As you will recall, I ran a news piece on SpeedRunners when it was announced, and also mentioned that I’d be looking at playing the demo at the very least. Well, I’ve since done that, so what do I think so far?
It reminds me of a watered-down version of The Incredibles, with a visual style that is reminiscent of some of the ads you see pop up advertising Fiverr where X will do your SEO for $1 – a retro superhero illustrating the product. That’s not a bad comparison or anything, just First Impressions on the presentation.
The actual graphics are serviceable, but there’s nothing to write home about. I thought that I’d struggle with the size of the characters, but it wasn’t as expected. It was pretty clear what was going on – if there was any confusion, it was because of the sheer speed this game goes at with the way characters bounce across the screen and power-ups that will make Mario Kart 8 Deluxe seem like Driving Miss Daisy. How’s that for a reference?
SpeedRunners is precisely that; fast and on foot. That was lazy, but that’s how it is. Your characters are almost like a speed-infused parkour expert; effortlessly dashing across the levels and jumping out of danger or up walls. Aside from the numerous power-ups available are the traps you can set, like hitting a switch to force your pursuers to take another path.
Other than cross the finish line first, often in a series of three laps, you can fast-track your winning streak by merely being significantly ahead of your opponents. The distance on the screen represents that. If you are one side of the screen, you need to ensure that you are so far ahead that the camera follows you, and anybody left behind gets eliminated.
Going for the win is a risky business, as you’ll sometimes jump into the face of danger, not always knowing what will be ahead of you as previous traps may still be ahead, or you aren’t familiar with the track. However, I found in my short playtime that dashing and jumping in a rapid-fire approach ensured I won most of the matches I played. I don’t doubt that there is skill involved as apparently SpeedRunners is a bit well-known for its competitive approach when it was released on other platforms.
Unfortunately for me, it doesn’t have any lasting appeal to get it anytime soon. It’s not that SpeedRunners is a bad game, but I feel this would play better as a party game more than solo or a two-player, despite having the options for additional bots.
Sure there’s a lot of power-ups, multiple characters to choose from and many tracks to play, but I felt that I saw most of what SpeedRunners has to offer. Unless tinyBuild want to send me a code to fast-track my review (there’s a running joke in there somewhere), I’ll most likely get this on a sale or in the event I have a gathering of more than two people who fancy a competitive session.
SpeedRunners is available on the eShop now, fellow gamers.