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Backlog Impressions | Rainbows, Toilets & Unicorns

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Life isn’t always about rainbows and unicorns, but Rainbows, Toilets & Unicorns from Fantastico Studio is! But is it the sparkly, rainbow, unicorn poop we are all hoping it’ll be?

A Unique Unicorn

Sometimes, the weirdest things in life are the things that we cherish the most. Either ironically or genuinely, enjoying these peculiarities brighten our days, make us laugh or just encourage basking in our own befuddlement. What I mean to say, is it’s just plain fun and the same goes for video games! Truthfully, if developers out there didn’t let their bizarre imaginations run, we wouldn’t have games like Katamari Damacy or Cho Aniki to keep us occupied on gloomy days. 

With that in mind, Fantastico Studio thought they’d join in the fun and let their oddball flag fly, with the socially satirical bullet-hell shoot ’em up, Rainbows, Toilets & Unicorns! The enigma we are left to unravel though, is if this colorful visual cacophony of shenanigans is being weird for the sake of being weird, or is it the sparkly, rainbow, unicorn poop we are all hoping it will be?

When it Rainbows, it Pours

Well, to start, in Rainbows, Toilets & Unicorns, you play as a man at the end of his rope. Tired of the world and this blistering heat! So, he scoops up a cone of rainbow unicorn ice cream, that may or may not be laced with some sort of magical and illicit material. After finishing it, and having the urge to use the bathroom, he’s sent on an offbeat trip through a land of social anxieties, “Sparklebarf” and shoot ‘em up fun, and boy is it a trip!

Evacuate the Rainbows

First off, before I delve into the actual meat and potatoes of Rainbows, Toilets & Unicorns, I just want to say – conceptually, I don’t really get it. I mean, I get that it’s trying to be satirical or say something about society, or maybe it’s not, but whatever it’s trying to do, it just doesn’t seem to click. Of course, I’m not one to find such satire funny even when it’s done right, so maybe I’m just not the target audience, in that regard. But, I will say, aside from that, the graphics are quite boistrus and cheerful, even if what it’s trying to represent is a little on the nose. I can also appreciate how absurd it is that you’re flying through some fantastical unicorn land on a toilet, with your ass crack hanging out and rainbows evacuating your hind quarters.

Nonetheless, the game is fun to play, even if as a shoot ‘em up, it’s a bit simple, mindless and uninspired. Like most shoot ’em ups, you are flying through a variety of stages, dodging and weaving through enemies and bullets trying to survive as long as possible. In Rainbows, Toilets & Unicorns however, the stages are broken up into five distinctly themed worlds, ranging from Religion to Entertainment Corporations. Within each world you’ll also fight a handful of bosses based on pop culture figures and/or political/religious figureheads as you progress. Unfortunately, none of this is very challenging. Typically, there aren’t many bullets to dodge, and when there are, the patterns are simple to learn and can more often than not, be avoided by staying still. This is doubly true of many of the boss attacks.

Mechanically, the gameplay does have a few interesting features however. The first being your ability to level up your attack. To do that, you’ll need to collect purple gems, which will explode from enemies as you defeat them. Collect enough and your level will increase and with it your shot spread,and damage output, up to 8 total levels. On top of that, when you defeat a boss, you’ll also acquire a small unicorn partner (2 max) that’ll contribute to your attacks. Further, a few support abilities can be dropped randomly from enemies that’ll help you through your trek to the end of a world. These include a shield, which will protect you from one attack, a double shot, which will double your total bullets for a short time, and finally a magnet, which will temporarily draw in all purple gems within a short radius. Very handy for leveling up your character. Last but not least, is the Sparklebarf bomb. Which acts similarly to your typical bomb found in most shoot ’em ups, and can be used to clear all bullets from the screen and damage enemies. This ability does require you to fill up the Sparklebarf gauge in order to use it. To do that you simply damage enemies. Honestly, I really only used it to kill large amounts of enemies at once in order to sop up those sweet, sweet purple gems with my magnet!!

To The Glitter End

So, I guess it’s time for me to determine if I was able to unravel this enigma of a game. Frankly, even though it may be all kinds of weird, it’s truly a very straight forward and mildly entertaining shoot ‘em up. Not much to unravel really. As a quick distraction, Rainbow, Toilets & Unicorns does its job. But outside of that, even at its $6.99 price point on the Nintendo eShop, I’d have a tough time recommending it. Now, if you can find it at the right discount, by all means give it a shot, you’ll at least get a couple of hours of entertainment out of it. But until then, there are much better shoot em ups out there, and I think this one is worth a pass.