Also available for 3DS, PlayStation 4, PlayStation Vita, OSX, Linux, and Windows
Bit.Trip Runner is the fourth game in the Bit.Trip series, and it's probably the best in my opinion. It seems to be the one that got most people I know into the series, and it, along with Runner 2, were what got me into the series. It pretty much perfected the "runner" platforming sub-genre and set the standard for what a runner game should be.
Of the first four Bit.Trip games, Runner shows a departure from the minimalist visual style and used much more detailed environments and objects while still keeping a distinctly pixelated look and feel. This is also the first Bit.Trip game in which you visibly play as Commander Video (as opposed to a dot). Kind of like in Void, the rhythm of the music is less key to gameplay here than in Beat or Core, but I'd say it does so more than Void. As with Void, though, regardless of how key to gameplay the rhythm is, the soundtrack is outstanding, and the level you're "powered up" to - Mega, Super, Extra, etc - affects the music, adding more melody and energy with each level.
The game is broken into three "worlds" with 11 levels and a boss level in each one. They start off pretty easy, but all of the bosses are pretty challenging, and the difficulty REALLY ratchets up in the third world. The gameplay is super addictive, though, and there's no "game over;" if you screw up, it just sends you back to the start of the level to try again. I do wish that there were some checkpoints as some of the levels are really long and REALLY challenging, but it's a fairly minor gripe all things considered.
Bit.Trip Runner is the best of the first four Bit.Trip games and the most addicting by far. It's also the most challenging in a lot of ways. The lack of "game over" does make it a little more forgiving than the three previous games, but I found some of the actual level challenges to be tougher. It's a fantastic experience, though, and the epitome of what a runner-style game should be. Regardless of platform, this is an absolute must-play.
My Rating - 5 Neps
I'm a teacher.
And I like to play video games. I like to collect video games. I like to talk about video games, and I like to write about video games. During the day, I teach high school history; during the night, I spend my spare time gaming. Then I write about it.