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Developer(s)13AM Games
Publisher(s)13AM Games
  • Dan Rodrigues
  • Dave Proctor
ReleaseWii U
  • NA: 27 August 2015
  • EU: 3 September 2015
  • AU: 23 October 2015
  • JP: 25 November 2015
Microsoft Windows
  • WW: 18 November 2016
New Nintendo 3DS
  • NA: 20 June 2017
  • EU: 20 June 2017
Xbox One
  • NA: 16 July 2017
PlayStation 4
  • WW: 3 July 2018
  • JP: 13 December 2018
Nintendo Switch
  • WW: 3 July 2018
Genre(s)Platform, racing
Mode(s)Single-player, multiplayer

Runbow is a platform racing video game made originally for the Wii U and later ported to PC, New Nintendo 3DS, Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and Nintendo Switch. Runbow was developed by Canadian indie team 13AM Games as their debut title, releasing it on 27 August 2015 in North America,[1] 3 September 2015 in Europe, and 23 October 2015 in Australasia. The game was later released in Japan on 25 November 2015, courtesy of Cross Function.


Gameplay screenshot of Runbow

Runbow is a multiplayer-focused platformer in which players aim to be the first to reach a trophy at the end of each level. Players can perform a double jump as well as perform attacks to defeat enemies or gain extra reach whilst jumping. The background of each level constantly shifts between a cycle of colors, causing obstacles of the same color as the background, such as blockades and spikes, to disappear. By using the Wii Remote's connectivity to utitlise the Wii Nunchuk or Wii Classic Controllers in addition to itself, the game is capable of supporting up to nine players.[2] The game will support many features such as achievements, time trials, a special mode called "Master the Bowhemoth", and many more. There is also character customization, as well as other modes that are not racing-focused, such as "King of the Hill" and "Arena".[3]


The concept of the game was created in the 2014 Global Game Jam. The game was first announced on 24 October 2014. 13AM Games confirmed that the game "is sorta like Mario Kart".[4] The game was also shown at the 2015 Game Developer's Conference, revealing the names of the game's characters, Hue and Val.[5]

On 13 April 2015, 13AM Games revealed several independent game characters that would guest-star in the Runbow roster: Shovel Knight from the eponymous Shovel Knight, Rusty from SteamWorld Dig, Juan and Tostada from Guacamelee!, Swift Thornebrooke from Sportsball, Scram Kitty from Scram Kitty and His Buddy on Rails, along with CommanderVideo and CommandgirlVideo from the Bit.Trip series.[6] More characters were announced on 11 August 2015: Gunvolt from Azure Striker Gunvolt, Teslamancer from Teslagrad, a Clone from Stealth Inc., A.R.I.D. from The Fall, the Xeodrifter from the eponymous Xeodrifter, the Princess from Chariot, Max from Mutant Mudds, the Drifter from Hyper Light Drifter, and Unity Japan's mascot Unity-chan.[7] From 15 June 2015 to 23 June 2015, a beta preview of Runbow was released on the Nintendo eShop along with 8 other "Nindie" titles.

On 11 April 2016, 13AM Games revealed via Nintendo Life a wealth of new additional downloadable content released on 14 April, which includes themed packs that come with new costumes and music, a complimentary addition of guest playable character Lilac from Freedom Planet, and a 48-level story expansion called Satura's Space Adventure. [8]

During E3 2016, 13AM Games revealed a trailer officially announcing a port of the game to the New Nintendo 3DS, titled Runbow Pocket, which will compile the main story, as well as all existing DLC, into a portable game. This marks the second full title exclusive to the New Nintendo 3DS, the first being Xenoblade Chronicles 3D. Runbow Pocket was planned to be released in Fall 2016. However, in October 2016, 13AM Games revealed that, in addition of a release date for the retail version of Runbow, Runbow Pocket was delayed to the first quarter of 2017 because the company ran into some issues along development.[9] As part of the final DLC pack for Runbow, 13AM Games revealed that another playable character was coming to Runbow. Shantae was released on 25 October 2016 along with the final update for the game. Along with the release of the update, the company was initially going to release the physical version of the game on the same day as the update, but the physical version was instead released on 1 November 2016.[10] However, along with more bugs provided in the game, the developers wanted more time to work on the game, and the game's release date has been pushed back to June 20, 2017.[11]

The game was later revealed as a Games with Gold title for Xbox's July 2017 Games with Gold lineup.


Aggregate scores
GameRankings82.25% [12]
Metacritic82/100 [13]
Review scores
Nintendo Enthusiast9.5/10 [14]
Nintendo Life9/10 [15]
Nintendo World Report9/10 [16]

Runbow received mostly positive reviews. It has a score of 82 on Metacritic, indicating "generally favorable reviews", based on 33 critics.[17]


  1. ^ "Runbow Release Date Announced - News". Nintendo World Report. Retrieved 2016-06-22.
  2. ^ "Get Ready to Runbow!". 13AM Games. Retrieved 14 April 2015.
  3. ^ Olney, Alex (1 November 2014). "Showcase: Exploring Runbow - The Depths of 13AM Games' 9-Player Platformer". Retrieved 14 April 2015.
  4. ^ Latshaw, Tim (30 October 2014). "Runbow Developers Picked Wii U for its Massive Local Multiplayer Capability". NintendoLife. Retrieved 14 April 2015.
  5. ^ "Runbow GDC 2015 Trailer - Introducing Val". IGN. 4 March 2015. Retrieved 14 April 2015.
  6. ^ "Shovel Knight, Rusty, and more join Runbow". Nintendo Everything. 13 April 2015. Retrieved 14 April 2015.
  7. ^ Olney, Alex (10 August 2015). "Exclusive: Check Out Runbow's Complete Cast of Colourful Crossover Characters". Nintendo Life. Retrieved 22 June 2016.
  8. ^ Olney, Alex (11 April 2016). "Video: Grab a Rundown of all of Runbow's New and Delicious DLC". Nintendo Life. Retrieved 15 April 2016.
  9. ^ Theriault, Donald. "Runbow Pocket, Antipole DX Delayed". Nintendo World Report. Retrieved 10 October 2016.
  10. ^ "Shantae Joins The Cast Of Runbow". Siliconera. Jenni. Retrieved 24 October 2016.
  11. ^ "Exclusive: Runbow Pocket Gets New 3DS Release Date as 13AM Games Teases Switch Project". Nintendo Life. Retrieved 31 May 2017.
  12. ^ "Runbow for Wii U". GameRankings. Retrieved 26 February 2016.
  13. ^ "Runbow for Wii U Reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved 26 February 2016.
  14. ^ "Runbow Review for Wii U". Retrieved 2017-08-02.
  15. ^ Life, Nintendo (26 August 2015). "Review: Runbow (Wii U eShop)". Retrieved 2 August 2017.
  16. ^ "Runbow Review - Review". Nintendo World Report. Retrieved 2 August 2017.
  17. ^ "Runbow for Wii U Reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved 22 June 2016.

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