Available on: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Steam
Genre: Action-adventure, Hack-and-slash Dungeon Crawler
Version Tested: PlayStation 4
Official Site: Riverbond
Release Date: June 9th, 2019
Where to Buy: PlayStation Store, Microsoft Store, Steam
The Tale Begins…
Don’t you just love when a game makes you feel nostalgic? I always find something really special about a game which makes me reminisce on the gaming adventures of my childhood, and Riverbond does exactly that. Full of fun hack-and-slash destruction reminiscent of the Lego games and the pixelated beauty of Minecraft, this clever little indie takes those elements and creates a charming experience entirely its own. And it will make you smile the whole time!
Riverbond is a classic story of good versus evil. As the hero of this story, it is your job to rid this beautiful land of the ultimate evil and baddies which have taken over. This hack-and-slash dungeon crawler features a totally destructible world made with voxel elements. Each level has a unique theme with different enemies and plenty of fun weapons and skins to collect. Chilling on the couch with a friend or playing by yourself, there are hours and hours of fun to be had in destroying the carefully-crafted world and its aggravating baddies.
Going On An Adventure!
There is a lot to celebrate about Riverbond, but what stands out most to me is the charming character encapsulated in every element of the game. Let’s start with just your character, shall we? When it comes to skins, there is definitely one for everyone. From sprinkled doughnuts to adorable pugs to skins from popular games like Lovers in a Dangerous Spacetime, Guacamelee, Shovel Knight and more, you’ll find a skin to match your personality, and it doesn’t stop there. From giant bear hands to jester scepters and katanas, there are weapons to tickle your funny bone while delivering ultimate devastation.
The hack-and-slash elements of Riverbond are spot on. Whether hacking through hordes of enemies or taking pure enjoyment from devastating an area to the ground, it feels exactly like you’d want it to. Especially with friends, this simple gameplay makes for a good time. Even better, each set of levels basically works as their own world containing a boss, so it’s perfect for a quick-gaming session or an all-day affair. Paired with great music and sound design and beautifully colored environments, Riverbond has everything going for it.
No Journey is Perfect
With that being said, Riverbond does have a few bumps along the way. My main issues revolved around projectiles. Throughout every level, your character is equipped with a blaster along with some sort of melee weapon. If you are shooting something up close, it isn’t bad. But shooting at enemies who can’t be reached otherwise, it takes a while to get set up.
However, where the blaster has the ability to slow you down, it’s quite the opposite for any enemies. I slowly resigned myself to accept the fact that I would die about 20 times to a horde of enemies with projectiles as I slowly picked them off. They shoot much more quickly then you; so fast in fact that it’s likely you may not even get a hit in. Luckily though, on this account, there are no limits on lives, and the levels are small enough that you don’t feel like you’re doing a lot of backtracking.
The levels feel somewhat repetitive, but I didn’t find it as a glaring flaw. Each level is set up with an objective: kill a certain number of enemies, free prisoners, collect a certain number of something, etc. While some times they don’t make a whole lot of sense in how these objectives apply to the overall world, it doesn’t make them any less fun or enjoyable.
All in all, Riverbond is a simple game, but there is definitely strength in that simplicity. There is a ton of fun to be had in this colorful adventure, and I would highly encourage you to enjoy it with a friend. It’s quirky character and highly nostalgic elements make this a great game to pick up and play whenever you have an itch for something fun and fast. And once you start it up, the fantastic music and colorful landscapes will weep you away….until you have to use that blaster.
Verdict: There is a lot to enjoy about Riverbond. It is a classic hack-and-slash through and through, and it is super easy to get lost in destroying everything you come across. The game is gorgeous and boasts enemies and levels with unique and colorful designs. With its multitude of fun skins and hilarious weapons, this game is full of character. However, somewhat repetitive level designs which don’t do much for the story and hard-to-use abilities dim this otherwise enjoyable experience.
- Colorful world which is a blast to destroy
- Lots of fun skins
- Hours of hack and slash fun
- Great music and great character
- Blasters are really hard to use
- Any enemy with a projectile will kill you a thousand times
- Repetitive level designs
Shelby loves horror, animals with short, stubby legs, and PlayStation exclusives. When she isn’t here writing, her nose is often stuck in a book or hacking people in Overwatch.