Rainbow Billy: The Curse of the Leviathan is a heartwarming palette cleanser that brightens any mood

Some situations really do come out of nowhere and force you to refocus on what’s important.

I drafted this review twice, trying to find the right words to say, but it wasn’t until I nearly lost an immediate family member that it all came together. Because the message behind this game is all about finding solace in others and understanding their needs at the toughest of times.

It helped me at a tough time and for that, will always hold a special place in my heart.

Rainbow Billy is just the sweetest game. You bring color to a monochrome world, ride around at sea in a little vessel called the Friend Ship and rather than fight people, you talk to them and try to befriend them. What a refreshing change.

As you travel to each inky island, you have to find a way to talk through issues with the character that resides there. One is nervous about being seen in public because they have big teeth, another is convinced they’re a bully and that they have to be a bully to protect their sibling.

Using the right conversational point, you have to help them see through each individual problem and identify a weak spot. It might be you sympathize with a character or tell them to believe in themselves.

Once you’ve exposed a weak spot, the friends you’ve already made can present a similarly structured shape after completing a QTE/Rhythm focused mini game, which then slots right into the sweet spot so you can bring some color to the character’s cheeks.

The character will come on side and from there you can build an actual friendship with them by offering gifts, learning more about them.

Rainbow Billy is infectious, it’s a game that just wins you over with its heart, compassion and care for others. It’s a game that will put a smile on your face when your mood is in the toilet and will keep it there until you close it down.

There’s repetition, of course, with the constant battles, repeated dialogue and the same minigames time after time, but I often found I could look past a lot of it just by how good it made me feel and how calming and relaxing the experience can be.

There’s soft platforming on each of the islands as you clamber to collect coins and some minor puzzle solving to figure out as you clear away bushes and hit switches to activate secrets in random places.

You can also find chests in the water on the Friend Ship and fish for random items using long, retractable arms. Which definitely are an interesting replacement for rods. All told, there’s a fair bit of content to find and things to do.

The game’s lovely aesthetic also helps, kind of a cross between Cuphead and Dexter’s Laboratory, and the beautiful way the world is gradually coloured in just feels incredibly satisfying and fulfilling.

A few frame rate dips and repetition aside, I am so glad I was able to spend time with this game and can shine a spotlight on it. Honestly, it’s the kind of game the world needs right now with the messages it conveys, its unique style, the characters you’ll meet. It’s just lovely.


If you’re feeling upset, frustrated, angry and need a complete palette cleanser to feel a little bit better, Rainbow Billy is an indie game I’d recommend everyone take a moment to play. 


+ A beautiful, heartwarming visual style
+ Lovely messaging behind it all
+ Plenty of content to explore


– Can be quite repetitive with same dialogue choices and actions over and over
– A few frame rate dips

Rainbow Billy: The Curse of the Leviathon is now available on PlayStation, Xbox, Switch and Steam

Played on Xbox Series X

Code Kindly Provided by Skybound

About the author

Sally Willington

Sally is relatively new to gaming since a newfound addiction to Nintendo Switch. Now they just can't stop playing, anything and everything. Sally especially loves a good RPG and thinks that Yuna may just be one of her favourite characters ever.
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