Release date: 2016 (originally), 2017 (Xbox One)
Version played: Xbox One in 2017
Originally released in 2016, Speedrunners is a side scrolling action platformer developed by DoubleDutch games. Players take control of a single character (“Speedrunner” in the story mode, but various options are available in multiplayer) and have to run, jump and slide past various hazards in order to outrun their opponents on short circuit maps. Weapons such as shockwaves, heatseeking rockets and grappling hooks are available to trip up other runners, with the goal of being the last runner standing.
+ fast paced gameplay makes for quick decision making. It never feels unfair when you lose, because it was always something you did wrong, or didn’t do right
+ story mode plays out like Adam West’s Batman, with intentionally lame dialogue (I hope). The second opponent, Gil, a man in a shark suit, I imagined having Wallace Shawn’s voice – google him, kids, he was Rex in Toy Story, whilst Speedrunner himself was obviously Kevin Conroy as Batman (there is no voice acting in the game, mind you)
+ the multiplayer aspect is the same thing, but against human opponents. I lost several hours of time playing game after game with no lag or input issues at all against opponents of all different skill levels.
+ the simple graphics remind me of The Tick animated series. The various weapons’ effects are all great to see, and the levels are easy to distinguish between hazard and shortcut
+ the weapons available are all fantastically versatile; shockwaves can both knock over opponents and deflect projectiles, and fireballs can plow through upcoming hazards, just to name two
> in a university course some years ago some friends and I had to make a game, and this was sort of what we were going for, with running/sliding gameplay to complete single player levels quickly. Maybe one of them was involved…
Should you play this game: This was free (and is still free on Xbox Live Games with Gold until the 30th) and frankly, there was nothing bad about this game. It was simple to learn the basics, but defeating both human players online and higher difficulty AI players required practice and precision. Get this for free while you can, but even if you have to pay under $5 it will still be worth it.