When Rainbow Billy: The Curse of the Leviathan was first announced, I was really intrigued on how it was going to play out. I didn’t watch the trailers because I wanted to experience the game for what it is on my first play. Let’s find out together what it’s like.
Rainbow Billy: The Curse of the Leviathan is a story about a boy named Billy. He’s a colorful guy with a lot of compassion and love in his heart. He was preparing for the annual festival when the Leviathan woke up and discolored the world into black and white. The Leviathan seems to hate colors so he decided the world needs to be black and white.
The first area of the game before it became colorless teaches you the basic controls of the game. It also gives you a sneak peek of what’s to come. The mini games and the platforming side of the game as well.
After the world turns black and white, you try to run away from it to avoid being colorless. Along the way, you pick up your friend the one-eyed dog. He didn’t seem to be affected by the curse so he joins you aboard your friend Friend-Ship. Yeah this game has a lot of intended puns, it’s a little endearing at times.
Once you get to the first island, you then get to meet Rod-rigo, the punching fishing rod. He’s a very handy friend that helps you traverse the many islands in different ways. His abilities gets unlocked as you progress through the game. This includes abilities like being able to swing on floating balloons, or punching things or digging up objects.
Your objective on each island is to find a friend and try to convince them to join your cause. Convincing them happens in a turn based battle called “Confrontations”. You start off by either listening to what the enemy has to say or choosing from a selection of words to say to the enemy.
The key to a successful confrontation is to listen in on why this enemy has turned colorless. Choosing the right thing to say, will unlock the colored shapes that you can trigger to color the enemy. Each of your friend then shows up in the battle stage in the form of tokens. Each friend has a colored shape that they strike the enemy with to color them.
For your friends to attack the enemy, a mini game gets played similar to the ones you played in the tutorial island. The mini game’s difficulty gets harder the more friends try to join in on a single lane. If you’re not up for the challenge though, you can always lower the difficulty at any time in the main menu.
This is the core mechanics of the game and it can tend to get very repetitive. Even the mini games that you play, although they get randomized, are usually the same in each confrontation. The only thing I find that truly is unique to each confrontation is the enemy you are facing and how to best talk to them.
Each friend can have up to three shapes to use in battle. These can be unlocked by feeding your friends gummy fishes or a gift that they requested. You can get gummy fishes and gifts by finding them in the world or fishing in fishing spots. The fishing spots is like a minigame itself as you have to time it right to get a fish or a gift. You only get three tries at the beginning but as you progress, you can unlock more tries.
Upgrading Billy and the other features is tied to the collecting of Thoughts in the world. Thoughts are cat like creatures that are scattered about hidden in the world. Collect enough and you can feed them to the Thought machine.
The world is rendered in 3D but your characters are in 2D. So it’s like this paper cutout characters in a 3D world. Each time you free an enemy from the shackles of black and white, the island becomes colorful once again. Your boat Friendship requires being around a colorful island as she uses color to fuel her engines. Losing all the color will sink your Friendship.
Navigating with Friendship allows you to rotate the cameras, however, if you’re on the island, the camera is fixated into one angle. It was probably their intention to do this so that it’s more challenging for you to find the Thoughts. However, it can get annoying at times because the camera is sometimes at an angle that is disadvantageous for you to traverse the island.
The rendering of the islands can get a bit confusing at times. Due to the camera always fixated at one angle, you can’t really determine if a gap between platforms is something that you can jump on.
The music of Rainbow Billy is actually really good to the point that I’m humming it when I’m not even playing the game. It’s very appropriate for a game that’s all about compassion and forgiveness. I can truly say it’s one of the highlights of the game.
Overall, Rainbow Billy is a game that has a unique combat gameplay that I have not encountered before. It’s a good game to pick up if you’re into a game that combines platforming and turn-based combat. It’s not the most awesome game out there but it will surely be a game that is lovable in its own right.
Rainbow Billy: The Curse of the Leviathan – Review
It’s a good game, but the bad may be harder to ignore than usual.
Beautiful soundtrack music
Very interesting characters to befriend
Camera angles on islands are fixated that could tend to be problematic