Some of the best video games that I’ve ever played have been those that I have had no prior knowledge of. You know, the ones that make you wonder how you’ve never heard of them before. Rime is the latest example of this exact scenario. Rime is an adventure puzzle video game developed by Tequila Works, it released in 2017.
The player controls a young boy that has washed ashore on a picturesque abandoned island. As the boy you can run, climb, carry objects, and push or pull larger objects across the island’s landscapes. The player can also have the boy shout or sing, which can trigger certain events tied to nearby statues, such as causing a door to open for a limited length of time.
You’re free to explore the mysterious landscape. However, soon enough the boy comes across a magical fox that leads you to your objectives. The player solves various environmental puzzles, some of which are based on perspective.
Throughout the journey, you’ll travel to 5 unique environments. Along the way, you’ll see a caped figure in the distance. No matter what you do, you can never seem to catch this strange being. During the game, the boy has recollections of why he came to the island. As you progress, it starts to become clear that most of what you experience is a metaphor for something else entirely. I won’t say much more, this isn’t one that I would want to spoil for anyone.
I’ll get straight to the point, Rime is the best video game that I have played in quite some time. This is for a variety of reasons. The most obvious reason being that visually it’s absolutely stunning. As soon as you awaken on that beach and witness the day/night cycle, you’ll know what I mean. Each new environment is beautifully designed. Unfortunately, there isn’t much freedom to explore them other than searching for optional collectables. Still, simply traversing the environment is a wonderful experience. Some areas can feel somewhat intimidating due to the impressive sense of scale. However, not once did I feel lost or unsure about where I should be going.
For the most part, the puzzles throughout the game are quite simplistic. Sure, some may stump you for a moment but none stall the momentum for long. The puzzles are well designed and satisfying to complete. Sadly, they are probably Rime’s weakest aspect. This is due to the lack of variety, things can start to feel repetitive quite early on.
If there were to be one aspect that surpassed the visuals or story then it would have to be the soundtrack that accompanies them. Genuinely, it is something special. Rime wouldn’t have the special ambience or be as emotive as it is without its spectacular music. Listening to it play as you roam around can only be described as magical.
The story depends heavily on using the different environments as metaphors for certain emotions or stages. I felt completely intrigued throughout even though it can feel like you’re being given very little to go on. Gameplay wise, I found the climbing to be really good. Also, the mechanic that involves the boy using only vocal sounds is truly unique.
Overall, Rime is a work of art. At times, it reminded me of games such as Journey which is testament to how good it is. I’m honestly surprised I haven’t heard about it until I stumbled across it. It’s a huge shame it isn’t getting much recognition. I have no doubts that it will be one that I will never forget.
The Final Score - 9/10
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