Review — Rainbow Billy: The Curse of the Leviathan

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Overview

Developer Manavoid
Publisher Skybound Games
Genre Adventure
Platforms Ps4 (reviewed) Xbox One, Switch, PC
Release Date October 5th, 2021
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Rainbow Billy, The Curse of the Leviathan, is an adventure game made by Manavoid. The point of the game is to restore color back into the world, drained by the vicious mean dragon. Along the way, Billy will use empathy, sincerity, and kindness to win over his enemies, and recover the color cores.

Content Guide

Rainbow Billy has no colorful language, no sexual overtones, or shades of substance abuse. 

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Review

Billy and the townsfolk are throwing a party on a beautiful, blue sky day. Their noise, and most of all, boisterous, colorful fireworks disrupt the sleep of the Leviathan. In his anger, he steals all of the color from every realm, and puts his guards and all sorts of frustrated enemies to keep them out of Billy’s hands.

The first thing players will notice is that Rainbow Billy is paper-thin in a 3D environment. Much like Paper Mario, and Bug Fables, Billy can walk around in any direction, roll, jump across a variety of platforming elements. Each area contains puzzles that fit the theme, whether you’re dealing with ice in the ice land, or prehistoric fauna, bones, and fire in the dino land.

Billy traverses from one island to the next, each of various sizes and challenges. Getting to them you will travel by sea on your friend, Friendship, the ship. Friendship has a limited gauge crossing the colorless sea, so he can only travel to the nearest islands until it can be upgraded.

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Most of the islands will contain a puzzle to reach a small core and an animal familiar. These familiars will start out as enemies, but through “battle” you will come to know what their insecurity is. As you dialogue with them, you will use another friend to match symbols. The amount and kind of symbols differ between encounters, but they will only change as you keep collecting more friends. 

To use a familiar you select from them, and place them on the arena. A small mini game will commence, ranging from a simplified guitar hero style game, to a pong endurance challenge. Succeeding increases the amount of that type of symbol. As it progresses, the symbols needed to befriend each animal will be concealed, and players will have to send out friends of every type to uncover the nodes. 

There are some collectables to find in the sea and on the islands by digging, or breaking boxes. Fish, random objects (doll, lollipop, kiddy items, etc.) can be given to your friends to increase their friendship with Billy. This will give more options to use different symbols, and unlock a perk. The perk can be anything from revealing symbols needed, to healing Billy. 

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Speaking of healing, responding correctly to the soon-to-be friends can reveal hidden symbols, and restore some morale, which is Billy’s health. Players have three options at any time that aren’t difficult to discern which will give the best outcome. 

The game gives you a journal that shows a map of the current area, the available friends Billy can find, and all the collectables. Each friend has an entry that tells of what insecurity they deal with, and what item will increase their friendship with Billy faster.

Overall, the game is solid. The sound, and music isn’t memorable, but I don’t remember hating it. The presentation and gameplay don’t interfere with the experience of the game. The only problem was that the experience was mundane. I liked that it was trying to be in the vein of Undertale, and not destroy your enemies but befriend them. The problem is that the issues were tongue-in-cheek, and it took the same process each time. In fact, I grew weary when the process kept getting longer. Sadly, the inclusion of more enemies couldn’t break up the monotony. The friends’ one of six mini-games may increase in difficulty the more they are stacked in a single line, but the inputs weren’t random enough. I remember the Billy-goat friend was just waiting to hit ‘X’ as it zoomed by, but it was always ‘X’. 

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My lack of enjoyment will not go against the game, because Billy seems geared toward gamers of younger ages. It’s wholesome in its purest form. A great entry game into the world of platforming where games like Super Metroid and Crash Bandicoot may make the genre seem hardcore inclusive. The vibrant colors, beginner-to-intermediate platformer challenge, and forgiving “battle” mechanics will really be great. Adding to that, is the cerebral benefit of snippets of empathetic dialogue to reflect and recite back in the classroom or the playground. I’ve commented before on my Psychonauts 2 review that there are games even the best of people should visit, and this could easily be up there as a Sunday School/Children church activity. 

The Bottom Line

 

If you're looking for a game you don't have to worry about, Rainbow Billy can put your mind at ease.

 

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Johnathan Floyd

A current work in progress while being a work in progress. Johnathan has bounced around multiple jobs until he found his passions later than most people would. After two attempts at college, he is aiming for the career as a published author, and professor of English lit. Until then, he is enjoying being a worship leader, and writing about video games for Geeks Under Grace.

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