Ring Runner is definitely a unique little gem of an indie. At its core, it is simply an arena-based shooter set in space. If that were all that someone were looking for, they could be satisfied. However, this game had a bit more put into it. That extra bit of polish transformed this from a simple shooter into a diverse little RPG.
I get the feeling that the developers at Triple.B.Titles wanted to make something AAA without the budget that comes with it. With 5 years of work on this game, it is good to see that the end product is something worth talking about.
To preface this, I’m going to start off by mentioning that all these screenshots are ones that I took. I say this because I had a bit of difficulty getting the game to run initially. I probably could have left a few features turned on, but I ultimately wanted to get the game to play, and this thing hates laptops. There is a reason for it, but at the end of the day I couldn’t default launch the game without crashing, so I just kept it this way so you can see what it looks like in its weakened state. You can watch the trailer above to see what it looks like running on a rig that isn’t portable.
It might not be as pretty as the stock photos, but the game, even at its lowest settings, seemed a bit over cluttered. Stripping the game down really seemed to work best for me as a large part of the game is navigating around arenas that are cluttered with debris.
Ring Runner is touted by their developer as a game based on a novel that accompanies it. When anybody starts throwing novels around, it is used as an attempt to make something richer than it probably is. As it turns out, Ring Runner isn’t some deep sci-fi epic that will have you on the edge of your seat; it is a game that starts off the same as any other. Your hero is an amnesiac who then finds himself becoming something much more than any ordinary person. He is accompanied by a peanut butter cup-powered artificial intelligence that goes by the name of Nero. They then run a routine of daring escapes, followed by captures, followed by daring escapes until the two build enough clout to take on the galaxy.
It is a simple storyline that does tend to dip into the unbelievable. It is a ridiculous take on classic sci-fi that I grew to accept more and more with the humor this game brought forward. Nero and our Sage protagonist can’t make it through a scenario without a bit of comical banter, and it really lends the story a light-hearted touch. This works to stop you from really thinking about the big deus ex machina that transitioned you to the next mission.
The game is actually surprisingly long, which is impressive for a shooter. The way they manage this is by mixing up the ships you use regularly to get you used to the game’s core mechanics. This isn’t exactly like switching from a slow ship to a fast ship as each has their own very unique presets beyond its speed. For example, you may wind up operating a typically designed battle ship to fighting in an arena with one that only can push and pull enemies. The customization of your ships is a true highlight of the game, and they incorporated this into the main story very well.
With a mission-based objective to focus on during each segment, a new and interesting approach to space combat is offered constantly. In essence, it is a presentation to test the many different ships and weapon load outs, and it is done very well.
Being an arena-based shooter with rich customization opens Ring Runner up to plenty of extra modes; zombie hordes, deathmatch, and even a DoTA-style Space Defense League make up the multiplayer. Better yet, those modes are actually free for you right now. If you don’t want to deal with ship customization or a campaign mode, you can boot the game up and run online at no charge. Since the modes are all done with host migration, you can jump into any mode at any time without lobbies or anything else to slow you down.
For less than $10, there is a lot of content being offered here. It is hard to simply brush Ring Runner off as something other than a good bit of bang for your buck. Unless you really can’t stand this style of game, Ring Runner should be able to stand up and deliver for you at this price point.
There is some real effort put into this game. It really did surprise me.
[+Quirky Scenarios] [+Interesting Missions] [+Solid Customization] [+Free Multiplayer] [-Hates Laptops] [-A Bit Cluttered for Space]