I love tinyBuild’s games. The publisher just knows how to publish some incredible indie games that beg to be played. Already this year, I’ve played and loved Punch Club and Mr. Shifty, and now tinyBuild has published yet another stunner with the fast-paced indie hit, SpeedRunners, from developer DoubleDutch Games.
In SpeedRunners, players select a hero character and the goal is to run, slide, and swing around a 2D, side-scrolling level, outracing three other racers until you have left them so far in the dust that they die and you win. Once you get three wins, you take the match. Each level/race offers multiple paths, built in obstacles, and if the run is taking too long, the screen begins to shrink, forcing the player to keep moving as fast as possible. Each hero also has powers and skills that help them, like a grappling hook that can be used to cross gaps, but can also be used to grapple other players and jerk them back, allowing you to run right past. Freeze rays, spikes, bombs, and more, also play a huge part of SpeedRunners.
The comic book art direction and presentation serves at the perfect wraparound for the story missions, and gives the heroes backstory and flashes out their motivations. There are hero-specific skills that only they can use, so experimentation is necessary to find the best hero for you and your play style.
Multiplayer pits four runners together in couch co-op or on-line matches in the various locations/levels, like amusement parks, cities, and warehouses. Players level up as they play, and matchmaking seems to be pretty fair in all of my online matches, creating a fast, fun, and frantic time.
TinyBuild is continuing to support SpeedRunners by releasing DLC characters and scenarios, giving players even more heroes (and villains) to choose from and master. The best part of SpeedRunners is in the bite-sized matches and the speed of which they are presented. This is truly a pick-up-and-play title, where players can race in a few full matches in 10-15 minutes, either in story mode or online, and then go about their days. It makes for a nice break between more epic games like Final Fantasy XII: The Zodiac Age. I made it a point to run a few races every night, and it just felt like the right amount of gameplay.
SpeedRunners is yet another feather in the cap for DoubleDutch and publisher tinyBuild. We all play games because we want a fun time, and trust me, this is fun. Insanely fast fun, and it is a game that I keep coming back to over and over, as each race offers me something new and exciting. This is a game I will be playing long after this review is published, and I can’t say that about many games that I have the pleasure of playing for review.
SpeedRunners is out now for the Playstation 4, Xbox One, and Steam. This review is based off a PS4 review code provided by tinyBuild Games.
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