Hands-on Preview – Pride Run

Pride Run (IV Productions, Hard Ton, Steam Factory- PC) Release date: October 11th 2019

Dance with pride

Pride Run combines the mechanics of the RTS genre with rhythm action elements in order to create an experience quite unlike any other. Celebrating all things LGBTQ+, Pride Run transports players around the world encouraging them to dance along the streets of sixteen cities, picking up more support along the way. Spreading the love and promoting inclusiveness is at the heart of the developer’s intent, and there’s plenty of love to go around.

Featuring two modes, players will have the option to choose either ‘Vanilla’ or ‘Play Hard’. Vanilla focuses primarily on the rhythm sections, challenging players to keep up with the rhythm of the soundtrack as they perform sequences of dance movements using WASD and arrow keys. After achieving a good score and successfully making their way through the city, they’ll have a 1v1 with a boss. To give you an idea of what to expect with these bosses, the first one is Donald Trump, making for an interesting interaction. Boss encounters continue to build on the dance sequences players have learnt so far, however this time there’s more of an element of choice. The boss battle is turn-based so when it’s your turn, you’ll be able to choose a dance sequence from a list and will have to perform the inputs perfectly in order to execute the routine. Longer routines will add more to the rainbow-coloured bar at the top of the screen as you defeat the boss. Succeeding will enable you to move onto the next city and continue your journey across the globe.

Vanilla mode is definitely the mode you’ll want to start with, particularly if you’re here for the rhythm portion of the game. Inputs range from single key presses to holding keys down in order to complete the sequence. Overall, this isn’t too difficult, although it did feel as though there was a slight delay between us pressing a key and the input registering in the game. That said, once you adjust to the delay, you should be able to work your way through the sequences without too many issues.

Choose between two very different game modes

The Play Hard mode makes for quite a different experience, utilising RTS mechanics to give players more control of how the group operates as you make your way through the cities. Picking a leader and moving portions of the group to the edges of the road will help you to encourage others to join in on the fun as you walk. You’ll have a few abilities to choose from so be sure to pick wisely. There are three levels of difficulty and both modes can be played either independently or co-op. We found Play Hard mode significantly trickier to get into as there is a lot more to consider and while the tutorial walks you through everything, all the mechanics can feel a bit overwhelming at first.

The game features mature content which the developer has described as follows: “Pride Run is a celebration of Pride events and the LGBTQ community in general. The game is presented in a satirical way which includes the visualisation of adult toys. In addition, there is the occasional use of adult words plus the occasional portrayal of topless females. As mentioned, all adult themes are portrayed in a satirical way and not used in any meaningful context. There are no sexual acts of violence in this game.”

Despite having released back in September, we’re already seeing updates for Pride Run. This week, the developer announced that new levels are on the way, as Pride Run heads to South America. The first new level, scheduled to release at the end of the month, will be Sao Paolo. Buenos Aires will also be available at the end of December.

Pride Run is already available on Steam for £15.49/$19.99/€16.79.

Written for the November 7th issue of DailyBits.