If you haven't gotten a big group of people together for a competitive game of Runbow then you haven't lived life in COLOURFUL CAPS LOCK yet. The competitive nine-player runner with a roster of original characters and borrowed favourites is a great way to make friends and alienate people.
Thanks to the wonders of E3, developer 13AM Games has confirmed today that Runbow Pocket is coming to New Nintendo 3DS this summer at retail and on the eShop - and it's bringing WayForward's Shantae along for the ride as a new character. You too can enjoy the magic of getting really mad at your friends while at home, at the airport, or even on the bus. We kid, of course - we found the original Wii U release rather excellent in our Runbow review last year and are curious to see how the game translates to a smaller, portable screen.
In fact, we had a few words with Runbow Pocket creative director Alex Rushdy about just that. Here are those words.
Playing on a 50-inch HD television is obviously a much different experience from playing on a tiny 3DS screen. Were you concerned with how the game would translate to the smaller screen? Did you have to make any gameplay or presentation concessions to fit the new resolution, or did it all translate relatively painlessly?
This is very true. While the game is still in development and we still want to test a few more options out with the visuals, we already have completely redesigned all of our user interface and menu navigation. This not only makes it clearer to see on the small screen, but it also allows you to navigate menus with the touch screen if you wish!
We've also de-cluttered a lot of the HUD from the top screen and moved it to the bottom screen during play, giving players more space to see their character and environments.
Luckily Runbow's art style is so high contrast and uses strong defined shapes, so a lot of the levels actually read just fine on the small screen!
Were you concerned about changes to the social living-room dynamic in bringing Runbow to 3DS? Depending on your circumstances on Wii U, two players might actually be tethered together by the controllers when playing this game where it's super easy to mess with each other, which creates all sorts of interesting social situations that would be absent if everyone needs their own console unit.
Well, the way we look at it, Runbow Pocket will be a different experience from Runbow and will be experienced by a different user than Runbow.
While the multiplayer features of Runbow are obviously a huge attraction for people, the response to the game shows that most players spend the majority of their time mastering the single player story mode of the game, and trying to get Bowhemoth high scores. Local and Online multiplayer is great, but you might not always have a buddy around and that's why we spent a sizeable amount of development time making Adventure, Bowhemoth and the Satura's Space Adventure DLC.
People fell in love with the characters (especially Satura) and the collectibles in the gallery and the achievements, and we think that's great.
So for Runbow Pocket we recognize that A) people really dig the single player stuff and B) handheld devices are often used in isolation, on a bus or on a plane - not at a party. So we want to accommodate those players with this game. For example, we are changing some of the achievements in the game to accommodate more solo play, and are using StreetPass to highlight your progress in the single player, your bowhemoth times and deathcount, etc. If you pick the game up at retail it also comes packed in with all the DLC including Satura's Space Adventure and some other goodies as well.
So, to answer your question, we're not really concerned about the shift in the social dynamic, and think that those who really want to have a party will enjoy the Wii U version, while those who want more of a solo adventure experience might prefer to take it on the go with Runbow Pocket!
And let's not forget, when you're playing any game with a friend. . . as long as you are in punching distance, you're good.
Shantae has joined the race on New 3DS and will be heading to Wii U as well. How did that come about? Are there plans to add additional characters from indie games? (Blink twice for yes.)
Yeah we're super excited to Shantae join the Runbow cast! To be honest, she almost made it into the previous DLC pack but we just had some timing issues we had to work through. We've been working with Matt Bozon for a while to get her in so we're really happy to see her in the game. She was the most highly requested character, and in a game featuring a huge cast of Nintendo indies, she feels right at home!
As for future characters, I think Shantae will be a nice send off for Runbow and Runbow Pocket. That will bring our (DLC included) character count to 23, which is pretty big! And that's not including all the costumes and colors for Hue and Val!
Maybe we'll see more characters show up in a future Runbow title. For now, I think Shantae is the perfect final addition.
So, about the tough-as-nails Bowhemoth marathon mode found in the Wii U edition. I got halfway through before it completely kicked my butt and made me almost bite my controller out of rage. I don't really have a question here, I just wanted you to know.
That's what I like to hear. That whole thing was designed by one twisted sadistic designer (Thomas McCall) and every time I play it I curse his name.
I used to think I was pretty good at the Bowhemoth but jeez… People have posted up no-death runs and runs under 14 minutes online! No deaths!
Hopefully you can brush up your skills and show off at next year's AGDQ or something! [Editor's note: That will in all likelihood not happen and we too curse the name Thomas McCall.]
Big thanks to Alex for participating!