Freebie Feelers... SpeedRunners
Freebie Feelers is a series where we download the free monthly console-specific or newly released free-to-play games to test their worth.This series will contain some useful information as well as plenty of personal opinion. While these articles may not be reviews, we hope that you will be able to use them to help decide whether that free download is worth it.
What Is It?
Today I’ll be covering SpeedRunners, a manic on-foot racing game that pits up to four runners against one another in one of the game’s varied courses. Whether played online, locally with friends, or even alone with bots, SpeedRunners offers a unique experience that will be free until June 30th. When looked at in the simplest of terms, players will be using a basic, albeit wide, array of abilities that include running, jumping, sliding, swinging, and boosting to overcome their opponents.
Unlike most racing games, runners won’t be trying to do laps faster than everyone else. Instead, each racer is trying to outrun all the others and have them get knocked out when they fail to keep up with the edges of the screen. The exact way runners will get knocked out will change depending on the stage and power-ups used. Every aspect of the game is bright, colourful, and accompanied by a high-energy soundtrack. Finally, players that feel like testing themselves (and playing alone) the game does have a story mode.
What Do You Think?
Right out of the gate, it is very clear that SpeedRunners has a sturdy base of tight mechanics that causes every match to boil down to high-tension sections that can change at a moment's notice. The game’s various power-ups can create some very fun and interesting moments until the same couple of power-ups get handed out over and over again. Besides this minor annoyance, nearly every match was fun and worked without too much issue. The several rounds I played with friends in my living room went off perfectly, leaving us shouting at each other in heated competition.
Online multiplayer is a slightly different story. While it didn’t happen as often as it could have, the few times my matches had connectivity issues was rather frustrating (only happened when I was winning!). Luckily, matches are quick and easy to join and public matches can even be rejoined within seconds. I didn’t have much interaction with other players, but I did play with several during my time online. On top of being a great lot of fun, SpeedRunners offers a mostly easy-to-complete achievement list. The only tough part would have to be completing the whole story on the Unfair difficulty, which pits players against near-perfect bots that can actually run faster than you. Ultimately, this doesn’t matter much since the game is so fun that I would recommend it to anyone who enjoys good, competitive fun.
Is It Worth Downloading?
The short answer, is yes. SpeedRunners is an excellent title that is worth far more than its small download size. In fact, I would argue that the £11.99 ($14.99) price tag isn’t asking that much for the number of hours most will put into it. There is some DLC available to those that would want extra runners to play as or colourful trails to have follow them as they boost. These are very low cost and are also available in the Deluxe version of the game that costs £13.59 ($16.99) if you decide to pick the game up after the 16th. Another nice thing about SpeedRunners is that it is now available on the Xbox One, PS4, and Steam (been available here for a while).
No matter where or when you pick the game up, I can also suggest going back and looking at the game’s roots. If you look up SpeedRunner HD on the Xbox 360, you’ll be greeted with an indie title that seems to be the bare bones of this full title. I’m not sure if this is available elsewhere, but the 360 is where I found it and even enjoyed it for several hours. If none of this has convinced you to pick it up while it’s free, I would like to mention that I will personally be playing the game with my friends for many weeks (if not months) to come. We all enjoy it so much and make the most of the time we spend shouting about how close each round was.