A BIT OFF RHYTHM
Rime is a beautifully somber puzzle-adventure by Tequila Works that aims to provide an emotional experience similar to Journey and The Witness. However, even with intriguing locations and a moving score, Rime offers an unimpressive package that falls short of its promise.
Rime starts off with a familiar synopsis: You wake up in an unfamiliar island where a young adventurer must solve environmental puzzles to gradually piece together why and how he’s there. Through this eight-hour experience the protagonist doesn’t speak, so storytelling is primarily focused on characters’ expressions and the allusions created through the music.
With the protagonist ultimately falling flat, the score in of itself becomes an intriguing character. The orchestrated score becomes dynamic with its ebbs and flows, so much so that it creates a stronger emotional attachment than the actual little boy. Plus, there’s a bunch of cute (and not so cute) creatures sprinkled throughout the island that add a bit more flare to the adventure.
The moving score within Rime is further complimented by its art style. Blending The Witness and The Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker, the beautiful aesthetic makes it a joy just to explore the island. Walking, climbing, and swimming across the terrain presents stunning shots and momentous panoramic views. Exploration can help discover various collectibles that reward clues, outfits, and medleys from the world – a nice addition to players who want to delve deeper into the ominous story. Sadly, the framerate on PlayStation 4 became erratic and noticeably slowed down, marring my motivation to explore the fringes of the island.
Even with these stunning moments, the actual gameplay of Rime suffers. Puzzles, the primary method of advancing the story, are largely uninspired and don’t offer any significant challenge. The vast majority of them are more tedious than thought-provoking and become chores to muddle through the island. Repetition quickly becomes boring, though some puzzles involving a day/night cycle with shadows offer interesting solutions. If the repetitive nature was minimized, Rime’s time could very well be cut in half for a much more succinct experience.
The Verdict: 7.0 Out of 10
Rime is a good experience that explores a mysterious island layered with secrets. The beautiful art style paired with its moving score suffers from uninspired puzzles and characters. The mystery of Rime is an admirable attempt to reach an emotional crescendo, but never truly lands the mark .
This game was reviewed on PlayStation 4. For more information about what the score means, check out our official review scale.