Name : SpeedRunner HD
Developer : DoubleDutch Games
Publisher : Xbox LIVE Indie Games
Platform(s) : Xbox 360 (XBLIG)
Genre : Action & Adventure
Release Date : 29th August 2011
Price : 240 Microsoft Points
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Speedrunner HD, one of this year’s Summer Uprising indie titles, is a fast-paced platform game. Set in a shadowy graphic novel styled world, Speedrunner has you jumping and swinging around to save a city from a mad bomber. At 240 :MSPoints:, do we feel it’s worth taking a look?

To start off I’ll mention this: Speedrunner HD offers its primary single player component and a local multiplayer mode, but that’s it. The story mode features nine levels and after you complete that there are six bonus levels to complete. I found that I finished up the story mode in under 30 minutes and it was only another ten minutes to finish all but one of the bonus levels. The sixth bonus level is actually unlocked by collecting all “Winged Sandals” in the story levels, a task which I’ve nearly completed in an additional ten minutes.

The gameplay is pretty fine-tuned and you can maneuver through the levels by running, sliding, and using single or double jumps. You’ve also got a grappling hook that allows you to connect to white ceilings in certain areas and this can be a huge help to quickly reach new heights in levels. You’re not always forced to take a single path and it’s nice to be able to choose a route to go, and maybe save yourself some time. What I did not like about the controls was the lack of control while you’re in mid-jump. With a game like Speedrunner HD, it would be fantastic to have a little “air control” such as being able to change directions of your jump, but even on a double jump you’re limited to moving in one direction. For the most part you’ll get by just fine this way, but there are one or two bonus levels that are a little tough because you can’t control your character in mid-air.

Based on your speed in completing a level you can earn up to a gold medal, and if you earn gold on all main story levels you’ll earn something special. As I mentioned above, you can also collect “Winged Sandals” that are scattered throughout the story levels and by collecting them all you unlock the final bonus level in the game.

The multiplayer is limited to local play only, but it’s a great mode if you have a friend to play against. You have to outrun your opponents and deplete their stock of lives. If you fall off the edge of the screen or hit the hazardous spikes, you lose a life. You can pick up and use various items to help you take down other players including boxes or bricks to slow down people behind you.

I love the comic style visuals because they come together well with a lively soundtrack that fits the superhero persona of the main character. There’s not much in terms of variation in the soundtrack but taking the games’ length into consideration, the soundtrack is just fine.

Speedrunner HD is a really fun title, but being able to complete the game in under an hour is a little sad. I truly wish there was more content to the game, but even at the 240 :MSPoints: I think you should give Speedrunner HD a look because it accomplishes one primary goal of gaming: it’s fun. If there’s ever a sequel I want to see 20+ levels, online multiplayer, and even more control options – but let’s see if that ever happens.