This is part of my Steam Challenge Series (the full list is here).
Time played: ~15 hours
I initially wasn’t going to play this until much later in the Challenge, but circumstances forced me to turn to it earlier than expected. I was playing (and loving) BIT.TRIP RUNNER, but somehow a file got corrupted somewhere and the game stopped working – to the point where it wouldn’t even reinstall. So, I packed it off to the Finished section of my library and turned to this sequel instead for my running, jumping, sliding, kicking, blocking fix. All the praise that I have for Runner 2 applies equally to the first one too.
This is the first time I’ve played a runner. Wait, no, I lie, there was that one time in Bragtober that I played Robot Unicorn Attack (always, I wanna beeeee with you…) but that was more of a survival thing than a level-based or course-based game. I wasn’t sure that I would enjoy this kind of gameplay, but happily it turns out I am easily sucked in by the addictive nature of it. Runner 2 does everything right in keeping you interested all the way to the end.
The thing that most impressed me, once I became aware of it, was the restart mechanic. When you fail (bonk) you are sent back to the last checkpoint (the first game doesn’t have checkpoints, which makes it slightly harder, but more rewarding when you beat the course) and after a short countdown, off you go again. This happens automagically – there is no “press start when ready” button to interfere with getting back into the action. This makes a huge difference psychologically. I would still be playing if you had to manually fire the starter pistol each time. No matter how frustrated you get, if you see that you are back into it already, it is very hard to not just give it that one more try. It’s really kind of scary to realise how easily you let yourself be manipulated like that if you think about it too much (don’t do that, it hurts, trust me).
I love the music in Runner 2. It gets under your skin (nothing to do with having to hear it hundreds, maybe thousands of times, right?) and has enough subtle variation to be interesting without being annoying.
I don’t know if I like the graphics in Runner 2 or not. I became used to them, but I definitely prefer the first game’s look. It was very underhanded of the designers to put in crazy things happening in the background that are trying to distract you. The first time I saw the redneck sasquatch in his denim shorts come bounding out of his treehouse I lost it.
Strongly recommend these games if you are at all interested in putting your hand-eye coordination to the test!