Compile are prolific contributors to Japan’s retro digital download store Project EGG, offering users a wealth of titles from their extensive back catalogue: anything from spinoff mini games to excellent but overlooked adventures like Wander Wonder. Their latest title to go up on the service is Runners High, a racing game that was previously only available as part of their 1996 PC-98 DiscStation 10 compilation.
The game’s a simple beat-the-clock racing game with a not unwelcome 90’s anime twist – rather than giving players a boring old car or a selection of typical athletes to race as you’re instead cast as a sci-fi high school student that, of course, “runs” by strapping some manner of futuristic boosters to her back. It’s hardly reinventing the wheel, but it’s tough to argue against the concept when the opening course presents players with the opportunity to skim over Sega-blue water at 300+km/h, kicking up spray as our enthusiastic runner turns into the corners.
While originally being just one part of a compilation of Compile tid-bits makes the following somewhat understandable, there’s no getting away from the fact that Runners High has just three simple tracks to play on as one character with no unlockables, mirror courses or anything to do other than trying to beat your own lap times. This means that just about any gamer will have seen all the game has to offer within at most fifteen minutes of loading it up, but as a short-but-sweet burst of racing action Runners High makes a welcome antidote to both the sprawling multi-disc dungeon crawlers that the PC-98 already has in abundance as well as modern mainstream titles that apparently can’t do anything without a thirty minute motion captured cutscene voiced by some bloke off the telly, and at the end of the day ¥500 (approx. £2.87/$4.66USD) really isn’t much to spend on a bright but brief slice of something a little bit different.
If you’d like to buy Runners High from Project EGG you can find their store page for it here - click!