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Opinion

Nintendo WiiWare Classic: Bit.Trip Runner

Rez & Mario had a baby?

It’s time for a confession – I’m an addict. For the past few days I’ve been obsessively playing a game I didn’t even know existed until last week.  It’s called Bit.Trip Runner – and it’s driving me crazy.

Described as ‘rhythm based platforming’, the game sees you take control of ‘Commander Video’ who has one simple task – get from the start of the level to the finish.  This sounds incredibly simple but the game is so much more.

For starters the game’s visuals are simply charming, and fans of pixel art will be in seventh heaven.  It has a deliberately retro feel, but that’s not to say it’s lacking.  The background is chocked full of little details designed to catch your eye and distract you.

During every level Commander Video automatically runs forward, leaving you in charge of jumping over, springing over, sliding under and kicking through enemies.  The ingenious part though is how the music links to what’s happening on screen.  Every level starts with a simple background beat; jumping over enemies will result in various notes being added to the beat, whilst collecting gold coins will add another layer.  The best bit though is when you collect a pink power up which results in some very catchy chiptune inspired soundtracks.  Check out some footage of me playing through one of the levels – sound is a must!

It’s amazingly addictive, but also incredibly hard – in fact this is hands down the hardest game I’ve played in a long time.  If you hit anything in the level; be it an enemy, a wall or even the side of a step, you die instantly.  That’s ok though right, because you can just start again from the checkpoint?  Wrong – there are no checkpoints; if you die then it’s right back to the beginning, even if the level’s end is but a hairs length away.  Suddenly levels go from simply jumping over a few obstacles to requiring the reactions of Spider-Man.  A keen ear is needed too so you can keep in step with the beat.  Those looking for a serious challenge on a Nintendo console look no further.

As you can tell I adore Bit.Trip Runner.  It’s been a long time since I’ve felt so compelled to share my opinion on a game, but it has hooked me in a way that the games of old used to.  If you own a Wii – perhaps as a second console for the family – and you fancy something different, log on to WiiWare and track this game down.  Legal disclaimer – I will not be held responsible for relationship breakdowns, neglect of personal hygiene and malnutrition due to the addictive nature of Bit.Trip Runner.  You have been warned.

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12 Comments
  1. Dany2Step
    Member
    Since: Aug 2010

    i would be amazing at this game.

    side scrolling platformers are the only genre i can truely say im above average at.

    if only i had a wii, i would be on this so hard.

    Comment posted on 11/09/2010 at 10:11.
    • Dan Lee
      Common like the rest of us.
      Since: Jun 2010

      If you ever do get a Wii it really is worth playing – more so than a lot of the full priced retail games.

      Comment posted on 11/09/2010 at 10:19.
      • Dany2Step
        Member
        Since: Aug 2010

        im not sure how nintendo’s online store works, is this available to play on DS?

        its just that im more likely to buy the hand-held in the future than i am a wii.

        Comment posted on 11/09/2010 at 13:40.
    • Dan Lee
      Common like the rest of us.
      Since: Jun 2010

      Unfortunately it’s for the Wii only. The Wii has a separate online store to the DSi.

      Comment posted on 11/09/2010 at 13:53.
      • Dany2Step
        Member
        Since: Aug 2010

        any indication it’l be getting a “port” so to speak?

        or even a physical release for any other platform?

        or is it a first party nintendo exclusive?

        Comment posted on 11/09/2010 at 15:13.
      • Dan Lee
        Common like the rest of us.
        Since: Jun 2010

        So far the Bit.Trip games have just been on the Wii – not heard of any plans to bring them elsewhere, but never say never :op

        Comment posted on 11/09/2010 at 15:26.
  2. cc_star
    Team TSA: Writer
    Since: Forever

    Looks great stuff… Will pick it up when I get a Wii (which shouldn’t be too long now

    Comment posted on 11/09/2010 at 10:35.
    • Dan Lee
      Common like the rest of us.
      Since: Jun 2010

      The music is outstanding – I’ve been humming the tunes non stop

      Comment posted on 11/09/2010 at 10:37.
  3. bunimomike
    Member
    Since: Jul 2009

    What a cracking idea for a game. A bit outside of my tastes but that looks so much fun and the idea of the music ramping up to toe-tappingly catchy, is superb. The timing of the game would cause me to hurl my TV from the fourth floor where I reside. ARGH!

    Ooo, I don’t have a Wii. I’m safe.

    Comment posted on 11/09/2010 at 10:59.
  4. R1MJAW
    Member
    Since: May 2010

    I’ve got to agree, this game is awesome … however it does get ridiculously difficult. Bit Trip Beat is also good, it’s like a fusion of pong and guitar hero/rock band.

    Comment posted on 11/09/2010 at 12:20.
    • Erroneus
      Wanted "Trophy Hunter" but was too late.
      Since: May 2009

      Most of the Bit.trip games are pretty brutal, hail to 8-bit :P

      Awesome game!

      Comment posted on 11/09/2010 at 14:54.
      • Dan Lee
        Common like the rest of us.
        Since: Jun 2010

        Looking forward to the next one – although my battered Wiimote might not be able to take it

        Comment posted on 11/09/2010 at 14:58.

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