Rime review

Don’t you just hate it when you wake up on a desert island not knowing who you are or why you got there? Must have been a rough night! That’s exactly what’s happened to this cel-shaded critter and over a game lasting around 6 hours you have to move him around the island and its associated towers and indoor areas to find out why you are there, who you are and just who that person in a red cape is who’s always just out of reach!

Rime is essentially a 3rd-person puzzle game. There isn’t a tonne of peril in the game apart from the occasional creature that forms part of a puzzle or a great height, and the good news is that if you die, you’re instantly put back where you were so you’re not punished too much for making a mistake. Puzzles take on a variety of forms. There are looking towers you must peer through in order to match shapes so you can open doors or collect items, there are numerous things you have to shout at so you can release spirits or whatever they are so they can unlock doors, and there are blocks to be pushed around and keys to collect so you can open doors and access new areas. While these puzzles aren’t anywhere near the realm of a game such as Portal, they do make you scratch your head sometimes until you eventually work out what you need to do.

There is no dialogues in the game, so everything is suggested to you as you’re gently nudged towards the right direction. You’re also helped out by what seems to be your spirit guide. A cute fox that jumps around and tells you where you need to go and yaps at you if it’s out of sight and you don’t know where to turn next.

The atmosphere of this game is great and something you may have experienced before if you’v e played Ico, Journey or The Wind Waker. The island and its waters are beautiful in a cartoony kind of way, the sun rises and sets casting shadows and orange hues on everything, and the lighting is lovely when weird magical things happen. The music is also very soothing, mainly violins playing throughout and punctuating the action.

It’s a shame then that the frame rate hasn’t been optimised. In wide open areas the frames really do drop, despite there not being a lot of obvious smoke effects or particles stressing out the console. It really does spoil what is a very good looking game.

Rime is a decent puzzle game which is very relaxing to play. I do recommend it if you’re looking for something to please your eyes and ears and tax your brain. My only reservation is there are other games out there with better puzzles and more variety, and that frame rate issue really does take the shine off things. It gets 7 out of 10.

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