PAX West 2017: First Impressions – Runner3 (Nintendo Switch)

The game might be called Runner3, but the very first thing that became apparent while standing at the booth waiting my turn was that the team at Choice Provisions have tried to make a game that’s approachable and appealing to a wide variety of gamer preferences and skill levels. It grabs your attention right off the bat with bright, colorful visuals and fast-moving action (I mean, “runner” is in the title)—plus the music is just the right level of catchy without becoming annoying, even during the replays when you inevitably fail.

The demo on the show floor had players trying a simpler stage (a relative term, of course) full of eyeballs, creepy crawlers, spiky objects and buzzsaws, all of which need to be avoided at the correct time or else BAM, you’re out! Commander Video, the main character, has a double jump that makes flying through the air on a big jump quite satisfying, and will inevitably come in handy as the challenges increase. Although I didn’t personally play the stage that followed this one in the demo, Machineland, the levels actually build in front of your eyes as you progress through them, which requires considerable precision, trust in your abilities, and a level of calm that this Nintendo Fire writer cannot profess to have. According to the demo team, Machineland comes much later in the game, so anyone who tried the “easy” demo and had concerns about the difficulty level of the game as a whole… don’t you worry. You’ll get your fill of controller-throwing-worthy levels in due time.

Runner3 also offers Hero Quests where you complete tasks for NPCs, and bizarre puppet shows that round out the narrative. There are also Retro Levels and “Impossible Levels”—you know, in case you really love frustration. Hey, no judgment—if that’s fun for you, all the power to you!

Ultimately, the demo didn’t really allow for much chance to experience how the game’s difficulty level would ramp up in terms of progression, but the demo level was enjoyable and the team sincere about their efforts to make the game approachable for a wide player base. I’d like to trust that this is true, because Runner3 sure seems like it’s going to be a lot of fun.


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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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