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Bit.Trip Runner Review

The best WiiWare game ever?

Have you ever played a side-scrolling platform game and tried to plough through a level as quickly as possible? Have you ever felt the satisfaction of getting from start to finish without stopping, getting past every obstacle without it slowing you down? This is the satisfaction that Bit.Trip Runner recreates over and over again.

The fourth in the fantastic Bit.Trip series of WiiWare games, Runner is our favourite so far by a country mile. The aim, as with other Bit.Trip games, is deceptively straightforward: get to the end of each level while collecting gold bars and red plus signs.

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As fans of Bit.Trip would know, however, doing this is not easy. For starters, your character continually runs left and right and can't be stopped, meaning you have to deal with the obstacles on the fly without having the luxury to slow down, take a breather and assess the situation. Then there's the fact that the slightest mistake - a missed jump, a touched rock, even a bump against a platform that stops you in your tracks temporarily - will see you sent right back to the start of the (often lengthy) level, with no checkpoints at all.

This may sound like a recipe for disaster but it couldn't be further from the truth. Bit.Trip is a game that demands perfection and while it's likely that playing it will make you drop f-bombs more frequently than Scarface it's immensely fulfilling when you finally get to the end of the level.

That's not even the half of it, though. The true majesty of Bit.Trip Runner lies within its sensational soundtrack. Once again the developer has gathered some of the best chiptune artists around and asked them to contribute for the game, resulting in not only the best title screen music we've ever heard in a game but also some truly breathtaking tracks that play and evolve to the beat of the platforming action. Each level has been expertly designed in such a way that every jump, every collectible, every action you perform adds to the music, creating an experience that's so much more than just running from left to right.

Bit.Trip Runner has one minor niggle in that there are no online leaderboards, though with a perfect score possible on each level it's clear why. Its longevity can't be questioned because getting a double perfect on each level (getting every gold bar and then every gold bar in the awesome Atari 2600-style bonus level) will be an achievement reached by only the greatest players.

If your Wii is online, you can't not get this game. It's the perfect example of what WiiWare is all about, it's immensely addictive and it puts some of the other cynical, money-making releases on there to shame.

Comments

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  1. Hylian_Grouch Tuesday 18th May 2010 at 10:41

    looks good, but i just spent my left over points on world of goo. now THAT is a good game. is this even better?

  2. ChrisONM Tuesday 18th May 2010 at 10:52

    looks good, but i just spent my left over points on world of goo. now THAT is a good game. is this even better?


    They're different types of game. World Of Goo is the sort of thing where you have to think long and hard about your next step, whereas Bit.Trip Runner is all about split-second reactions.

    Personally, I prefer Runner but that's just my opinion.

  3. SimplePlan2k8 Tuesday 18th May 2010 at 11:17

    This is absolutely phenomenal. Never have I been so amazed by such a simple concept.

    And the menu screen music is something else. Possibly the best game music ever?

  4. Icarus_Kid Tuesday 18th May 2010 at 11:27

    ...Looks fantastic?

    And don't buy VC/Wiiware games anymore until nintendo sort out the damn pricing and what not.

  5. HNF1 Tuesday 18th May 2010 at 12:17

    Looks good and perhaps a nice take on platforming. I think I might just get this and see what it's all about, especially after such a positive review.

    But better than World of Goo? Hmm, very unlikely but I'll reserve judgement for now.

  6. madfruitbat Tuesday 18th May 2010 at 12:28

    I love it. Yes it's insanely frustrating when you're being lauched back to the start of the level for the umpteenth time for the tiniest mistake, but because the pace never lets up and the game never stops, hitting the minus button and quitting is very very difficult. I don't think I'd say it's better than World of Goo as they're such different styles of game that it's impossible to compare, but it's certainly one of the best that WiiWare has to offer, and when you compare it to some of the full-priced rubbish on the shop shelves at the moment, it makes you despair that many of those games get made at all.

  7. lminett Tuesday 18th May 2010 at 12:55

    I love how they've managed to make it fustrating, but at the same time i cant put the controller down until ive got to the end of the level, no matter how long it takes!

    I also love how they make you feel comfotable for some of the levels and as soon as you are they throw a nice new trick at you!

  8. daniakarick Tuesday 18th May 2010 at 15:25

    I only own 3; Bomberman Blast, LIT & Mr Driller. So far, my favourite is LIT. But I really wanna try Pokemon Rumble.

  9. Dan-the-Wii-man Tuesday 18th May 2010 at 15:46

    Sounds good though i do get frustrated quite easily :/ is it still worth buying?

  10. neongiratina Tuesday 18th May 2010 at 15:48

    Better than Wheelspin? WOW

    Need. This. When I saw the score, I thought "wtf world of goo was 95%", but then I read the full Review lol

  11. Cormsie Tuesday 18th May 2010 at 16:01

    Looks good. I really need to get me some Wii points :3

  12. Mcpilch Tuesday 18th May 2010 at 16:06

    How much is it? probs gonna get it though

  13. ChrisONM Tuesday 18th May 2010 at 16:27

    How much is it? probs gonna get it though


    800 Points

  14. Ai64 Tuesday 18th May 2010 at 16:31

    Looks incredible and the best in the series.:D

  15. Hughdude Tuesday 18th May 2010 at 16:39

    one word review:

    AMAZING

    ok mroe detail but seriously this is brilliant. I bought it cause they said it is teh best on wii ware, and it is. you wont get frustrated. after my 4th try of a level I was like with any other game I would have turned off teh wii in anger but I loved this too much. you. must. get. it. BUY IT.

  16. monthehoops64 Tuesday 18th May 2010 at 17:21

    im off to buy it the now i was waiting for a review to come up

    loved beat need this

  17. samus_killer Tuesday 18th May 2010 at 17:45

    Wait... its out now!?
    Off to the Wii shop channel...
    What!? No Wii points?
    Uh, I shouldn't be spending more on my card. But Ł5, why not!

  18. leomckitten Tuesday 18th May 2010 at 18:04

    I got it on Saturday, and it really is fantastic: half super-fast, split second reactions; half memory and raw instinct. Genius!

    Also, the menu music really is the best in any wiiware game!

  19. mega mario 76 Tuesday 18th May 2010 at 18:10

    How much is it? probs gonna get it though


    800 Points


    I think that's a great price, i expected more like 1000 points. Well i'm definately getting this then. :D

  20. ChrisONM Tuesday 18th May 2010 at 18:55

    I got it on Saturday, and it really is fantastic: half super-fast, split second reactions; half memory and raw instinct. Genius!

    Also, the menu music really is the best in any wiiware game!


    For a chap with a Vib Ribbon avatar, I knew this game would be right up your alley :D

  21. Munchlax OWNS Wednesday 19th May 2010 at 09:55

    I don't normally get WiiWare games, because I don't spend much time on my Wii, but this... I will probably get. Looks very, very good. Is there any multiplayer?

  22. leomckitten Wednesday 19th May 2010 at 19:07

    I got it on Saturday, and it really is fantastic: half super-fast, split second reactions; half memory and raw instinct. Genius!

    Also, the menu music really is the best in any wiiware game!


    For a chap with a Vib Ribbon avatar, I knew this game would be right up your alley :D

    :D

  23. ronanm94 Friday 21st May 2010 at 20:00

    ok we all know that it is hard to get all gold bars in bit trip runner but what about setting yourself another challange. try to beat the game without getting any gold bars.

  24. Nilo Studo Saturday 22nd May 2010 at 01:25

    Split second reactions are not my forte so I won't be buying the game...but I am very interested in buying some or all of the soundtrack, hopefully they'll release it alongside the other two.

  25. Escapeplanb Sunday 23rd May 2010 at 11:24

    "will make you drop f-bombs" So so true, it's a challenge to refrain from f-bombing as my kids watch me play this.

    Fantastic game, very punishing but pleasing at the same time. I love the way the music really gets behind the game and drives it.

  26. TheLegendOfNinte Monday 24th May 2010 at 06:45

    Aww, i just bought Warioware: D.I.Y Showcase. I regret it already! I wish i had bought this instead, maybe i'm missing the point of Warioware but it seems as though i can only play nintendo-made games on it, when i try to go to the other options it says these will become available eventually or something. 800 POINTS I WANT YOU BACK! To spend on Bit.Trip Runner. Anyway, i like easy games where i don't have to have fast reactions to get through the levels and get to think long and hard about the next level. If it's anything other than that i'll HATE IT. Time to go buy it (:

  27. Nelsonator15 Saturday 19th Jun 2010 at 19:00

    ...resulting in the best title screen music we've ever heard in a game.

    In that case you've clearly never heard the opening themes for any of the PS1 Spyro the Dragon games (Spyro 1 in particular) :P

    Runner's title screen music does sound pretty cool though. If I still had an internet connection I may just get this but mine won't work anymore because the Wi-Fi Connectors don't work with Windows 7. Should've found that out before getting this new processor, I guess. I'll just have to get a new router then. :)

  28. graveon Monday 2nd Aug 2010 at 14:54

    I love this game! I got it about a week ago ( ive been playing it so much i havent had time to check the calender! Your lucky im even typing this!)

  29. Auraelement Sunday 5th Sep 2010 at 07:55

    Is It Really Infuriating?????

  30. Xenobladeperson Saturday 19th May 2012 at 19:54

    Is It Really Infuriating?????

    No, well maybe the second-last level in each world, but besides those, it's not frustrating at all, but it's really hard and one of the best games I've ever played - 95%.

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