Pax East 2015 Preview – Runbow


I had the opportunity at PAX East to play a whole lot of different games. Many of them were interesting. A few of them were great. But, only one of them was truly revolutionary: Runbow.

Runbow, by 13am Games,  caught my attention for two main reasons.

  1. The art style is awesome. The entirety of the game is brilliantly colorful and is, in fact, built around the different colors and the way they interact with each other. All of the characters look as though they were ripped right off of a poster from the 60s or 70s.
  2. Runbow is a nine player game. Yes. I just said that. It is a nine player competitive game. The developers made this happen using the Wii U gamepad alongside four wii-motes with attached nunchucks or Wii Pro controllers.

My demo was relatively short, but I havenʼt played anything so interesting in years. There are a variety of game modes, but each of them were built around short bursts of platforming. The key is that the majority of the platforms are colored blue, green, cyan, and so forth. The background is constantly changing and if it happens to change to the same color as a platform it will essentially disappear. This makes each round very chaotic as all of the players not only race to the end, but they fight to survive.

Runbow Character Art

The Runbow character art is fantastic!

I also got a chance to play a “Color Master” mode where one player uses the gamepad and competes against all of the other players to prevent them from finishing the race. The only way to score points as the color master is to prevent everyone from finishing the race. I played as the color master and enjoyed a whole host of tools through my demo. I could drop bombs. I could create my own character to run and attack players. I could even paint different colors on the background to make platforms disappear.

The whole experience was a lot of fun and I was playing with complete strangers! I immediately imagined the insanity of my entire family and some of our friends playing this game. The younger players might struggle with some of the platforming, but each level is so chaotic that just running through them would be fun enough to keep it all going.

I cannot wait for this game to come out. Keep your eyes on Engaged Family Gaming as the year passes for more in depth information.

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