Rime: A curious journey that might not be for everyone

Written by Pat Kerley

Rime is an intriguing game. Developed by Tequila Works and published by Grey box and Six Foot, it was released on PlayStation 4, Xbox One and Nintendo Switch. My experience with Rime has left me rather conflicted overall, with regards to presentation and gameplay.

The story of Rime starts off with you as a boy stranded on a beach, from there you explore the island that you have drifted upon as you unravel the boy’s tale and reach a nicely wrapped conclusion. I don’t intend to spoil the story as I feel it really needs to be experienced by those who play, however, I feel that the game fall short in some aspects.

While there are impactful scenes in the game, I never felt attached enough to the characters to appreciate the story to its fullest. I’d put it down to the game’s short length but perhaps the slow beginning into the game could have been reshaped to create a stronger connection with the character.

The presentation of this game is stunning, the lush environments in an incredible style are what makes this game stand out among others. I can’t praise this game enough for just how gorgeous this game truly is and while the game does drop framerate the odd time it doesn’t take much away from the presentation. From a rich desert area where you’re chased by a bird (which is basically the “jaws of the sky”), to the depressing ruins in the finale of the game with shadowy figures surrounding you – it gives off a wonderful sense of atmosphere from the locations you can explore. And all this is exemplified by music, composed by David Garcia Diaz.

Image via IGDB Rime Press Kit

The music is sensational in this game, resonating within me like no other game has done in quite some time, even if you don’t play this game I would highly recommend listing to the soundtrack of Rime. It merges together with what you see on screen so seamlessly and background sounds such as waves or rain complement it in a way I’ve rarely seen done, never thrashing over each other, simply aiding one another.

The whole presentation of this game is beyond exceptional, reminding me of the first time I’d seen a Studio Ghibli film or Cartoon Saloon film, it garners your attention with all it can throw at you and in my humble opinion succeeds in an immeasurable fashion at doing so. This game screams greatness everywhere you look, however it fails in one major department that holds it back from becoming an amazing game, and that is gameplay.

Image via IGDB Rime Press Kit

Rime is a puzzle-platformer that is rather lifeless when it comes to gameplay, the control of the boy is fine at best, it simply gets the job done, he feels stiff and heavy at times making the platforming a chore at some points that it’s a bore. The puzzles don’t fare much better, they are rather simple throughout, with only a handful being slightly difficult but never too taxing on the mind. There are some great concepts for puzzles in there that never go beyond simplistic ways to do them and that is a shame. Throughout the game, you will have a fox for a companion that serves as the way to go if you wish to continue the story, apart from that you will be jumping, climbing and moving objects.

The gameplay is fine, and it never got any better than fine for me. But let that not dissuade you from trying Rime, as it held something much different that I honestly wasn’t expecting from my experience of playing the game, and it was a therapeutic quality unlike any other I’ve experienced gaming, it brought me to a relaxed state of mind.

Exploring this world, taking in its beauty, fantastic sound design and its ravishing music brought utter tranquillity to me at points throughout the time I played, I spent most of my time walking around or taking in the areas I was in, and now I hold this game in my heart as an experience I won’t soon forget.

Overall Rime isn’t a game for everyone, the presentation is spectacular, yet it fails to deliver in the gameplay department with stale platforming and puzzles. It’s a fascinating game, a heap of potential yet it falls from grace. I want to recommend it, based on my personal experience, however with its rather simplistic and lacklustre gameplay I would only recommend it if you see it going cheap somewhere.

If you’re looking for games similar to Rime I would recommend the likes of The Unfinished Swan, Grow Home and The Last Guardian.

Have you played Rime? What score would you give this game? Let us know in the comments below.

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