One of the most exciting things about E3 isn’t checking out the yearly AAA titles, but rather taking a look at the smaller indie titles that show you things you wouldn’t expect from games. This year, indie’s were very prominent both on the showfloor and in the spaces around E3. One indie title in particular caught my eyes, Runbow for Wii U, and after playing it I saw that my attention was most definitely warranted.
Runbow is a simple conecpt at it’s core – you grab some friends and you run. Everyone picks a different colored character and they have to run toward to goal while knocking ech other out of the way, almost in a Smash Bros. meets Super Mario type of concept. Matches are usually over in less than 2 minutes, and this rapid-fire type of gameplay keeps the action going as the maps change constantly.
Oh, and did I mention that Runbow supports up to 9 players at a time? Using the Wii U’s various controller options allows you and up to 8 friends to race eachother to the goal. It’s a fun game when playing with 3 or 4 players, but ramp it up to the full 9 and it becomes a beautiful symphony of chaos.
You see, there’s one main gimmick that keeps Runbow going. There are two different types of platforms: black platforms and colored platforms. Black platforms are permanent, and stay no matter what. But colored platforms will disappear: The background is constantly shifting colors, and any platforms of the same color will disappear. This leads to situations where you jump to a platform only to have it disappear from under you, or a wall reappearing when the color shifts, trapping you in a small room. And the screen is constantly scrolling forward, and getting caught between a wall and the edge of the screen means you’re dead and have to sit the round out.
There’s also a co-op mode where all players have to work together to get to the goal, but the competitive aspect remains in that whoever reaches the gola first gets to choose the next stage. It’s very similar to the competitive mode, only punching the other players is slightly less encouraged.
Runbow is a game that came out of nowhere and immediately went to the top of my most wanted list. It’s the type of game you need to play if you regularly have friends over to play Smash or Mario Kart and are looking for a little bite-sized action.