Heroism comes naturally in Rift Adventure, where the rise of ancient evil is a constant threat.
When your partner and closest friend is kidnapped by evil, it’s time to take up arms and hear the call to adventure. A town of civilized animal villagers lies peacefully in the wilderness when chaos erupts in the form of monsters from beneath the earth as an ancient evil awakens opening portals in its wake. Only by defending the town and it’s inhabitants will you be able to save your adventuring companion and close the dangerous rifts before all is lost in Rift Adventure.
Rift Adventure from GameBrew Studios is a 2D action platformer with pixel art graphic style, where the peaceful village of Fanney is besieged by an evil dark lord. The treasure hunting heroes of the village are an adventurous rabbit named Askius and his female feline accomplice Krinis. After a dive into the ruined caves of Vathos turns bad, the evil spirit awakens and kidnaps Krinis as a prisoner. Askius must now explore the opened rift portals and fight his way through tombs full of evil monsters in search of his friend and partner and to put an end to the evil they have awakened.
This adventure goes beyond the expectations of an average hack and slash dungeon crawl through the town of Fanny’s level system. As Askius and eventually Krinis explore levels, their spoils are returned to the town by selling of gemstones and through taxes collected from your purchases. When the economy is good your goods will sell at better prices and new goods will appear as the town prospers. There is also a black market that appears in town and In levels where taxes are evaded and don’t contribute to villages prosperity. As time passes the village faces monster attacks that will lower the city’s level if not repelled.
Simple controls are easy to understand as you’re introduced to the town and its inhabitants. It’s important to use facilities like the healer, blacksmith and restaurant that offer benefits like weapons, restore health, and purchase food items you can take into the caves.
While the intuitive controls are easy to pick up, the balanced challenge is presented beautifully in the combat and level design. The double jump requires careful timing to land correctly on platforms or to dodge attacks during boss battles. A special dash move allows Askius to avoid hazards and enemies and is especially useful because attacking from behind deals extra damage.
Similar to classic console platformers or the early Prince of Persia games, there are no mid-stage checkpoints and stages have to be completed fully without dying. Levels are of a digestible size, with timed runs able to be completed in minutes with enough practice. However, the platforming and monsters require an amount of focus and well timed execution that makes returning to the village in one piece an especially rewarding experience.
While the village of Fanney makes a great adventure setting, maintaining the city’s level doesn’t equal the challenge of clearing the stages themselves. There are 5 levels of the city’s prosperity and it rarely makes a difference to use the black market unless there’s one in the middle of a stage. While the attacks on the city are an intense struggle that adds depth to the story and gameplay, there won’t be much cause for stress if the village goes down a level.
Another soft spot for Rift Adventure would have to be its sound effects and music. The sound design for effects actions like dashing, jumping, grabbing coins, and landing attacks comes off as mismatched, or at least uninspired. This is especially true for the paper shredding sound used for Askius’ dash. The music selections feature some pretty catchy melodies but feel looped a little too soon and would benefit from longer more dynamic arrangements. While these sound quirks don’t distract too much from the experience, using songs or instruments in support of a common theme or mood would’ve paired well with the gameplay, characters, and storytelling.
Rift Adventure packs a lot into what looks like a fairly simple game. The 2-D combat shines as challenging yet simple strategies are employed to defeat various monsters. While there may not be an excess of enemies or environments, the reward feels significant for overcoming the obstacles presented by the rifts, and the vending villagers in town are as helpful as their characters are adorable. Rift Adventure will reward the brave and charm fans of pixel art and classic platforming action.
Simple yet challenging controls and 2D combat.
City defense adds variety and story depth.
Adorable animal characters.
Some mismatched sound effects.
Music loops lack a common mood or theme.
Not much variety in enemies or environments.
4 out of 5
Review key provided by QUByte interactive. Rift Adventure is out now!