Runbow review – Paint It Neon

RThe lovely Moai faced ‘Headup Games’ have recently dropped a physical version of thrice Nintendo released ‘Runbow’ from developer 13AM Games. Runbow has developed quite the underground following on its Wii U and 3DS outings, which makes its Nintendo Switch outing complete with ‘Nindie’ cameos and a full fat label an obvious conclusion. In this definitive edition of Runbow, players are spoilt for choice with its original roster of platforming goofs along with familiar faces such as ‘Shovel Night’ to name one.

For the uninitiated, Runbow is a lush Platformer featuring transforming courses for players to frustrate themselves with. The main mechanic? Time the protagonists’ movements and jumps with the oncoming waves of colour which reveal or conceal parts of courses. Simple right readers? No, no not at all.

Like all good platformers, Runbow forces its players to be cautiously efficient with its progressive difficulty gradient. The titles controls, latency and well placed platforms provide the tools a player needs to ‘Git Gud’. However, this is a game of trial an error with fair checkpoints dotted around as a trade-off for its sometimes gruelling gameplay.


Colour Me Surprised!

In all honesty, this reviewer wasn’t expecting such a challenge from Runbows single player ‘Adventure mode’. One was pleasantly surprised with a variation of courses to hone his platforming craft on, this is turn forced ones’ muscle memory into submission after an hour deep. Furthermore, it paved the way for this writer to be competent at a multiplayer title. A true achievement for any title one can assure you!

Multiplayer sees up to 8 player couch co-op (9 including an online straggler), perfect for extinguishing those Super Mario Party cravings for a while. What was a challenging yet relaxing platformer turns into a free-for-all dash to the finish line or brawling chaos with ‘bantz’ a plenty. This writer basked in the glory of his underlings as they struggled to keep up with my immense course memory. Seriously, this writer needs that much prep!


Put That Knitting Needle Away!

One of the most stand out virtues of Runbow is its Hobby craft vibes in neon paint. Whilst a few games explore these kinds of aesthetics to help fluff up their drab gameplay, Runbow utilises its art style better than Batman would his Shark repellent (What the F**K is that episode!?) As previously mentioned: Runbows main mechanic is a backdrop of changing bold colour to reveal or conceal objects on courses. Cardboard protagonists, watercolour shades and textures just make complete sense (OMG Labo kit!?)

The soundtrack is a goofy homage to the approach of Runbows overall design, pulling on the ‘Super Cereal’ strings of platformer evangelists throughout the industry in order for fun to ensue. Although it can get a bit old at times, it’s up to scratch with the games presentation and adds to Runbows charm.



Graphics and Presentation: 4.5

Sound: 3.9

Gameplay: 4.5

Total Score: 4.3 / 5.0

Runbow is truly a pleasure to play both single player and with friends, although they best bring their own joy con! Runbow oozes character and charm, so much so that this reviewer fell in love with this bobby dazzler. Runbow is a well-rounded platforming package fit for any enthusiasts’ collection.


Formats: Nintendo Switch (Reviewed), 3DS, Wii U, Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and Steam

Price: £11.99 (eShop)

Publisher: Headup Games

Developer: 13AM Games

Release Date: 03/07/2018

Age Rating: PEGI 3+

Review copy provided by publisher



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