Rainbow Billy The Curse Of The Leviathan PS4 Review

Rainbow Billy The Curse Of The Leviathan is an upbeat family adventure out to spread positivity in a world that's entered chaos (the fantasy one, for once)

The amount of positivity in Rainbow Billy The Curse Of The Leviathan is so sickening that I almost puked my own rainbow. I dislike forced positivity as much as I dislike doom-mongers -“Cheer up” and “It’ll sort itself out!”. Pah!

No, I’m not a cynic – I’m a soppy so-and-so, and that became clear hours later as I’m still searching to make new friends, change negative thoughts to positive ones and having more gummies on hand than a Haribo convention. 

Rainbow Billy The Curse Of The Leviathan is just as sweet. This isn’t for those cranky people who moan about the world and never look at themselves for what they are; this is a game that is quite uplifting once you get past all the silliness. But again, it’s not for cranky folk and perhaps more geared up for kids. Or is it?

Rainbow Billy The Curse Of The Leviathan Review

During the last Steam Next Fest, I played the demo and was impressed by the crisp, vibrant colours and the 2D/3D Paper Mario aesthetic. But in the back of my mind, I was wondering if all this cuteness was a front for something more sinister. Having played this on the PS4, I can reveal that no, this game wears its heart on its sleeves and is pure in every way.

I’m feeling sick again.

Rainbow Billy The Curse Of The Leviathan Review - Support Rod
Support Rod. Source: PR

In all seriousness, Rainbow Billy The Curse Of The Leviathan is a story about perspective, and no, I’m not making this an academic piece and misreading the meaning. Billy himself is an innocent fellow that wants to help people, and that’s pretty endearing.

His home is a colourful place, and when we’re introduced to his mission to locate some fireworks, greet the townfolk and indulge in the festival spirit, we feel it’s a very safe environment. However, the leviathan of the title shows up and steals the colour, and all Billy can do is run. He’s no coward, but it’s understood that if he locates the colour cores, he can restore the vibrancy to the world once more and be done with this slippery Christian Grey.

I Love You, You Love Me

Boarding the Friend-Ship (bear with me), Billy will sail to multiple islands searching for negative thoughts (original pure), making friends, but predominantly locating those colour cores by beating some ‘think out the box’ bosses. These ship runs are pretty limited as it runs on rainbow fuel, and if you can’t locate a spot to refuel, you’ll teleport back to the last known place.

Fear not; there’s no danger here. Billy can fall off a bridge or lose in a turn-based battle and repeat once more without consequence. No loss of souls, no loss of earnings, and no loss of face. He’s a brave boy, but he might take a hit on his morale.

Exploration is key, and Friend-Ship will take you to these new islands for you to hop out, trigger some switches and perform some jumping tricks to reach new levels, later unlocking new skills that aid in your aerial abilities.

Aww… Friend

Besides the many friends you’ll gather in Rainbow Billy The Curse Of The Leviathan, such as Billy’s BFF Giro, he’ll team up with Rodrigo – a fishing rod that allows him to fish (duh), plus punch, pull and dig at items on the islands revealing hidden secrets. They’re mostly coins, but you can also find some gifts.

Rainbow Billy The Curse Of The Leviathan Review - Pier Luigi
Pier Luigi. Source: PR

Friendship is everything in and throughout your travels; you’ll unlock optional pals by battling them. These characters can’t think straight and have the colour and positivity zapped out of them, so to combat this, in each battle, you will have the option to listen to their troubles, then talk about it.

It sounds corny, and it is, but it’s a nice touch as you choose the words you think will make them feel better, consequently revealing their weakness. That weakness is displayed through shapes, and the friends you accumulate will appear in the battle as a token – each with their own little mini-game to trigger a hit. These can range from anything such as a QTE to mock Arkanoid mini-games.

Once you hit the opponent with the matching shapes, they’ll become your friend and join you on Friend-Ship. From here, you can dock and award them gifts you find in the wild or purchased from a shady merchant, and these, in turn, will level up their powers, giving them three possible attack shapes.

Make Your Own Friends

I may have confused things a bit with the explanation, but Rainbow Billy The Curse Of The Leviathan really is an easy game. I intended to play with my youngest, but I was surprised to find myself playing this for a couple of hours before she would wake up; then, when she went to bed, I continued playing, telling my wife I was unlocking new characters for her. It was a lie. It was for me.

The battles are very easy, but locating all the hidden items (such as the thoughts), plus the achievements on offer, are HUGE. On the surface, this is a kids game you might dismiss, and while it is mostly a piece of cake, it’s engaging enough for replay value as it’s not that hard to miss something.

Rainbow Billy The Curse Of The Leviathan Review - Talk it out
Talk it out. Source: PR

But the real highlight of playing this game was the original purpose: playing with my four-year-old, and perhaps that’s the context of this game being geared towards a younger audience/family orientated one. Taking turns, we managed to explore a great deal without me intervening – the only thing I would say to other parents is the narrative – it’s all text-based. While the target is for a younger audience, understandably, they won’t be able to read it.

Somewhere…

As an avid storytime reader, it was a delight to read this aloud – voices and all, and we thoroughly enjoyed experiencing this together. There aren’t any scary moments or unsuitable dialogue for concern. Instead, most of the time, she was ordering me to make friends, or if it was her turn, she showed me up by finding hidden items that I thundered past.

While Rainbow Billy The Curse Of The Leviathan is arguably a kids game, grown-ups will find happiness in it too. The word choice was intentional, as this game genuinely made me feel good once I lowered my defences of “I’m not going to be told to be positive *grumble grumble*”. I’m anti ‘everyone’s a winner’ mentality, but ManaVoid Entertainment and Skybound Games have done a great job here in making this an enjoyable family adventure with just enough challenge to keep adults occupied too. Plus, if you’re a trophy hunter, this will keep you busy for a while.