Controls in a precision, difficult platformer game are crucial to its success. Get it right and you’ll be praised forever. Get it wrong and you’ll leave your players with blood that boils to the brim. That can be often down to a players preference though and here’s where I’d like to caveat my review. It appears I am in the minority on this one so please do read and watch around before taking my word on Rift Racoon. I raged at it – but it could also be a large case of ‘get gud’.
Rift Racoon has two key mechanics to make it stand out. The first is a neat and cute wall scramble mechanic. When the racoon grabs onto a wall he’ll slide down it a little and then scramble up it to gain height. A lot of level design early on is built with this in mind and it is cute to see and interesting to play. Many spikes you need to avoid on walls mean that you have to land on specific places as that downslide before you climb means you can slide into spikes and die.
The main mechanic though is teleportation. Pressing that button gives you a shadow of yourself and then with the d-pad you can choose if you teleport in any of the four compass directions. This gets you through walls. Then with a jump and teleport you can go up and down levels and the game quickly then adds recharge pads for you to teleport and jump around on to traverse giant spike pits. It is challenging and exacting as one move and you are dead. I turned on the easy mode that gives you two hits and was still respawning all the time.
There is one key issue I struggled with control wise that ruined the game for me though. You only get one teleport and jump per go until you either land on the ground or hit a recharge pump in the air. The problem with this is you decide your teleporting direction – teleport – and then need to switch direction or do something else after. I just could not get my racoon to do the second part of the action properly. I feel like I may have been changing direction too soon as I’d teleport into the wall or floor. I’d then press the controls later and watch the racoon slide to his death. I just wanted to scream at it – I was infuriated. I went online to see if others had the same issue and I couldn’t see anyone else mentioning it so maybe it was just me.
Sadly though, that utterly ruined Rift Racoon. Every level was a struggle to traverse and not a fun struggle, a rageful one. I got to level 35 of 50 and gave up. There is no point playing a game that you have to fight so aggressively. I hope other gamers get on better with it though as the teleportation idea is neat and Rift Racoon does add a few other twists per world to keep things fresh. One for the hardcore platform lovers only. Let me know if you’ve had a better experience with it than me.
Review copy provided by publisher.
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