Before I get started with this review, I want to thank Bas de Jonge and Soedesco for their generosity in sending me a review copy of Rising Islands. I truly appreciate the trust and graciousness that they have shown me in allowing me an early copy of their game. I looked up what other games Soedesco are responsible for and was surprised at the amount of indie games they have done. They were in fact responsible for one of the most underrated Gems of 2015, a game called Ziggurat, an fps that had you shooting magic instead of bullets. I can honestly say I hadn’t had that much fun with an fps since the original Doom. Soedesco deserve more credit for their passion and creativity. I cant wait to try Among the Sleep, The last Tinker, Dollhouse, Enki, Wuppo and many of their upcoming games. I know..get to the review already! I honestly just get so excited when I discover a new developer, and wish to share with the mediaman fans.
When I went into this game I really did not know what to expect. I really wanted to like the game, because of the kindness Soedesco showed me and how much I loved Ziggurat. However I knew that I couldn’t just give it a passing grade. I would never want to tell someone something was good if it wasn’t, no matter what the circumstances. So I booted up the game and wished for the best. First thing I noticed was the beautiful cell shaded graphics. The main character looks a whole lot like Korra from The Legend of Korra. This is not a bad thing because I love her character design. The backgrounds were gorgeous. I thought the animation could be little stiff at times, but nothing bothersome. There were a few glitches here and there, nothing game breaking, I just noticed because I am really picky, when it comes to Graphics. The whole game just had this great look to it. Actually reminded a bit of Zelda:Windwaker, especially the grass. Perhaps it makes me quirky but I love great looking grass, it’s right up there with great water effects.
Chaos and Discord ruled the land, but were kept in check by the relics of the Ancients. Soon Chaos will return to the world to destroy it. You play as Hairo a young women who can shift between dimensions using her special ability to traverse the world. Its not an Overly complicated story, but well told. It honestly doesn’t need to be, this game relies more on gameplay then narrative.
Audio – 7/10
This was the weakest part of the game. The main background music was fine, it just kept looping over and over again. Our protagonist was silent most of the game. There were a few Audio glitches I noticed, it was mostly functional. Not bad, but not great.
Gameplay – 9/10
This to me is where this game really shines. Hairo needed to shift between dimension’s to get through the environment. There were blue and red objects through out the land. In order to shift through Red objects you need to change your self to blue and blue objects you needed to be red. If you wanted to run up walls you had to be the same color as the strip running up or around the wall. There was also electricity. if it was blue you needed to be red and vice versa. It added a lot of fun and challenge to this game. This was a challenging game, but never unfair. When I died it was because I was being careless or trying new tings out to solve a puzzle. There was never a point where I felt cheated or wanted to throw the controller. Part of what helped me be calm about my deaths were the generous checkpoints, you never had to go to far back to retry. The other part was how solid the platforming felt. It really needed to be solid, it wasn’t uncommon to need to shift through .a red or blue block, wall run, pass through electrical fields, land on the correct color and keep going. I died a lot, but I was having so much fun I didn’t mind. I love being challenged as long as I am not being challenged by bad level design. Whenever I passed a tough puzzle I got this incredible sense of satisfaction. There is a certain flow to the gameplay, when you get into the rhythm it just feels fantastic.
FInal Score – 8/10
I highly recommend you give this game a try. I could tell this really was a labor of love. The platforming was solid, the puzzles were challenging and switching between dimensions not only looked cool, but it added a whole new element to the gameplay. I plan on eventually going back to try to do a speed run.
Family Friendly score – 10/10
I found absolutely nothing bad in this game, anyone can play it as long as they are up for a challenge.