Welcome to EXPlay, (Explain & Play) the review series where we care not for scores but tell it how it is when it comes to every game we get our hands on, whilst also taking the time to include some lengthy gameplay, to give you the reader, the chance to shape your own impressions and views whilst watching and reading. In this installment, we’re covering Rainbow Billy by developer Mana Void.
Rainbow Billy: The Curse of the Leviathan: (The Explanation)
If a Saturday Morning Cartoon, some cotton candy, and a bit of Paper Mario got tossed into a blender you might end up with something close to Rainbow Billy: The Curse of the Leviathan. The story starts off with a seemingly happy day in the town and an upcoming celebration is about to take place gets rudely interrupted by the Leviathan. As great and colorful stories go this one has the world being turned gray as the color is removed and the happiness of all the inhabitants of the land stolen.
You set off then on an adventure as Billy jumping and fighting your way back to recovering the color that once covered the world and brought happiness to the locals. Early in the game, you get to pilot a boat, the friend-”ship”, which you use to navigate between islands and rescue their inhabitants.
During your journey, you can fish for treasure, find coins, and talk to the island’s residents to solve puzzles or if they are controlled by the darkness engage in fights, called confrontations. Within the confrontations, you will want to encourage the beasts you come across by enlightening them and hoping that they join your team.
The turn-based battles play out with various button prompt minigames that require timing, as well as, correct choices of dialogue which can be used to build up or tear down your opponents. While you don’t have direct fighting or violent actions, the change of fights to becoming cases of conflict resolution.
As you gather up your team you will have the ability to find items for them which will aid in leveling up each monster friend. Leveling up your friends opens up new confrontation abilities which can be used in battle. The game has a low-impact difficulty and focuses more on the story it wants to tell that touches on issues of feeling alone, friendships, mental health, anxieties, and more.
It’s hard not to compare Rainbow Billy: The Curse of the Leviathan to games like Paper Mario RPG-style games. While it does a lot of the same things that Paper Mario does, it paves its own path and tells its story of compassion and caring for others well.
Rainbow Billy: The Curse of the Leviathan: (The Gameplay)
Developer: Mana Void
Publisher: Skybound Games
Platform: Nintendo Switch (eShop)
Category: Adventure, Role-playing
No. of Players: 1 player
Release Date: October 5, 2021 (EU & NA)
File Size: 5.4 GB