VG Tribune

Review: Runbow

January 17, 2016 / 12:39 PM

By: Matthew Gibson

I’ve always been a fan of multiplayer games. There’s hardly anything better than sharing the joy of games with others around you. Runbow delivers just that, offering local play for up to nine players, in addition to using various colours to serve up a truly unique and imaginative experience.


At its core, Runbow is a nine-player ‘racing’ party game that has everyone heading towards the goal at the end of a level. The game’s central mechanic is, in relatively simple terms, if you can’t see it, it doesn’t exist. See, the game heavily revolves around the colour, and as the match progresses, the colour of the background will change. However, if there are any platforms of the same colour, they will disappear. For example, if you are on a blue platform, and the background changes to that colour, you’ll have to get off it quick before you fall, possibly to your doom. Both the foreground and the background are applied in different ways, which forces you to take note of your surroundings in order to win.

And that sweet victory can be done in a good couple of ways, four to be exact. The first is the Run mode, which I touched on before (and quite self-explanatory in all fairness). Arena has rivals fighting to the death on a selection of platforms, and King of the Hill pits you and your chums against each other once more, but now with the goal of standing on a single spot for seven seconds. The final mode takes advantage of the Wii U’s defining feature: the GamePad. In Colour Master, the player on the tablet must stop the run team (those on the TV) from reaching the goal by planting various items like paint splodges and lightning. Throw in some crazy power-ups and you have a killer party game. I found the customisation options before heading into each match robust, as I was able to choose how many games to play, what power-ups will appear, as well as the colours. If you don’t have any friends to play with, you can play online, and whilst this plays decent for the most part, it may be hard to find a lot within your chosen mode. And of course, you are able to set up private lobbies for you and far-away mates to battle it out.

Other than the multiplayer, there is the Adventure mode, in which you fight through over 140 stages to defeat the colour-saturating Satura. Despite the short length of these levels (at most they only last 1-minute (if you don’t fail that is)), and there is a good amount that are quite tricky, this mode will keep you occupied for a while. And if you’re looking for a real challenge, search no further than the Bowhemoth, a gauntlet-esque level that puts your skills to the test as you try to master the colour-swapping mechanic. Both of these modes are also multiplayer supported, and whilst they bring some great content, they don’t justify the game  by itself.


It’s by no means a stunning looking game, but that doesn’t mean it’s down right ugly. The simplistic look of the game is very effective, as well as the whole 60’s movie vibe. The choice of colours that appear in the foreground and background is clear to make out, thankfully compensating the madness that goes on. You may experience occassional drops in frame rates, but it’s nothing to fuss over.


The soundtrack for Runbow is simply fantastic. The catchy tunes whilst playing the game really does encompass the chaos that goes on, with each shining through in their respective levels. Other than that, it kept me from angrily throwing my controller out of rage when I did! Please have a listen:



Runbow is the near-personification of creativity. It’s unique mechanics of colour-swapping perfectly blends with the nine-player madness. And the Adventure and Bowhemoth modes add plenty of replay value. 13AM GAMES have done a fantastic job here, and hopefully more content will come soon. Runbow is an excellent party game, made to be played with close friends, and for this reason I’m awarding Runbow with a score of 9/10.

Still didn’t get your dose of Runbow? Have no fear! You can check out an interview I did with Tom McCall from 13AM GAMES about the game down below!

Runbow: Interview w/ 13AM Games’ Tom McCall



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About the author /

Like many other game writers, Matthew was brought into the gaming world from a young age. He aspires to be a games journalist in the future. Oh, and he's from the UK, so there's that. He also does Nintendo Podcast System, just in case there isn't enough Nintendo on this site.

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