PAX East 2015: First Impressions – Runbow

How many games do you have that can get your entire dinner party sitting down and included in a console game instead of resorting to something like Monopoly or Scrabble? Fine, so maybe there are plenty of other board games you could play, but if you’re looking for a game for your Wii U that can include just about everyone, Runbow is your newest, most hectic option.

Runbow brings 9-person multiplayer to the Wii U, using any Wii U or Wii controller (and you know you have a pile of those around somewhere) to play this bizarre platformer slash brawler title that moves fast and defeats players even faster.

There are four basic modes in the game right now, though the developers have mentioned that they’d like to add two more modes before the game hits market. The first game, which was most often played during our pop-ins at the convention, was a race to the end of the level. Players keep running until someone makes it to the end or is the last player standing (which more often than not seemed to be the way to “win”). Other versions include a battle with the last player standing, and another one is king of the hill. The fourth mode gives the GamePad player Color Master powers—the most hectic of all the modes, since no one knows what color the player will toss out… and with each color change, obstacles and ledges disappear or reappear.

And that’s really where the craziness of the game comes in. The randomness of shifting colors means that if the background color changes, all ledges or obstacles of the same color background color disappear. Another new color sweeps in and it sends everything in that particular color into the background. You’re on a blue ledge and suddenly the background changes to blue? You fall, you die. It’s that simple! And that hard…


Players respawn for each round, making it fast and fun because no one is sitting around for a half hour waiting to play again. With nine players on the board, the game gets insane pretty quickly, but that’s where some of the best moments came in during our demo.

The visuals are great, the controls are crazy-simple, and the “use any controller” feature means that even if you don’t have enough Wii/Wii U controllers and your friend does, tell them to bring them over and you’ll be all set.

Right now there’s only local multiplayer available, but the developers are looking into network play. We’ll have to wait and see what happens when it hits the Wii U eShop in 2015’s third quarter.



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Author: Faith View all posts by
Faith likes games and books and cake and writing and Lara Croft, not necessarily in that order. She also thinks a Skylanders cartoon show is a really, REALLY good idea...

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