You can never have enough Bit.Trip Runner. It is a scientifically proven fact. EVen though the first two games were notoriously long, fans were still left wanting more. Luckily, a third game is in the works. Even more luckily, it was demoed at this year’s E3. Some visitors were wise enough to record their sessions, so we now have 13 minutes of Runner 3 footage.
The demo offered three areas – Foodland, Spookyland and Machineland. Foodland is a duchy of delicacy, filled with palm trees with melon slices instead of leaves, trees with blackberries instead of bows, enormous donuts scattered everywhere. Spookyland is a pier lit by a clearly distressed moon that segues into an industrial area, with a soundtrack that veers away from the usual pure synth goodness in order to include organs. Machineland is set in a factory that assembles the level as you progress.
The premise is still the same – you play as Captain Video, the game automatically puts you in motion, and you’re supposed to deal with obstacles in appropriate ways. Your every move produces sound, and playing through a level perfectly will reward you with hearing the full song as it was meant to be heard. You can collect tape players which upgrade the music, adding more instruments to the track that’s being played.
That doesn’t meant there aren’t a bunch of changes. Aside from the gold bars, you can now also collect diamonds. The Commander can double jump. There are quests now – we’ve seen an oyster in a can ask you to bring them salmonberries. There are flying sections which look frighteningly freeform. There are more alternate routes in each level than ever before, pusing you to go back and replay them.
Although some of the camera angles are questionable at best, Runner 3 is the same game we all fell in love with seven years ago, with levels designed to accomodate the music. It should launch by the end of the year, and it’s coming to PC and Nintendo Switch.