For some time Speedrunners hung inconspicuously in the department of "Early Access" without paying any attention. The YouTubeers occasionally presented this title in their programs, devoting a dozen or so minutes to it, exaggerating themselves at it, which raised my doubts, because it did not contradict their "artistic" image. However, when the game becomes officially available, and at the same time it still enjoys a lot of popularity, even dinosaurs like me should get acquainted with it. Is Speedrunners a title worth attention?
At the beginning of the game with this production I had a bit ambivalent feelings. At first glance, this production must be liked. The idea of having fun combines well-known and loved elements from several genres of video games. The basic idea is the race. Up to four players take on the title speedrunners, who circle the chosen level, until only one of them remains on the battlefield. All four players share one screen with each other, and the way to eliminate an opponent is to "lose it" by pushing it out of the edge of the field of view. For some time the camera will move away, but if the player will be standing too far, but will lock up in an alley and will not be able to get out - the race ends for him. Each match is played in this way up to three points, each time eliminating all opponents results in granting us a plus.
The run itself is quite dynamic and fast, although the pace of the game is far from the one we know from the most hardcore Super Meat Boy platformers. Our characters are quite inert, so in order to maintain speed we will have to smoothly run sharp corners or use the terrain wisely. A poorly measured jump or slip will be able to cause us more trouble than good. A lot of confusion is introduced by a catchy hook that will allow us to unravel and overcome difficult terrain, or redirect the momentum from, for example, from horizontal to vertical, which will allow us to jump on a high shelf faster.
The race is additionally diversified by various elements placed on the board. There are obstacles in the form of large boxes, which we can fall into, there are spikes that will slow us down, there are finally places where we will take extra speed, let's call them working "turbo fields". Finally, there are boxes with bonus skills that we can use once. There are such attractions waiting for us as hooks automatically aimed at the nearest enemy speeding in front of us, bullets, the possibility of using the autopilot temporarily and so on.
Before we start dealing with opponents through the network, it is worth completing the campaign. First of all, it will allow us to unlock all levels, as well as gain some experience - both virtual (yes, our account collects experience points) and real, understood as adapting to Speedrunners mechanics. The most important thing is to know and at least partially remember the levels. Thanks to this, we will partially deal with the nuisance related to the fact that being in the lead we start to run practically blindly. I will not hide that I consider this a certain flaw of Speedrunners. It could have been solved differently.
It is worth mentioning that the elements to unlock are really a lot. We unlock a lot of levels, characters or power-ups by simply playing. I can see, however, that a bit of DLC is already available, and I would not be surprised if it would eventually become a real quake. Most likely, such creators have chosen the business model - the basic version of the game is available for little money (at one time the Early Access version was available in the Humble Bundle), while the developer earns a fortune on additional content. For the average player, the situation is so comfortable that for little money he is able to check if Speedrunners is a game for him. Potential fans are sure that the developer will not abandon this production too soon.
However, the mentioned "fan organization" is not obvious. For though I drank some sympathy for this production, I am not blind to the ills that are consuming the game. First of all, the gameplay can be tiring, mainly because of the need to learn levels by heart, which I already wrote about. There is no other way to maintain speed without seeing what is in front of you. Secondly, the campaign is nothing but a long tutorial whose main purpose is to familiarize the player with the maps. Thirdly, Speedrunners is missing alternative modes of play, something more than a simple race.
Speedrunners are a treat for lovers of this type of fun. This is an interesting mix, thoroughly polished for a long, fruitful period that this production has been in the early access phase. If you need a sofa game, or you just like to improve your skills in making laps after varied, quite complicated levels, then Speedrunners is for you. It's quite a specific title, it's worth remembering before you reach into your wallet. However, in its class it is an absolute must have.