Game-related ramblings.

Tag: Rainbow In The Dark

Rainbow In The Dark: Knockout City

This is Rainbow In The Dark, a series about games that actually contain colors. This particular entry is also an honorary member of the Keeping Score series, about games and their soundtracks. As always, you may click on images to view larger versions.

This Rainbow In The Dark entry honors a game that, sadly, no longer exists. Well, sort of. Official servers for Knockout City went offline on June 6, 2023, rendering the game unplayable. But developers Velan Studios released a separate version (PC only, sadly) of the game compatible with private servers, for free. Setting up a server isn’t easy, but fortunately fans came to the rescue. A core group of players created the Knockout City Launcher, which automates installing the game and connecting to an existing fan server (or starting your own). This is great, because the team-based dodgeball antics of Knockout City are a blast, easy to understand for new players but with a lot of nuance to learn and master. I never ended up playing the smash hit Rocket League, but I got the sense that Knockout City is a similar beast: accessible, but with a high skill ceiling. During the COVID-19 lockdown times, I turned to Knockout City often when I needed a break, and it’s the first competitive multiplayer game I ever put a lot of time into.

Oh, and it’s also beautiful, with a bright and optimistic retrofuturistic style full of flying cars, holograms, and 1950s American fashion.

Rainbow In The Dark: Hi-Fi Rush

This is Rainbow In The Dark, a series about games that actually contain colors. This particular entry is also an honorary member of the Keeping Score series, about games and their soundtracks. As always, you may click on images to view larger versions.

Hi-Fi Rush surprised everyone, as it was both announced and released on January 25, 2023. Uncharacteristically, I actually played it not long after; usually I’m several years late at least. It’s something of a departure for Japanese developers Tango Gameworks, who are primarily known for horror games: The Evil Within and its sequel, as well as the spooky action-adventure Ghostwire: Tokyo last year. As is typical for the horror genre, those games are pretty gloomy and drab color-wise, although Ghostwire: Tokyo does spice things up with some neon lighting on occasion. Still, it’s nothing like Hi-Fi Rush, which came out of nowhere with a bright, vibrant manga comic art look. A jolt of color for those of us playing our games in the dark.

Rainbow In The Dark: Deep Rock Galactic

This is Rainbow In The Dark, a series about games that actually contain colors. As always, you may click on images to view larger versions.

For the first proper entry in the Rainbow In The Dark series, I knew I wanted to write about Deep Rock Galactic. It’s a game that literally contains the word “darkness” in its tagline: “Danger. Darkness. Dwarves.” A game about dwarven miners in a sci-fi world, working for the giant and exploitative Deep Rock Galactic mining corporation, who risk their lives daily to mine precious minerals from the caverns of the planet Hoxxes while fighting off its aggressive fauna. Set almost entirely in subterranean caves, it’s a game that could so easily have been a gloomy, drab affair. Instead, when a player tosses out a flare to illuminate a tunnel, they are treated to a surprising array of colors. A literal rainbow in the dark.

Rainbow In The Dark: Introduction

This is the introduction to Rainbow In The Dark, a series about games that actually contain colors. As always, you may click on images to view larger versions.

Longtime readers will know that I often lament the lack of colors in modern games. Whether it’s the constant reliance on only blue and orange, excessive use of shaders to tint the screen a monochrome hue in a crude attempt at atmosphere, or just dull greys and browns everywhere, games tend to have very limited colors these days. I’ve had the idea for a blog series celebrating colorful games kicking around in my head for a while, but two things in particular prompted me to start it now. First, my series about early console role-playing games (which has now expanded to include action/role-playing hybrids and Metroidvanias) has been emphasizing just how much more colorful these old games were, despite technical limits that meant they could only display a fraction of the colors that computers and consoles can today. And second, I have — at long last — started playing Dark Souls for the first time, and while it’s fascinating in many ways, it sure is very grey and brown. Since it will likely take me a long time to finish it, I want to counterbalance it with a bunch of colorful games.

So, I’m starting a new series, which will highlight and celebrate modern-ish games that dare to actually contain colors. It’s called Rainbow In The Dark. Read on for some more introductory thoughts.

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