Available On: PS4, Xbox One, Switch, PC
Publisher: Grey Box Games
Developer: Tequila Works
Genre: Adventure, Puzzle, Indie
Official Site: RiME
Release Date: May 26th, 2017
Where To Buy It: Steam, PlayStation Store, Microsoft Store, Switch Store, Local Retailers ($19.99-$29.99)
It is very rare for a game to take an emotional hold on the gamer. Not just emotional like your favorite character dying, but emotional in the way that the story sticks with you long after you are done playing. RiME is a perfect example of a game like this. This project from Tequila Works is a beautiful game that is not only both fun and challenging but will leave you feeling something as the credits begin to roll. I will warn you ahead of time, go into the game as blindly as you can. The best way to play the game is to go in without a whole lot of information on the game’s basis.
RiME is the story about a young boy who wakes up on the shore of a deserted island after a devastating storm has left you shipwrecked. Along with your smarts and the help of your spirit fox friend, you must solve the puzzles and challenges of the island to discover the secrets it holds. In short, this is a game all about discovery, and the game encourages you to explore the island as much as you can. While exploring the vast island is a lot of fun, I would highly encourage you to save the collectible hunting for your second playthrough. When you begin the game for the first time, just play it and enjoy it; worry about the trophies and achievements later because you will not want miss what this amazing game has to offer.
Aside from having a meaningful, thought-provoking story, RiME is just a lot of fun to play and it controls really well. When it comes to puzzle games, I hate when the puzzles are so difficult that it kills the enjoyability of the game. However, RiME creates a perfect balance. Its puzzles are challenging and require you to really focus and think about the environment that you are in. In my own playthrough, I constantly felt achieved after solving a puzzle and had fun the entire time doing it. As I have already mentioned, let your first playthrough of RiME be about the story and the world instead of finding collectibles. In the beginning, I really wanted to find them all but slowly found myself caring about them less and less as I got into the meat of the story.
The cel-shaded world of the mysterious island is bright and colorful, and the style really lends itself to the game well. However, the graphics are my biggest (and really only) complaint about the game. During my entire playthrough, the framerate kept dropping continually. At first, it was easy to overlook, but it was harder to ignore as the game progressed. Aside from the low framerates, quite a few of the creatures would glitch in and out of the environment. Thankfully, none of these glitches affected the gameplay at all, but it did start to get annoying after a bit. I have heard that this is a problem more geared toward those playing it on consoles versus the PC version.
Ultimately, the developers really took full advantage of every storytelling device they had while making RiME. The soundtrack for the game is fantastic, and upon finishing the game, the first thing I wanted to do was download the soundtrack. Even Lindsey Stirling, a violinist known for her covers, worked with them on the track called “The Forgotten City”. The soundtrack is a huge factor in how the story is told, mostly because there is no dialogue, and it does its job well. This is probably one of my favorite gaming soundtracks ever, and this is an excellent example of how developers should use music and sound in their game’s design.
All in all, RiME is really something you need to experience for yourself. I can talk about the soundtrack, bright art style, and fun gameplay all day, but what truly sets this game apart is its story of emotional discovery. And now, it is time for you to discover RiME on your own!
- Gameplay: RiME plays like a traditional puzzle-platformer that is smooth and easy to play. The puzzles are fun and challenging without making you want to rip your hair out (I’m looking at you, Breath of the Wild!)
- Graphics: The game is bright and colorful with beautifully stylized environments. However, on the console edition of the game, the framerate continually dropped and the creatures in the world would glitch through the environments.
- Sound: This soundtrack is fabulous and does all the right things when it comes to moving the story along. It really does its part in setting the tone and pace for the story.
- Presentation: Overall, RiME, much like Journey or ABZU, is much more than a game. The developers took full advantage of every asset they had to create this emotional journey that will leave you thinking about it way after you are done playing. RiME is a game that nobody should miss.
- Fun, challenging puzzles
- Colorfully stylized environments
- Fantastic soundtrack
- Emotionally driven story
- Framerates kept dropping
- Glitchy creatures and environments