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Runbean Galactic – Review

There are a few endless runner games that revolve – quite literally – around running in a circle. Runbean Galactic sees you running around the edge of the world, jumping over spikes and rolling under jagged edges. What starts out slow, gets speedy quite quickly but the initial fun idea runs into hot water.

Your bean will start off running clockwise and with simple controls, you’ll jump or roll to avoid the colour-coded objects. A counter keeps score in the middle of the screen which keeps your overall score and occasionally pick ups will add bonus points. You can also pick up a key to unlock a padlocked door which if you miss, will likely be an instant death. There is also a wall you can bomb via the other collectable but if you run into that, you don’t die. Instead, you bounce off, slow down briefly and run through the rubble. One of the best things about Runbean Galactic is the purple arrow post. These switch your running direction and because each run is randomly generated, sometimes they’ll crop up quite quickly and you’ll be zigzagging about with a rhythmic satisfaction.

Traps are plentiful at night time but you’ll have to hope your controller inputs are recognised.

The last two mechanics of the game involve a day/night cycle where nighttime brings a much trickier challenge. Obstacles are closer together and since the final game mechanic involves you running faster and jumping further, you can see how Runbean Galactic is going to be tricky. It is here where the crux of the issue is. At nighttime, about 60 seconds into each run, your jump becomes longer than the gap between two objects to avoid. If the RNG lays down 6 or 7 spikes in a row, there is very little you can do to stop yourself from dying as you’ll just keep inching forward to your doom. I tried to be tactical and jump really early, landing just after the spike rather than safely between them – and this does help a bit. It doesn’t solve the problem though because sometimes the game just says you’ve died. Even worse, I found the controls on both the PS4 and PS5 versions to often not register my inputs. Jumps and rolls just wouldn’t trigger and it happened so often that I started switching controls thinking they’d broken. They hadn’t, it was just the game not picking up the responses.

All this, combined with a complete lack of progression or variety makes Rubbean Galactic a very short, bitter experience. An online leaderboard is here but clearly, everyone else has run into similar issues too as I’m in the top 20 in the leaderboards only about 4 players seem to have a decent score. I’d recommend Bit Trip Runner or Maddening Overload (which in itself has loads of problems but feels more fun than this) over this any day.

Runbean Galactic
Final Thoughts
Misaligned physics and unresponsive controls make this a frustrating experience.
Online leaderboards if you like a high score challenge.
Clear, clean graphical design.
Unreponsive controls will kill you immediately.
When you reach a high speed your jumps are too long, leaving you at the mercy of RNG gods for survival - not skill.
Non-linear difficulty - its a collection of mountains, not a gradual uphill slope.

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