If you’re in love with the competitive spirit and you want to play a game with friends, DoubleDutch Games’ Speedrunners is a great game that is built for parties and built for multiplayer competition.
Set to take you to the limits of your natural skills, Speedrunners challenged my ability as a game enthusiast to compete in amazing parkour circuit racing where the goal is to level your competition in the dust. Traversing both vertically and horizontally on two dimensional racetracks that could bring Ezio to his knees, you must dive, duck, jump and grapple with and against your opponents with the simple goal of not being left behind. Handed these simple rules, along side some conventional “kart”-like weaponry, your measure of momentum will change the way you see the world around you.
In design, Speedrunners is both simple and fantastic. Touching on the low detail graphics with intent and purpose, your character is one of many heroic figures with mind bending speed and agility looking to take the pole position. As racers fall away, the leader is awarded a mark for winning each round of the race. This award is given with a keen nod to the leader’s victory as their comic-style character winks, points or otherwise rubs it in the direction of the losers. While more often than not I can’t own the lead or win an overall race, this gesture isn’t offensive, and leads to my stretching out rivalries rather than frustrations. As this simplistic design style focuses on the elements of the race that you should be concerned about rather than flashy bells and whistles, what might initially feel like a lackluster design of your environments becomes clearly a focus on the game play experience.
As gameplay is concerned, Speedrunners is clearly driven by highly responsive controls and twitch skills. I have spent many years using a controller, and Speedrunners makes an allusion to this PC title working better on a controller with its tutorial design nearly shouting to press “A” and “X” for commands – buttons that are not the default keys for those controls on the PC. After working with the controls scheme on a keyboard, setting the keys as I like them, I could feel the game being much easier to play for a beginner. As I advanced through missions and multiplayer sessions however, I fell back upon my needs for a controller – something I primarily use even on my PC games. Losing match after match on the keyboard, but only just, it was clear to me that there is not a huge discrepancy between PC controls and the joysticks I love, but if you have a preference you should be sticking with it. Taking advantage of grappling hooks to your opposition, rockets at your disposal, and bombs [among other things] with some small amount of practice you and a group of friends can host heated combat between your Steam accounts in the same fun fashion that you used to compete in Mario Kart 64, or RC Pro AM for the NES.
Speedrunners takes an episodic approach to their story line through the use of the Origins story line. Learn about the history of Speedrunner and build your skills through evasion and straight-line blitzing to the finish. Featuring prominently in comic book styling, piece together your history as you develop into the best speedrunner in history. Using this episodic story, I found myself not only learning more about why I’m running about, but more importantly learning about the game’s mechanics through a more efficient format than the “tutorial” could teach me initially. I could safely recommend that anyone looking to learn about the game start with this Origins mode and move forward to the tutorial after finding success within. You’ll know all about the characters you play afterward, and you’ll be better in competition faster than by forcing it through failure in the tutorial.
I didn’t find myself experiencing errors graphically or in controls throughout my play with Speedrunners, showing off the clear direction of DoubleDutch Games and their aspirations for a game that is both fun and well built. If you’re looking for a title worth five minutes or five hours, Speedrunners matches are fast and addictive enough to warrant your time at any time of day. Bring your friends along for the ride in invite-only matches, add bots or take it to the online turf in for-fun or ranked play and become the best Speedrunner around. There is virtually no end the replay value of this game, and it is clearly built around that feature. Not only is Speedrunners worth your time, but it’s worth your money on the sheer fun that you and three other friends can have together in LAN parties or while in a Skype call, so take it to the parkour circuit now!
Speedrunners is available on Steam for just $9.99, or at a reduced rate for a four-pack. With over $1,000,000 in sales to date, and 162 lifetime years played by the community at large, there’s no shortage of competition for the initiated player, and Speedrunners isn’t going anywhere by up from here.