RIME (PS4, Xbox One, Switch, PC)

You are a boy who has been shipwrecked on an island filled with mystical ruins.  It’s your job to solve the puzzles in these ruins to discover their secrets.  Why?  Well, you’ve got nothing else better to do, I guess.  RIME is a 3-D action adventure puzzle game available for PS4, Xbox One, Switch, and PC, but reviewed on PS4 here.

For such a scrawny little boy, your main character here is certainly athletic.  He can run, jump, roll, climb up certain ledges, and pick up and move some objects.  The only other thing he can do in the game is yell.  Some of the puzzles are sound activated so you’ll have to shout to solve them.  Other puzzles involve you tinkering with switches, light and shadow, day and night, and even perspective.

The game reminds me a lot of titles like ICO, Shadow of the Colossus, and The Last Guardian.  Many of the puzzles are like something you’d see in a Zelda game, too.  So if you wished for more of those intricate dungeons missing from Breath of the Wild, then RIME may fill that void.  And some of the isolated island areas make me think of Myst, too.  Graphics are crisp and clear, and even remind me of Wind Waker in a few spots.

RIME does have a few problems here and there.  Goals and objectives are oftentimes unclear.  You do have a little fox companion to guide you, but he’s not always helpful.  I think the only reason why I was able to figure out the game so quickly is that I had a fantastic demo session of the game at PAX South this past year to help get me started.  The game is also a tad short, with only four main big areas. But there are plenty of secrets and goodies to find in each area, so replay value is high. And it’s a bit buggy, too.  There were a couple of times I would respawn in weird places, and once I even had to restart at the last checkpoint.

But other than that, this is a fantastic game and it held my interest all the way through.  The environments are beautiful, the puzzles are clever, and the ending is one of the most emotional ones I’ve ever seen in a video game.  Definitely a gem you won’t want to pass up.

Kid Factor:

RIME is rated E-10 with an ESRB descriptor of Fantasy Violence.  You don’t really fight anything, but there are a couple of monsters who can impede your progress.  But the game will fade out before seeing your character get hurt, and then you just start close to where you were before.  Even though the game isn’t that violent, there are some characters that may frighten young children.  Reading skill is helpful for some of the menu text, but not necessary just to play as the game has no words in it.  Younger gamers may need help with the puzzles and tougher jumps, though.  And the ending is SUPER SAD, so if you beat this game in front of your kids, be prepared for a long discussion about death and moving on.

One Response to “RIME (PS4, Xbox One, Switch, PC)”

  1. Some unclear objectives for sure, but I felt that was part of its charm. You had to figure it all out on your own, making you explore the world. I’d say it didn’t take me too long to figure out everything. I never got hung up on anything. Well, except this one part where I couldn’t run fast enough from the giant bird. I finally managed it though.

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