SpeedRunners Early Access Review

SpeedRunners chaos-art from tinyBuild GAMES Official Page

SpeedRunners!

*Sources of screenshots are listed in their respective file-names.

SpeedRunners is an Early Access title currently available exclusively on Steam.
As an Early Access title, the game is not fully optimized and various bugs are present. However, this also means that SpeedRunners is continually being updated, refined, and improved. Best of all, YOU get to help influence this process.
_____________________________________________

In a world full of superheroes, an innocent citizen cries for help…Suddenly, SpeedRunner races into view to save the day! No wait-Hothead comes to save the day! Cosmonaut Comrade to save the day? Unic?

Well, no matter…here come four superheros to save the day!

SpeedRunner Shots batch 1 (1)

Are they actually shooting missiles at each other?

SpeedRunner shots batch 2

Hothead launches a shockwave right before Cosmonaut Comrade can pull ahead.

SpeedRunner Shots batch 3 (1) SpeedRunner Shots batch 3 (2)

SpeedRunner screams towards a wall wielding a supersonic drill.

SpeedRunner shots batch 4

Cosmonaut Comrade gets revenge by “hooking” Hothead in mid-air, gaining the lead.

SpeedRunner shots batch 5 (1) SpeedRunner shots batch 5 (2) SpeedRunner shots batch 5 (3)

“Oh well,” the citizen sighs. “I guess I’ll have to fix the yard…AGAIN.”

Welcome to the cutthroat-heroics of SpeedRunner.

SpeedRunner Shots batch 1 (2)

The objective of SpeedRunners is to either be the last superhero standing or to be so fast as to finally outdistance your opponents and run off the edge of the screen. This is made more difficult by both the environment (spikes and momentum-ruining boxes) and the other players (missiles, grappling hooks, Invinci-Drill, etc.).

I appreciate how the female superhero Moonraker is not being objectified (as often happens in the superhero genre):

SpeedRunners Moonraker shot

Play is incredibly competitive, even when no verbal communication is taking place. This competition is accentuated by a feeling of fairness. If you missed a critical jump by this much, you not only know where you went wrong, but how to fix it.

SpeedRunner shots batch 6

Custom Matches allow you to apply modifiers to the action. These modifications include SpeedRoulette (a random modification), srennuRdeepS (reversed maps), SpeedHookers (all items are hooks) and SpeedRapture (missiles fall from the sky).

A common criticism of the first game was its lack of online multiplayer. This time, online action is the focus. Matches are quickly found, and once in, players tend to stay for several levels.

Unlike the profanity-screaming adolescents found in online games like Call of Duty, the SpeedRunners community is incredibly welcoming. Several times, players more advanced than myself would wait as I struggled to get past a certain section. Later, I was able to return the favor. This creates an atmosphere of sportsmanship rarely seen in online gaming.

SpeedRunners shots batch 7

For those uncomfortable playing online, there is also a singleplayer mode titled Origins, with additional levels made by the community. Playing against the AI is another option, and the “bots” can be quite intelligent if implemented correctly. Finally, local multiplayer is included and can actually be combined with online so you can play with those at home and around the world at the same time.

Steam Workshop is supported. This means that players can make their own levels, share them with others, and download more.

The leaning tower of speed boosts...

The leaning tower of speed boosts…

Conclusion:

SpeedRunners is a great racing game in the vein of Mario Kart. With features including Steam Workshop support, singleplayer, seamless online and local multiplayer… SpeedRunners is a polished game even in beta.

Potential Concerns:

The male superhero “Unic” (short for unicorn) is extremely effeminate, with lines like
Join the pink side, it’s fabulous!” and “I heart unicorns!

Although we see this multiple times, it does not occur within gameplay but in ocassional pre-match loading screens and in “Superchat” when bots are enabled.

Unic-win from tinyBuild Games

In-game photo of Unic.

SpeedRunner Unic Valentine from Developer Announcement

A SpeedRunners Valentine’s Day Card released in developer announcement-not in-game.

There are a few double entendres included such as SpeedHookers (for the Custom Matches modification where all items are hooks).

Some user-created levels have inappropriate names.

Inappropriate user-created File Names from SpeedRunner

The action and gameplay of SpeedRunner is nonstop-both extremely addictive and absorbing. It is a genuinely polished game in Beta (more so than some full releases). Although greatly enjoyable, the aforementioned elements are unfortunate dampeners on an otherwise fantastic title.

Buy Now! (PC)

*This title was received for review. See our statement of ethics here.
________________________________________________________________

*Do you want to be saved?

*Do you want to make sure that you are saved?

*More articles from Video Games and the Bible.

About Nelson

Writer, amateur #gamedev, and Founder o' Video Games and the Bible. My interviews bring the boys to the yard. Featured from Kotaku to Rock Paper Shotgun. Dropsy.
This entry was posted in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s