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August 5, 2014

Demo Review 13: BIT.TRIP RUNNER

Looks like one of the games played by Finn and Jake on
BMO, in Adventure Time...
Hey look, it's those again. BIT.TRIP is a series of six games that can be purchased on the Wii Shop Channel, and this is the third such demo I'm reviewing (the other two can be viewed here and here). RUNNER is another of these old-school arcade-like musical puzzle games, except it's more of a platformer than a puzzle game. In it, you control the black-and-white character as he runs through the level. You have to press 2 to jump at the right moment to avoid hitting the mounts of debris on the floor or the elevated zones. Also, you have to collect the objects on your way. All the character can do at the moment is jump and you have to be careful not to lose a life.

Compared to the other BIT.TRIP demos I've seen so far, this game is divided in clear levels with a beginning and an end, includes bonus levels that increase your score, and has beautiful, abstract 3D environments in the cutscenes. The few of those there are. Funny to note also that whenever you collect an object or avoid an obstacle, a video game music note is heard; and if you pick up all the items, a song plays while the character is running. The items are placed so that a song is made from their sounds? Huh. Wise. Starting with the third level, the runner can now slide under low ceilings when you press Down. And on the fifth level, the character learns how to kick obstacles that cannot be jumped over. Hey, he could have just kicked everything! Then, at level 7, the character learns to jump higher thanks to springs.

If you lose a life, you have to restart the entire level. Usually, losing a life just means running into a pile of junk, or into a wall. You heard right: The little character cannot ever stop running, jumping or sliding. Man, must that be a sad life. When does he eat in all that? Does he just steal food when he runs by a stand like Sonic does for chilidogs?

While I think it's definitely better than the other two BIT.TRIP games I tried, I don't think I would buy this one. However, I do find it a lot more interesting, what with the added touches in the design (seriously, there are 3D creatures in the third level!). The music also sounds very nice whenever you succeed in getting all the items and avoiding all the obstacles. So far, if I ever were to buy a BIT.TRIP game, I'd buy this one. It proved challenging and interesting. The bonus levels, in retro style with big pixels, are also fun, and there's one of those each time you beat a level and collect all the items. Maybe I wouldn't buy it, but if that sounds fun to you, try this demo, and see for yourself if you'd enjoy playing this game! The demo alone can keep you busy for an hour, and maybe a little more!