Game Preview: RiME

Step into the mystery of a lost civilization, a young boy’s quest, and a curious fox.

RiME is an adventure, puzzle and platforming game from developer Tequila Works that starts off with a boy waking up on a mysterious island after a shipwreck. These shores seem as unfamiliar to the protagonist as they are to the player. You will explore the ruins of a fallen civilization and piece together what you can from the murals strewn about the island but all is not lost as a curious fox guides you through the world’s puzzles.

RiME-screenshots-8
The puzzles in RiME range from simple doors to massive irrigation systems.

Gameplay

Progressing through the world will require you to trigger platforms and doors using, like any other platformer doing things in the right order, or at the right time are key. Many of the puzzles are based on the mysterious statues scattered about that can amplify sound. Setting them off can trigger chain reactions as the sound wave travels away. Light is another important tool, manipulating your shadow or even the time of day.

We had a chance to play the demo at PAX South and were quite taken with its presentation. Many of the puzzles are rather typical of platform puzzle games including time challenges, jumping puzzles but Tequila Works promises many more “unique challenges” throughout the game. Outside of the fox and occasionally a mysterious figure in red, leading you in the right direction, RiME does very little handholding for the player. Which is rather pleasant, it allows you to get a bit lost in this world and encourages exploration and experimentation. It is not a world you would mind taking a few extra minutes in either.

RiME has vibrant colors and a sweeping score. The ruins you will explore are a fantastic bright white but all the colors stand out, even the night sky shines impressively. The painted backdrops are simple but still striking. Tequila Works has used the Unreal Engine 4 to enhance their artwork and bring this island to life. The sound design perfectly supports the game’s setting. David García Díaz has composed a powerful instrumental score that has great range. It can be playful and grandiose. The kind of music that you would want while exploring a lost civilization.

Final Thoughts

The sound and light puzzles in RiME feel natural with its world and they can be quite fun to solve, at least from the small part of the game we enjoyed. The game drops just enough hints about the mysterious story to keep you engaged. The anthropologist in me was particularly enthralled as I analyzed every mural for clues to who these people once were.

There is a serenity in RiME that makes it a joy to play even if some of the puzzles don’t seem obvious at first. It looks beautiful and the soundtrack immerses you in this mysterious world but helping you feel the grandeur of this once great civilization. We can’t wait to play more when it hits systems in May.

RiME will be available for The Nintendo Switch, PC, PS4, & Xbox One May 2017.

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