Tue. Jul 23rd, 2024

[Review] – Runbow – Nintendo Switch

Nintendo Switch

Reviewed by Brett

Publisher – Headup Games
Developer – 13AM Games
Category – Party, Action, Platformer, Runner
Release Date – July 03, 2018

Color Switching Multiplayer Mayhem 

Runbow is a return to form for local an online multiplayer on Nintendo Switch.

Developed by 13AM games and published by Headup Games, the cult hit Runbow was first released on the Wii U in august of 2015. Between now and then has hit all the other major platforms but now Runbow has finally come home.

Selection Screen

The gamplay of Runbow is fairly simple and straightforward, run from one side of the level to the goal at the other or in some cases deafeat some enemies or collect items in a set amount of time. All with the goal of being the fastest.Sounds simple enough but Runbows uniqueness comes from the constant changing color palate that can and will have profanities flying out of your mouth and anyone your playing with. As you are running the colors of the background will change back and forth trough a large spectrum and any platforms that match that color will disappear, rendering them unusable until the color changes again. This can work against you and for you as long as your timing and fingers are swift.

Timing is a big part of Runbow.

Death Incoming

Being what on the surface would appear to be a primarily multiplayer game there are of course a large variety of multiplayer modes available on hand and to my surprise quite a robust single player offering as well.

Adventure mode which can be played solo or co-op, is where I started and is probably where you should start as well if your new to the series or even if its been awhile. You will need to brush up on your skills before getting outrun in the online lobbies.

In adventure mode you move through a large grid of unlock-able levels. Levels can have different end goals, lots of them will simply have you going from one end to the other, some will have you defeat enemies, and some will see you collecting items. All of them want you to do the objectives as quickly as possible. You are ranked on time taken to finish a level and awarded up to three medals for beating it under different set amounts of time. Not only is it great fun, albeit occasionally frustrating fun, but going for more medals on a level will gradually unlock new gallery content, characters and some secrets.

There is a bevy of unlock-able characters from beloved indie games. Featuring appearances from stars of games like Shovel Knight, Rusty from Steam world dig,  Juan and Tostada from Guacamelee!, Max from Mutant Mudds, Commander Video From Bit Trip Runner, Shantae from Shantae: Half Genie Hero, Drifter from Hyper Light Drifter and a whole bunch of others. They are unlocked through various means and is super fun to see them in game.

Bowhemoth mode is the other style in which you can play solo but you can also play multiplayer. In this mode Runbow challenges you with multiple rooms of extra challenging platforming and in an extra brutal move on their part you cant save your progress here. If you quit its back to the drawing board. Bowhemoth is super challenging but very rewarding.

Single Player Level Grid

Online multiplayer offerings include Run, Arena and King of the hill. These modes can also be played locally. Online offers up to nine players and up to eight locally.

Run has you racing from one side to the other, first one to the goal wins. Arena is a Smash Bros esque battle, seeing you punch your opponents in hopes of being the last one standing. King of the hill has you fighting for dominance over a marked area for a set amount of time. The more players you have the more chaotic it becomes and the more fun shall be had.



Runbow is an amazing competitive party game that just so happens to have an equally great solo campaign. Its art is clean, crisp and colorful and its music is always upbeat ad lively and suits this game perfectly. With a ton of ways to play and characters to unlock there is always something to do. Runbow is great fun across the board but could be a bit challenging for some. the only small gripe i have is i wish there were even more ways to play, but there are still plenty. Absolutely pick this up, weather you want a great solo or multiplayer experience Runbow has you covered.



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