Indie Gems: Speedrunners Gets Off To A Quick Start

Indie Gems is an ongoing feature in which we highlight indie games that are worth your time and attention. Think of this as your weekly Indie Game Playlist.

There’s nothing quite like grabbing your friend with a claw and hurling them to their doom as you sprint off into the distance, cackling the entire time.

This is Speedrunners, a competitive platforming game that pits up to four players in a looped track against one another. It may be pretty simple — you jump, slide and grapple your way around four levels, with the goal being to force somebody off-screen — but the depth comes from your interactions with other players and just how tense and dramatic it can be when you pull off that clinch victory. In this sense, it’s like a number of recent local multiplayer indie games like Samurai Gunn or Towerfall, except that Speedrunners puts the focus purely on outpacing the competition.

Developer: DoubleDutch Games

As you sprint around each loop, there are various ways the level screws with your ability to platform. Grapple-capable ceilings allow you to gain a bit of vertical or horizontal momentum, items (like the aforementioned special grappling claw) give you an edge when used at the right time, and boosts give smart players a way to speed ahead of the competition. Many of these level elements are placed on branches off the main path, so it pays to learn each level and change your strategy as the match progresses. It’s also especially important to judge where to go once the first person is eliminated, as the screen gradually grows smaller and smaller until all but the victor has fallen off.

You’ll find yourself tensing up, gritting your teeth, swearing, and laughing quite a bit while playing Speedrunners. It’s definitely not a single-player game, but the thrill of competing against your friends for the top place makes up for it. It’s very reminiscent of playing a game in the arcade, where the victor kept their quarter and the loser walked to the back of the line in shame. If you’re the kind of person who thrives on that sort of friendly rivalry, Speedrunners is perfect to sate that urge.

Speedrunners is currently available through Steam Early Access.

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