Back in May of this year, Developer Tequila Works released the adventure puzzle title Rime for the Playstation 4, Xbox One and PC. Our very own Scott Clark reviewed the game on Xbox One during release and came out a bit mixed on the experience. While I personally was very much interested in playing Rime, I wanted to wait until the release of the Nintendo Switch version to play it. A game like Rime seemed to be a great fit for Nintendo’s versatile console and my desire to explore this game’s world in bed with a pair of headphones was too great to ignore.
Six months later, Tequila Works has finally dropped the Nintendo Switch version of the game. I spent my weekend playing through the entirety of this adventure. I don’t want to spend too much time discussing the intricacies of the game since it was already covered, nor will I assign it a score, but I will give my take on the game and the Nintendo Switch version for those who were waiting to play Rime there.
As a quick refresher, Rime is an adventure title where players take control of a young boy stranded in a world by himself. With the aid of a small fox and equipped with his singing voice, the boy explores the world around him by climbing, jumping and solving puzzles. The game has no dialog nor does it lay the story out for the player. Everything is interpreted by the game’s visuals and art design. Even though the game does not give the player any direction, the developers did an excellent job at guiding the player by simply being observant.
Unlike Scott, I very much enjoyed my time with Rime. While I thought the solutions to most puzzles were very obvious and didn’t take much thought, I still enjoyed solving them. The art design can be breath-taking at times and the environments are fun to explore. The game does start to take a more linear approach in the second half as opposed to the first half’s more open, exploration heavy design which I preferred to the latter. The musical score is beautiful and the game presents some pretty emotional moments that tend to tug on the heart strings. Overall, Rime is a great cross between a Team Ico game and Sony’s moving adventure Journey and I highly recommend it.
Unfortunately, the experience falls short on the Nintendo Switch. It’s obvious with the long delay that Tequila Works struggled to get this game running properly on Nintendo’s console. In handheld mode, the game is very blurry and jaggy, which takes away from the game’s beautiful presentation. I was stuck on one puzzle late into the game that I knew the solution to, but couldn’t complete it because an object I had to grab was so dark and blurry that I didn’t even see it. For a game that relies heavily on its presentation, these issues really hurt the experience.
If you dock your Switch, the game smooths out a bit, but the frame-rate will tank in larger areas more-so than it does in handheld mode. The game targets 30 frames per second but often drops below that in larger, effects-heavy areas. A few platforming segments were made more difficult than they should have been as a result of random frame hangs too.
Also, areas that transition into new locations struggle to stream data, resulting in some ugly hitching and jerking that can last upwards to a minute or two. As a result, the transition to new areas isn’t as seamless as it should be. I’m not sure if this is a result of the weaker hardware or an un-optimized game engine, but we’ve seen games like Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild handle this just fine without any hitching. Regardless, it’s a problem that doesn’t happen too often, but often enough to become a nuisance.
Rime is a fantastic little adventure game that lasts around six hours total. It isn’t very challenging but offers an experience certainly worth experiencing. That being said, I would highly recommend playing Rime on the Playstation 4, Xbox One or PC instead of the Nintendo Switch due to visual and performance issues. If you only own a Switch or really want the portability, by all means still give Rime a spin, but I would recommend waiting for a sale on this one if you do.
Rime was reviewed on the Nintendo Switch with a copy provided by the publisher.