Rime

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Washed up on an island, you awake to explore and discover.

Rime
Developer: Tequila Works
Publisher: Grey Box, Six Foot
Platform: Playstation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, Windows PC
Genre: Puzzle
Players: 1
Rating: E 10+

More and more I find myself being drawn to these random, quirky, games when deciding what to play. Without being too hasty, I still play a lot of the standards (see the excessive hours I put into Overwatch or The Binding of Isaac), but I find myself having a great time with these quiet oddballs. And that’s where I am with Rime, a puzzle based game that, rather than focusing on heavy action sequences and intense edge of your seat gaming, is a nice relaxing stroll. Without going much furthers, I will try to limit the amount of spoilers in this breakdown. I will avoid major story points and talk to the experience rather than the story, but some things may slip out. Read at your own risk.

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Wake up, time to get to work.

So where to begin? In writing this article, I started just how you start in Rime. In Rime you awake to find yourself on the beach of a beautiful island, with nothing to your name and no real ambitions. It’s at this point I’m going to talk about the graphics and style of this game. To me, I love the looks. It’s a lot like that of Firewatch or Windwaker. Simple and Cartoonish, yet it still looks great and fits within the game. It’s also a testament to what can be done with story and gameplay, without getting bogged down in having hyper realistic graphics. Some might pass over this game based entirely on graphics, which is a real shame.

Okay, now that I’m off of that soap box let’s get exploring! Without giving too much away (but it is a bit of the story), one of the first areas you reach is an altar of sorts with foxes around the edge. Here’s where one of the major mechanics of this game shows up! A brief cut scene plays, and shows leaves dancing on the wind, and flying by/pointing out matching statues to the foxes you see before you. So without saying a word, your first objectives appear before you organically and you’re curious to how/what is causing this. This type of show not tell for progressing the story was done extremely well in my opinion with this game. This is the first example of the non-verbal story telling used, but there are three other techniques used. The first of these is which I’ll touch on next.

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What is this place?

After your have found all the statues you are greeted by your companion who tags along for the rest of the game. A small, seemingly magical fox, that will bark, whimper, whine, and growl to guide you in your journey. Seeing as this guy is used in all the trailers, and a lot of promotional material, it’s not a big spoiler. That and you find him very early on makes it not too much of a spoiler. And while traveling you become attached, which I’m sure was planned. It just worked so well in my case.

At this point there is a lot of exploring and puzzle solving. The main challenge aspect of this game is solving the puzzles of the island. This is done by using your voice/song to activate and interact with objects on the island. I say voice, but I don’t mean spoken word. To go along with our non-verbal story, our protagonist doesn’t speak so much as hum. And it works well. By solving these puzzles, you get to new areas and can do more and more things. And as far as the story goes, this is about as far as I can go without spoiling a lot of what I think made the story great. Sorry, but if you are interested, I think it’s much more worth playing than being told.

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Thanks friend!

But wait, I said there were more story telling techniques! Why yes avid reader, I did. So these boil down to two different techniques. The first are the emotions of your character. They are all worn on the sleeve of the character, and you are very aware of how he is feeling and it helps to make you feel the same way. Second is through imagery in the different areas. In various spots, you will find big works of art showing the area and what needs to be done or what has happened. Once again, no words are spoken, but all of the ideas that are needed get conveyed and it works very well.

So where does this leave me on Rime? Well I enjoyed this game a lot. It told a great story, made you care about your character, and for me, surprised me with the final outcome of the game. That being said, it’s not for everybody. It is a single player game, meant for story only. I also felt that the puzzles were very simple. For me, I was enjoying the story so much I didn’t care that it wasn’t too challenging. For others, it’s just not challenging enough for them to enjoy, which I can understand. All in all, I would recommend Rime if you want a story driven game, that can be played at a slow pace, with low stress.

Pros:

  • Excellent story.
  • Fun art style.
  • Easy going.
  • Developed attachment to main character.

Cons:

  • Shorter than I wanted.
  • Puzzles seemed overly simple.

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