Time for some freerunning. DoubleDutch’s SpeedRunners [official site] is a spiffy side-scrolling competitive platformer in which each player controls a superhero attempting to reach the scene of a crime ahead of his or her cohorts. It’s a game about running, dodging, jumping and – most importantly – swinging from a lovely grappling hook. It’s a splendid game, supporting local and online 2-4 player games, as well as solo play against bots. You can try it for free this weekend, starting now, and there’s a 67% discount should you wish to buy.
This video is a demonstration of high-level competitive play, showing the ESL NA Finals between PurpleTurkey and DistinctMadness. Skilled deployment of the grappling hook is a wonder to behold.
Despite over a million downloads and recognition from the eSports League, SpeedRunners is still in Early Access. Indeed, we have a big ol’ feature mapping its progress and analysing how it is an example of Early Access ‘done right’.
I’ve only played for an hour or two but SpeedRunners almost hits the Smash Bros. sweet spot for me. The racing structure means that there’s not as much time or space to fuck about juggling Pokemon, but like Smash Bros, SpeedRunners rewards skill but keeps an eye open for hapless derring-do and pratfalls as well. Against opponents of similar talent it’s possible to win while flailing your limbs in a panic but a talented runner will leave you dismayed and dazzled.
If you’re the kind of person who feels a quiver of excitement when cross-over skins, masks or hats are mentioned, it might please you to learn that you’ll be able to unlock SpeedRunners masks for Payday 2 by playing this weekend.