Shipwrecked on an island and alone with no guidance, its time to experience this beautiful Mediterranean island through the eyes of a young boy, fearless and inquisitive in a vast an open world filled with dangers. This is RIME.
RIME is a very heartfelt single player adventure game that is developed by Tequila Works and published by Grey Boy. You play as a young boy named Enu who awakens on a mysterious island after a torrential storm. The island is very beautiful and is filled with mountains, rivers, forests and a massive tower that immediately captivates your senses and you begin to seek it out in the distance. RIME doesn’t do what most games do, which is bore you with lengthy tutorials and a control system that requires a tertiary qualification to understand, its simple and easy to get going. You play as Enu and you are armed with your voice essentially which you use to call out and sing when needed which I’ll explain a little further down the track.
As I began to explore the Mediterranean island it soon became apparent that there was a host of areas and locations that I could openly explore. No, this is not an open world sandbox game, but once you pass certain checkpoints in a level you cannot go back and explore the area again. This is particularly important for those who are trying to find any collectibles, so bare this in mind. RIME is filled with a host of landscapes with towers and cliffs that can be seen in the distance. The beauty of RIME is your free to explore these and can of course reach these places of interest either by walking, climbing and even swimming. With so much room for exploration how do you find where your next objective is? Well that’s simple, just follow the little fox.
During the first opening level, you will encounter a small orange/red fox that will appear along the main quest path. Her job seems to be to point you in the right direction, in a kind of “follow me and see what’s ahead” type of game. There were a few instances where I felt a little lost and I wasn’t sure where I had to turn next, however in the distance I could hear the fox yelping and I followed the sound until the fox was visible and I was back along the main story path way which was extremely handy.
RIME’s controls are relatively straightforward and make use of the four face buttons and thumbsticks only. For the PlayStation version, the ‘X’ button allows you to jump, climb up ledges and ascend when underwater. The ‘O’ button is used to crouch, roll and drop from ledges and drop objects you are holding. The ‘Square” button is used to interact with objects and finally the “Triangle” button is used for your voice. Depending on where you are, your voice can change. Try using it near an open flame to see what happens. In fact, your voice is one of the key action items that you use in order to progress through RIME which is different to similar adventure titles that have you swinging your sword. In fact, items that are jade in colour can be interacted with by using your voice. Likewise, items that are yellow or gold indicate that they require physical interaction ranging from lifting to pulling and pushing. My favourite involved rolling a large golden ball around a large circle which actually controlled the worlds day and night cycle, sheer brilliance. As you continue to progress through the worlds you will also be able to climb and walk across ledges and platforms. These are clearly marked with a small amount of grass which will allow you to climb and stand on the ledge where necessary.
RIME is filled with some very clever puzzles that involve the use of shadows and objects to light the path ahead. There are a host of hidden doors and entrances that can only be activated by completing the puzzle. For example, I needed to move two objects in line so that when I gazed upon them from the relevant standing position, I was able to line these gold arches up around the doorway and revealing my pathway. Some puzzles may take a while to solve, others are quite simple and RIME does an excellent job of easing you into it throughout your adventure.
RIME also features several forms of collectables that can be discovered throughout your playthrough should you wish. They are not core to the adventure but they do provide additional story content and can even alter the ending of the game. So, despite being optional my advice is to seek them out. RIME’s story which is a solid 7-10 hours depending on your play style can be enjoyed in full without finding any of the collectables.
Graphics & Sound
RIME’s world is beautifully created and uses a cell shaded art style similar to that of the Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker. The use of colour is truly beautiful from the strong orange and yellow colour of the sands, to the crisp blue oceans and the white towers that you can explore. The world is vibrant and alive, and I often found myself pausing to gaze at the beautiful night sky that was filled with an abundance of stars and shooting stars that took my breath away.
In terms of the sound for RIME, there is a beautifully orchestrated tune that plays throughout the game. Given there is no voice acting at all, the game communicates to you the emotions through the various tones with the music. For example, during a boss battle the music pace becomes fast and loud with deep tones that fill you with fear.
There are no multiplayer features with RIME.
RIME is an absolute gorgeous and heartfelt game that I have truly enjoyed experiencing. Seeing the world through a child’s eyes, completely reckless and fearless was something I haven’t experienced in a while. With a host of carefully crafted puzzles, beautiful environments and the use of your voice to interact with the environment is rather unique and I applaud Tequila Works for mixing up the traditional formula here. Although just 7-10 hours, RIME will have you coming back for additional playthroughs as you strive to find all the collectables. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed playing RIME and it’s a game that is both stunning, intriguing and should not be missed.
The version reviewed here was the PlayStation 4 version.