Gotta Go Fast: SpeedRunners

By Ben Barrett on August 27th, 2013 at 4:00 pm.

Ah, that greatest of all inventions, the grappling hook. Where would the world be without it? Likely a passing oddity of scorched earth and radioactive waste for some alien civilization. DoubleDutch Games have seen fit to immortalise this world-changing piece of undeniably brilliant technology in SpeedRunners. It’s a 2D platforming racer which Adam’s thrown words about before. Now that it’s up on Steam Early Access, I’ve managed to give it a little play so feast your eyes on the latest trailer and some thoughts when you slide under the break.

It’s glorious fun. There’s an extreme simplicity to it that gives a wonderful pick-up-‘n’-play feel but it remains challenging thanks to the natural advantages of multiplayer. Four player matches are hectic madhouses of powerups flying everywhere and a mad dash to stay on-screen and thus alive. But the game morphs interestingly when played one versus one, adopting a more tactical feel where you attempt to control the position, speed and options of your opponent. It’s hardly the next Dota but there’s a real competitive vibe once you get going against an equally skilled adversary.

If you’d like to check out the very much in-beta version, take a look here, or wait for full release in the coming months.

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15 Comments »

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  1. Tinotoin says:

    Am I right in thinking that this is multiplayer only then? No time atttack or ‘story’ mode?

  2. Jazzyboy says:

    Anyone know if it’s become less repetitive since the flash game?(Yeah, it started as a flash game fyi. I’ve played it)

  3. pupsikaso says:

    Racing games in which you can somehow trip/damage/slow down/adversely affect/whatever someone who is in the lead in front of you have always seemed rather poor taste to me. It takes the focus away from being a good ‘racer’ and into being a good ‘douche that throws a banana peel with no skill’.

    • Baines says:

      So I guess you wouldn’t be a fan of Technos’ old Nekketsu Kunio/River City Ransom racing game.

      http://youtu.be/TeLnGWg8VE4?t=40s

      One issue with not being able to adversely affect the person in the lead is that the result can feel more like a solitary game. That isn’t necessarily bad, but you play against people because you want to play against them. Of course interaction can be done poorly…

    • InternetBatman says:

      Considering that slowing other players down is based on skill shots and are avoidable, positioning is a matter of strategy rather than just dumb luck.

    • David Bliff says:

      Because everyone shares a screen in this, the people in the lead have a slight disadvantage already of not being able to see obstacles coming well, although there’s much more room for error in hitting them. The abilities definitely don’t feel cheap in this, though – there’s no “blue shell” and at least two items are only useful for increasing your lead.

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    Don Reba says:

    I’m sorry, but the grappling hook gun trope was busted on Mythbusters. This game is just not realistic.

    • Porter says:

      Which means it’ll be that much greater. Not being realistic has never hurt a game that doesn’t try to be, it’s only done good.

  5. jimangi says:

    I got into the beta and I’ve had a lot of fun playing local multiplayer with friends. Glad to see it being promoted. It is definitely beta though, only four maps and a lot of menu bugs.

  6. meepmeep says:

    No talk of grappling hooks should be allowed to pass without mentioning Messhof’s frankly brilliant “You Found the Grappling Hook.”

    http://www.messhof.com/You-Found-The-Grappling-Hook

  7. David Bliff says:

    I’ve been having a lot of fun, especially once I figured out the controls and how the menu works. The best way to learn the game is to set up a private match or get lucky and get a 1v1 going. Within 3 or 4 matches (not individual rounds) you’ll have a handle on all the mechanics and you’ll start to figure out the maps.

    Although sometimes getting a match going can be difficult because people don’t strictly know how to “ready up”, and sometimes it just doesn’t find me any opponents. I really recommend it! It’s like Mario Kart as a platformer, plus Spider-Man 2 grappling.