At this time of year, the weather gets hotter, and it’s no different with July’s Games with Gold. Grow Up is still available until July 31st, and you can read the review for it riiiiight here. Two other games will be joining it beginning on July 16th:
Available July 16 – August 15
Runbow is a very unique looking platform/racing game that can be played with multiple opponents. If you caught last month’s Games with Gold, you'd recognize some immediate similarities with SpeedRunners, another competitive platformer.
You might be confused with the color scheme of the game at first and why the background color changes often, until you realize that the usable ledges and obstacles disappear if they’re the same color as the background.
There’s nothing quite like the first time you’re jumping for a ledge only to have it disappear just as you’re about to land, and then your inevitable death.
Timing and clever use of your double jumps will earn you mastery of the game here, as will keeping a very close eye on the upcoming background color and the available ledges.
When you’re competing with other hostile players to traverse the map, the game can get very hectic indeed!
There’s a host of unlockable characters you can play with that you earn by getting a great score on a level, or maybe dying in a certain way. Recognizable characters like Shovel Knight are included as well as a few characters unique to Runbow.
There’s a single player campaign where you gradually unlock new maps to play. It’s in the form of a grid, and once you complete a map, the adjacent maps in the grid are unlocked. You can play them in any order you wish once you’ve unlocked them.
There are various other game modes too with some which are competitive and others that are co-op, so there’s a lot to do, whether you prefer single or multiplayer.
It’s nice to see a genre growing with each new iteration and newer games introducing new mechanics like Runbow’s backgrounds. It’s a good way to have some great fun, and it keeps your attention for long enough to make you keep coming back for more.
July 16 – July 31
The franchise-turned-LEGO scene continues with this LEGO version of the first four Pirates of the Caribbean movies. The game comprises four adventures, one for each of the first four films, and doesn’t deviate from the previous LEGO games much.
You can expect to be running through maps, smashing objects and enemies while collecting all that lovely LEGO loot.
You’ll break objects and then reassemble them in other places in order to progress, and there’s plenty of characters from the movies to unlock.
The biggest improvement over previous LEGO games is the graphics. You can only do so much when rendering LEGO so the developer has made the non-LEGO parts as pretty as they can to make up for it, and it works pretty well.
There’s plenty of humorous moments in the game, just like the previous games, and it matches the humor from the films pretty well too, especially the slapstick elements.
LEGO Pirates of the Caribbean also fully utilizes the soundtrack from the movies too, which does a lot to get you in the mood and feel like the movies come alive.
Various cutscenes help to alleviate the repetitive nature of the game, and if you’re a fan of the movies, you’ll love them.
The only modes you can play to begin with are single player and co-op, with other modes being unlocked as you progress.
The game is far from perfect though. The AI can be very AU (artificially unintelligent) in that they can often get stuck when you really need them not to be, and also push you around, even off ledges.
It can also be hard to identify important objects as the GUI doesn’t seem to follow one set of rules for everything. They can be hidden behind other non-important objects, and the camera angles make things sometimes frustrating...especially when you’re trying to work out what you should be doing.
Overall, it’s still a good game, and if you enjoyed the previous LEGO games or if you love Pirates of the Caribbean, then you should love this game too!