely different experience from having just the one or two opponents, and if you’re a fan of multiplayer games, you’re going to love what Runbow and its colorful presentation have to offer.


And then, there’s the Bowhemoth. This is a mode in which you are tasked with completing all stages in the set, from start to finish, in a single go. The mode won’t save your progress, so if you decided to quit during your run, you would then need to start over when you take once again take on this challenging mode. The mode is easier to take on when playing on Nintendo Switch since you can, say, take on the game by playing in short or long burst and when you decide you’ve had enough, you can just put the console on sleep mode to instantly carry on at a later time. After spending an hour and seven minutes with this mode, and with a total tally of 275 deaths, I managed to beat it and was rewarded with the Bowbarian outfit.

Runbow Review - Bowhemoth

Speaking of rewards, the game has a ton of things to unlock and several in-game extra objectives to complete. You can, for example, get an award for starting a Bowhemoth run, as well as the aforementioned Bowbarian outfit when completing the mode, but there are also objectives such as dying by being hit by a laser, dying a ton of times, completing X number of stages in Adventure mode, completing Y number of stages, getting a ton of medals for your efforts, and more. You can also unlock the gorgeous movie poster style art from the game as you get more medals for your efforts. The extra in-game objectives are a great way to keep you engaged, and you will also unlock bonus indie characters to use in the game.

Right from the start you can play as Shantae from the Shantae series and as Lilac from Freedom Planet, A.R.I.D. from The Fall series, Rusty from the SteamWorld Dig series, Gunvolt from the Azure Striker Gunvolt franchise, Commander Video and Commandgirl Video from the Bit.Trip series, the Teslamancer from Teslagrad, Max from Mutant Mudds, the Drifter from Hyper Light Drifter, the Clone from Stealth Inc., and more.

Runbow Review - Characters

If you, like me, really dig the game’s soundtrack, with its upbeat mix of Jazz-Afro-Cuban-Blues-Bossa-Nova-Cinematic-Surf Rock – as stated by the team that worked on the soundtrack – then you should definitely buy it at its Bandcamp page by clicking right here. And if you want to have all the music for Runbow, then be sure to also click right here for Volume 2 since it includes songs that were written for the game’s DLC expansions, and they’re just as good as the songs available in the main game!

Runbow is a very fun and colorful game that you should definitely check out on Nintendo Switch. There’s a ton of content to enjoy in this one, with a balanced challenge that will have you always trying to get even better at the game. The frantically hectic multiplayer action is where the game shines the most, but you’ll also get a kick out of playing on your own as you try to beat all the Adventure stages while getting three medals, or by taking on the Bowhemoth as you try to lower your overall time and death count total.

This Runbow review is based on a Nintendo Switch copy provided by Headup Games.


Review Overview

Very fun and colorful hectic 2D platformer