From the menu screen, joining a co-op game is as easy as 1-2-3 mouse clicks
Despite this setback, the local co-op in Ring Runner is very rewarding. Playing the game single player, it often felt like there was so much going on in any given mission that trying to focus on accelerating/braking and steering to avoid asteroids, random space objects, and enemy fire while also returning fire, prioritizing targets, and remembering which ability was mapped where was a bit much. Most of the time I’d choose a ship that could withstand a heavy assault and then dig in in one spot, shooting down anything that came close until it was safe to move again. With a second player by my side, I could more easily focus on moving around and dodging out of the way while they took care of anything that was attacking us. Both of us could call out targets or dangers to the other, and both were fully engaged in the action. This method of play isn’t limited to the campaign, either; you’re free to hop into an SDL match with a group of friends and your Duo ship so you can engage in some online and local co-op play.
Speaking of online co-op play, Ring Runner’s got a game mode for everybody. Want to engage in some MOBA-style action with friends? Get a Space Defense League match going. How about some straightforward horde survival? Then go for Zombie Survival or Wave Survival. For a website focused on co-op gaming, it’s very encouraging to see a developer take the time to incorporate as many different co-op gameplay modes as possible within their game, and also make each challenging and fun in its own way.
While I’m not the biggest fan of MOBA games, Ring Runner’s Space Defense League had a certain appeal to me. It had that certain epic space battle feel that wasn’t quite there in the other modes. Zombie Survival, too, is sure to be a co-op favorite. The “zombies” are some basic ships that try to get close to use melee attacks and drop mines. As time goes on, special zombie types, like “Poppers” and “Hunter”, appear to change things up and force you and your buddies to come up with new tactics for putting down the horde.
Welcome to the Space Defense League, with all the lanes, mobs, bosses, and towers you're used to in other MOBAs
Each of these modes also fully support drop-in/drop-out co-op, so friends can join and leave whenever, and host migration of the game server is supported as well (just in case the person who originally created the match has to leave). Co-op matches are also made clear in the multiplayer selection menu and stand out as a separate category from the versus matches. While local co-op play through the game’s campaign may have its limitations, online co-op is setup to allow you to jump and get flying as quickly as possible.
Ring Runner: Flight of the Sages covers just about all the bases you possibly could for a space shooter, but more importantly, it covers those bases well. If you’re the type of gamer that enjoys a lot of depth and nuance to your games, the ship customization feature should more than satisfy your need, even if it isn’t the easiest system to use. There’s even Steam Workshop integration to allow for the sharing of different ship templates. If you want a game that you can just hop into with a friend and play through a few levels, you’re covered there as well after a little bit of time/effort. Most missions last less than a few minutes so it’s easy to knock out three or four if you don’t have a lot of time to play. If you’re looking for something different to play with a group of friends online, then you’re well and truly covered.
You’ll have to pardon my “late-night infomercial” pitch here, but you can get all that in one game for the low, low cost of just $10. Ring Runner is anything but “just another twin-stick shooter.” It’s the kind of game that twin-stick shooters should aspire to be.
Editor's Note: The Co-Optimus review of Ring Runner: Flight of the Sages is based on the PC version of the game. A code for the game was provided by the developer for evaluation purposes.
The Co-Op Experience: Co-op comes in two forms. First, local co-op allows you to play two people in a single ship and play through much of the single player game, as well as all 5 of the co-op modes. Second, online co-op allows you to play with other players in one of the game's 5 co-op modes. These modes are: - Space Defense League (SDL): think League of Legends/DOTA, minus the character leveling. Supports up to eight players - Zombie Survival: fight off waves of basic “ship zombies” with a few special “zombie” types tossed in the mix. Supports up to four players - Wave Survival: fight off waves of enemies that vary in hull, archetype, and attack strategy. Supports up to four players - Gladiator: battle through as many of the game’s bosses as you can. Supports up to four players - Spire Battle: destroy the other team’s base before they destroy yours. Supports up to eight players
Co-Optimus game reviews focus on the cooperative experience of a game, our final score graphic represents this experience along with an average score for the game overall. For an explanation of our scores please check our Review Score Explanation Guide.