Indie Corner: Runbow

The Wii U isn’t selling as much as Nintendo hoped for but that doesn’t mean the system doesn’t have anything to offer. The console is known for its strong first party franchises and high quality games but it looks like the quality came from another corner this time. 13AM Games created the best party game for the system and probably one of the best Wii U games of this year. Runbow is Indie but it’s incredible!

A platformer pur sang

Runbow looks like a traditional platformer at first sight. The objective is easy, run trough the world and reach the goal at the end. Things get more complicated when you need to avoid gaps and time your jumping very precisely in order to land on the platform. Sounds too easy? There’s a catch of course. The platforms are colored in different colors ranged from black to almost every color of the rainbow. The main color on the background changes while playing, when it changes color, all platforms of the same color will instantly disappear, making this a rather unpredictable and exciting platformer!


Play together

This isn’t the only innovation in Runbow however; this is the first platformer on Wii U to support 9 players at once. This can be achieved with real friends on your couch or online players. Playing with 9 on a map is very chaotic, the objective is still to reach the goal but making it more difficult for others is of course part of the fun. Pushing other players into the abyss is a lot of fun; so it’s no surprise that most multiplayer sessions end up in fights on the platforms. To make things even better there’s a variety of power-ups you can use to really make the life of your opponents miserable.

There are four playable modes in multiplayer. Run is the most straightforward mode, just run as fast to the finish and beat your opponents by reaching the end first. King of the Hill brings in a shooter classic to the platformer genre. Stay in a certain zone for a certain time and claim it yours, the player with most zones wins the round. Players will get respawned constantly until there’s a king of a zone. The Arena feels like a Super Smash Bros. game where the goal is to defeat all other players by using your power-ups. By using the action button you can take them out one by one, the last man standing wins. Colormaster features asymmetric Wii U gameplay, one controls the GamePad, the others Wii controllers. The colormaster can change the background any time and can even drop bombs to make things even more chaotic.

 Or play on your own

Don’t really like chaotic multiplayer games, Runbow also features two solo modes. Adventure mode is by far the more important one, challenging your platform skills with over 140 levels. The goals in the levels aren’t always the same, most of the time you need to reach the end but defeating enemies or collecting coins can be the main objective of the level as well. The levels are divided in four different themes to make things interesting and thanks to the great graphics and music it’s always fun to play a level. Everything feels right about the Adventure mode and we’re sure a lot of you will have a lot of fun with it.

Aside of the traditional Adventure mode there’s the hard Bowhemoth mode, a mode where you play inside a giant monster. In order to get out you need to complete tasks with extra difficulty. Think about NES era difficulty where there weren’t save points to help you out. This is a very challenging mode and isn’t for everybody but for those who are looking for a challenge, this is the place to find it.

Smash for Indies

This brings us to the last but special feature worth mentioning.13AM Games partnered up with other Nindies titles to bring in some cross-over characters. You’ll be able to use skins of other popular Indie games such as Shovel Knight, Gunvolt, Teslamancer and a lot more. The skins don’t add character specific moves but even without it, Runbow feels like a Super Smash Bros. game for Indie titles. It’s by far one of the biggest and fun indies that released on Wii U thanks to this great fan service.


The Good: The Bad:
+ Innovative platformer – It might destroy friendships
+ Multiplayer madness
+ Indie paradise

Runbow is a classic example of how something simple can work if it’s done right. It innovates the platform genre in every right way and brings back the chaotic couch multiplayer to a console that is perfect for it. Runbow isn’t just another Indie, it’s a game everybody who owns a Wii U should check out and enjoy. Forget the triple A franchises for a moment and just enjoy your time with this small but near perfect game.

4.5 out of 5:


Got interested in games since I could read. Started with Nintendo but evolved into an all-round gamer. I love all kind of games; triple A games to Indie. If the vibe is right, I'll enjoy playing it.