Raging Rainbow: Bit.Trip Runner 2 Out Now

Man, people with rainbows continuously shooting out of their backs get to go to all the coolest places.

The original Bit.Trip Runner was a very mean game. In fact, it managed to be downright merciless in places, causing me to angrily fling clumpy tangles of hair at my monitor (aka, the wild Nathan’s natural defense/temper tantrum mechanism). But it sure sounded nice. Earning those chirpy grooves kept me plunging ever onward, until the inevitable end. Just kidding. It got too hard and I gave up. But in hindsight, I really wish I hadn’t. So I intend to rectify that mistake by testing the fleshliest parts of my skull against the inevitable brick wall that is Bit.Trip Presents… Runner2: Future Legend of Rhythm Alien. Based on appearances (and, er, that name), I’m expecting levels of whimsy that top even the original’s rainbow-emblazoned sprint. I should probably dye my rage hair in preparation.

Runner2’s available right this very second, so run (don’t walk, etc) and pick it up on Steam. This one features over 100 levels, five boss battles, and heaps of secret areas. Also, it looks positively gorgeous – like some kind of roving Crayola space deity vomited on a Sonic The Hedgehog game. Here’s the basic idea behind it:

“In the style of the BIT.TRIP series, Runner2 is a rhythm-music platforming game. Players will run through fantastic environments, using brand new moves, to brand new soundtracks as they run, jump, slide, kick, and soar toward the goal of tracking down the Timbletot and thwarting his evil plans to destroy not only our world, but every world there is.”

I plan to download it, and then play it, and then break whatever timeless family heirlooms I can get my hands on, as is my way. It should be a pleasant time. Et tu, Brute (and other readers not named that or some variation on it)?


  1. rustybroomhandle says:

    I picked this up on Steam/Linux last night and am having a great time with it. People might complain about the non-retro-ness here, but they’ve added a great deal of flavour over the previous one. For example, every time Bit.Trip Presents… Runner2: Future Legend of Rhythm Alien starts up it serves a random advert of some absurdity. To the walletmobile everyone! (Don’t worry, it’s a clown car – you’ll all fit)

    I’m tempted to gratuitously refer to it as “Bit.Trip Presents… Runner2: Future Legend of Rhythm Alien” over and over until the joke gets old. :/

  2. ocelotwildly says:

    I really enjoyed Bit Trip Runner, up until I hit level 1-11 (Odyssey, I think?) which has become my white whale of gaming. I think the entire level is about 4 minutes long and a single cock up at any point sets you right back to the beginning. Periodic attempts to revisit it and finally complete the level are typically abandoned after up to an hour of miserable, teeth grinding repetition. It’s frustrating because I imagine there is much of the game beyond that level that I could probably cope with, but there is no non-linear way to progress through the levels/

    With that in mind, I’m intrigued as to whether BTR2 has learnt anything from the Super Meat Boys and Hotline Miamis of this world and manages to maximise challenge whilst minimising the grinding repetition. I suppose there’s room for both types of game in the world, but I’m afraid this might be a miss from me unless I hear something to suggest that it has learnt something from its peers

    • Jason Moyer says:

      1-11 seems to be a hard level for people, although to be honest if you’re struggling on that you’re going to have major problems with the rest of the game as it doesn’t really get any easier.

      • ocelotwildly says:

        I think the frustrating thing is is that there is no one part of the level that seems to be incredibly difficult, it is purely down to the length that makes learning the patterns in the later part of the level such a chore. I felt I could have coped with more complicated patterns of obstacles, if it hadn’t been for the tedious 2 minute run up each time.

        What rustybroomhandle has said below seems like a good solution though, as it gives you the chance to learn the later parts of the level independently. I’m more encouraged to give this a try now.

        • Jason Moyer says:

          I don’t remember if it helps with that level or not, but something that’s not explained directly in the game is that the distance you jump is determined by how long you hold the jump button down. I think I was a bit further in the game when I realized that, but it made massive chunks of it far easier.

          If you haven’t done it already, while you’re banging your head off 1-11 it’s probably worth going back and getting perfect runs and perfect perfect runs on the first 10 levels.

    • rustybroomhandle says:

      They included checkpoints, which one can optionally hop over to avoid, granting a score bonus.

    • mouton says:

      Heh, me and a friend are both stuck at Odyssey. I attempt it every month or three, lol.

    • InternetBatman says:

      Exact same here. I love the hell out of the game up until that point and did perfect runs, but I’m only halfway through that level.

    • Anthile says:

      Funny, I installed Bit.Trip Runner yesterday, remembering that I still had it somewhere. It took me about forty minutes to get to 1-11 and then I spent another forty minutes on 1-11. It’s incredibly frustrating design and there really wasn’t much of an incentive to carry on so I uninstalled it in impotent rage.

    • meepmeep says:

      another 1-11 quitter here. Just too damn long.

    • MrLebanon says:

      you know, i made it to 1-10 and quit (admittedly not putting much time into trying)

      read these comments
      just beat 1-10 and 1-11

      i found the key to 1-11 was ignoring the shiny gold lol

    • Urthman says:

      I don’t remember if it’s that level or another one that I quit on. It had a really long, dull section at the beginning and then there were some hard bits at the end. Every time I’ve gone back to it, I get bored of doing the opening section over and over before I can master the hard bit at the end. And you can’t skip a level and try the next one. So that was that.

      • Gibbonius says:

        Could it be the the boss level? I can’t be arsed with the (probably sub-30-second) build up each time I fail; it feels like a lifetime. One day I will probably complete it.

    • KDR_11k says:

      Yeah, 1-11 is a major flaw in Runner. I managed to get past that level on the Wii, dunno how many tries it took. The length of the level also creates fatigue issues.

  3. Drake Sigar says:

    Butterfly in the sky…

  4. DickSocrates says:

    Wonder Boy reference in the background at the beginning of the video. Or Adventure Island if you’re one of ‘them’.

  5. db1331 says:

    Apparently there is a character you can unlock called “Reverse Merman.” It’s just what it sounds like. Fish from the waist up, man below. Complete with balls that swing when you run. Instant purchase.

  6. MondSemmel says:

    I actually finished Bit.Trip Runner. What a glorious game. But so very, very, very hard, too.
    It’s one of those games where you die over and over again, then get into a perfect rhythm, progress further and further into the level and then eventually succeed. But yes, some of the levels were too long for that to work particularly well.

  7. Lim-Dul says:

    I beat Bit.Trip Runner but it took me several hours of trying to beat the last few levels – apart from the very last one with the pseudo-boss-fight (which was a glorified obstacle course unlike the more direct confrontations in other boss fights), which proved to be ridiculously easy by comparison.

    It’s true that the difficulty was all over the place, which could be annoying but I still loved it. Somehow the fact that the game immediately reset you to the beginning of the level without asking any questions or interruption was making me try again and again and again – plus the soundtrack that was “evolving” as you picked up more multipliers.

  8. uh20 says:

    the linux version of the game does not start, and after getting ahold of someone else’s computer, i have to say, i miss the retro-esque feel that kinda left the game, but with those things aside, it’s a fine sequal.

    • rustybroomhandle says:

      Works fine here, Mint 14. Should know by now that “Linux” does not describe what you are running. :)

      • uh20 says:

        just basic ubuntu with kde installed on it, yes i already tried using the unity desktop and got the same problem
        i guess 3 other guys are getting the same problem on the game hub, but there’s hardly any similarity in our software/drivers that could spell an error.

        • rustybroomhandle says:

          64 bit related issues maybe? Anyway, I also see one or two other posts reporting a similar issue so at least it looks like it can be replicated, therefore fixed quicker.

          EDIT: Also see some Windows users reporting a failure to start, something relating to 32-bit OpenAL or the lack thereof.

  9. Fyce says:

    Look everyone! A Vita game!
    And a good one!

    Waoh… So much is going on.

    • Hatsworth says:

      There are tons of indies getting released for the Vita…

  10. SkittleDiddler says:

    This one doesn’t look as seizure-inducing as the others in the series, so I might give it a try some day.

  11. jrodman says:

    Can someone start a fund that I can contribute to, that takes money away from developers who make frustrating games?