There aren’t many indie multiplayer games that manage to be as entertaining as Nidhogg; however SpeedRunners is a completely different story! Unlike Super Toy Cars, SpeedRunners is non-stop fun! The overall aim of the game is to race, and to be faster than your opponents, but this is harder than it sounds when obstacles and weapons are thrown in the mix. With the option of local or online multiplayer there is no lack of content in this game.
The gameplay is, well, addictive. It’s an intense race for first as 4 players have to try to last the longest in a continuous loop through a map of obstacles. You can also get a variety of weapons to slow down your opponents; this can make or break a game as some items can rip you from first down to last. This game is fun enough against random people, but with friends it’s 10 times better. A round is first to three, so the aim is to be last on the screen three times. Once the first player is knocked off the screen or after a certain time if no one is eliminated, the screen slowly shrinks as a red box closes in. Anyone who is too slow and falls into the red is out, meaning the race gets more intense as it carries out. This is also a plus point as you can play a quick race or two in a few minutes, meaning you don’t have to invest the next half hour for playing a round.
Despite the game predominantly being focused on multiplayer, there is a single player story mode to SpeedRunners. This mode introduces the player to various controls and abilities; however these can be quickly picked up after a few multiplayer games. And for those who can’t figure out the controls for themselves, there is an introduction tutorial you have to go through before you can do any matches or modes. This isn’t a drag however, just an initiation to make sure you don’t embarrass yourself on your first game. The story can be completed quite easily, but the comic book style telling makes it entertaining.
One thing I noticed about SpeedRunners is that it had a lot of content to unlock, things like characters and maps could be unlocked by level progression. This gives the player all the more reason to continue levelling up. You also unlock new weapons that can slow your enemies down, this is a huge advantage if you have unlocked items other players online have not. Another way to access more characters is to find special codes which temporarily unlock more characters, there is also DLC packs which allow you to play as YouTubers (personally I passed on that one).
There is one feature that I found set SpeedRunners away from the mediocre multiplayer games, and that is the custom match settings. This allows you to play with a mix of bots, local players and online friends; which I found handy if there was an empty space in the match. SpeedRunners is also good at paring you up with similar ability players in general, which is handy so you don’t get stuck with the MLG SpeedRunners crew. As well as all this the game also looks really good. Seeing as the characters take up a small percentage of the screen you get to see the minimalistic stage design in all its glory, however you can still see the amazing character art too.
Overall SpeedRunners deserves 9 out of 10. It constantly manages to be fun and it’s a great way to show off in front of, or alternatively lose, your friends. Despite still being in Early Access the game seems so refined, definitely worth picking up if you’ve got the cash. The fun never runs out and there is a huge replay-ability value to it, but maybe pass on the YouTuber expansion pack.
REVIEW CODE: A complimentary PC code was provided to Bonus Stage for this review. Please send all review code enquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org.