No matter your sunny disposition, you can’t help but notice how cruel the surrounding world is. People are selfish and power and greed rule the roost. However, don’t let this get you down! For all the bad things in the world, there are plenty of positives to counteract them. Rainbow Billy: The Curse of the Leviathan contemplates this quandary in its core concept.
Developed by Manavoid Entertainment and published by Skybound Games, this is a colourful adventure RPG. Set in a whimsical world full of zany characters, you must befriend every creature you encounter. The story is simple, the mechanics straightforward, yet you’ll lose yourself in this 2.5D eccentric landscape.
Rainbow Billy: The Curse of the Leviathan is a cute cartoon experience.
The cute nature of the gameplay will be too much for some gamers. The constant demand for friendship and love is reminiscent of moralistic 80s cartoons and I loved it! With a Cuphead aesthetic and a multitude of tiny lands to explore, you’ll lose yourself in this overbearing cutesy experience. Every character you encounter has a gruff and spikey exterior that melts away when they meet Billy. He displaces any negativity wherever he goes, and this chirpy and loving nature is enough to break any icy heart.
The story is wonderfully simple. The people of this colourful land are preparing to celebrate with a firework extravaganza. Billy is the guest of honour and he loves the attention from this accolade. The fireworks begin and the sky is filled with colour. Everyone is having a brilliant time except for a great power hidden beneath the waves, that is. The Leviathan warned everyone what would happen if he was disturbed again, but no one listened. He punishes them all by sucking the colour from the world, leaving a monochromatic mess in his wake. Billy must explore three lands to gather the colour cores to break the Leviathan’s curse.
Rainbow Billy: The Curse of the Leviathan is all about exploration and teamwork. Every vast area must be explored using a vessel aptly named the ‘Friend-Ship’. This cute boat is the key to breaking the curse, but it has its limitations as its engine runs on Rainbow fuel. Colourful areas will refuel the boat, but if you run out, the curse destroys your ship. You must plan your journey wisely and explore within your range.
As you find new islands and encounter new creatures, the colour will be reinstated once you beat them in a battle. Yet defeating them and convincing them to join you is easier said than done. Every fight is a tactical experience that comprises many parts.
You can only befriend them if you know how they tick. You must listen to their worries or demands and respond accordingly. There are three options available per turn and only one is correct, so make sure you get it right. If you are correct, you’ll highlight your opponent’s weakness, and these flaws are shown as symbols.
Each creature within your party has a set of symbols unique to the land it’s from. You must identify your enemies’ flaws and match them with critters from your deck. The card-based combat was intriguing and required some luck and a lot of tactical nous.
The mini-game section.
Finally, you just combine every element into a selection of fun yet challenging mini-games. These range from button sequences, paddle games, dodging mines, and more. If you lack perfection, one or more of your attack symbols will be wasted. So practice and patience are a must if you wish to succeed.
Alongside this, different foes will have companions you’ll need to defeat or special attacks you must overcome. Subsequently, every battle isn’t as straightforward as you’d hope, and this prevents the gameplay from becoming tiresome.
‘Thoughts’ and RPG elements.
Rainbow Billy: The Curse of the Leviathan beautifully incorporates its RPG elements with the adventure aspects. Collectables known as ‘Thoughts’ are hidden across each of the three levels. You must find them to increase Billy’s attacking capabilities. They also add more tiles to your deck, increased moves to use a larger party, and more. Finding every ‘Thought’ will be tough, and many require you to return once new mechanics are unlocked.
Billy is armed with a talking fishing rod called Rodrigo. This chirpy companion helps to punch obstacles, dig in the sand, swing from a hook, and so forth. The new elements open areas that were out of reach and force you to re-explore previously visited areas. This was great, as it added longevity while rewarding you for your efforts.
Rainbow Billy: The Curse of the Leviathan demands an upgraded team.
Aiming for the strongest team by your side is common sense. However, Rainbow Billy: The Curse of the Leviathan demands it! You’ll not get very far with basic teammates, so upgrading them is essential. Your critters love to eat gummy fish and to be showered with gifts. Yet, they are particular about what they like and subsequently, any old present or food won’t do.
You must listen to the hints and provide them with the right item and give them gummies that match their symbols. If you level them up, each creature will have three symbols to battle with, and this gives you a vast tactical advantage. If you fail to explore this avenue, you can expect to lose every one of the later battles.
Rainbow Billy: The Curse of the Leviathan looks fantastic.
I adore every second I spent with the kooky and cute world. Its striking art style blended with vivid colours and monochromatic tones were great to look at. I also loved the unique environments within each land and the awesome cartoon imagery. Moreover, the gameplay is wonderfully punctuated with hilarious cutscenes that add closure to each chapter. However, I found the lack of a free camera option during the exploration stages frustrating. This rigidity impacted the ability to jump gaps and to judge distances. It’s a minor thing, but it will put some players off and tarnish their experience.
The unique landscapes are nicely complemented by the varied and well-composed audio. The music beautifully changes from a jovial, lighthearted affair to a haunting melody and it reflects the flow of the story. Moreover, every battle is accompanied by hard-hitting tunes that match the aggressive scenario. The brilliance of the audio continues with its cheeky sound effects that help to bring the colourful characters to life. Though the cute undertones may not be your thing, you’ll chuckle and smile, nonetheless.
Easy to play, but a better tutorial is required.
Once you nail the fundamentals, you’ll adore every encounter and puzzle you face. Yet, learning the basics requires a considerable amount of trial and error. The tutorial is somewhat lacking and key information for upgrading your team and more is not forthcoming. This was disappointing, as you waste key resources and it undermines what is otherwise a very user-friendly title.
Though the lack of a tutorial may frustrate you, don’t let it distract you from this moreish title. Rainbow Billy: The Curse of the Leviathan is an adventure title filled with collectables, secrets, and many reasons to return. To complete it won’t be easy and thirty plus hours will be required to unlock all the achievements.
Rainbow Billy: The Curse of the Leviathan shows the value of friendship.
The story and main concept are undoubtedly corny, but they tugged at my heartstrings. I loved exploring the world while returning its much-needed colour. Befriending every creature was rewarding, as was finding each hidden ‘Thought’. The developers did well to combine RPG elements with puzzle mechanics and this makes for a well-balanced and challenging experience. I adored it and recommend you to buy it here! The world needs a hero and its colour reinstated, so can you do both? Befriend the creatures and save this cartoon universe.