Riverbond – Review

Riverbond was brought into my life via the excellent Xbox Games Pass program, and for me has been one of the hidden gems I’ve been able to find while trawling through the 100s on games on offer. A top down adventure game in a pixel world, your job is to work through the worlds completing the tasks at hand. Once each objective is complete you can make it to the gate to move on to the next part of the world, all leading up to finishing with a final boss.

I loved the style of the game and how it was designed, I must admit though that the objectives you had to complete throughout were…. I won’t say easy, but simplistic, you can see that the game has been designed mainly for a younger generation. It would be things like activating this or destroy so many parts of a fort and then you were able to move on, you could easily move through this game within a couple of hours.

On a technical level the game was quite solid, I had one or two frame drops here and there but nothing major and not of the offputting variety. The only thing that annoyed me was that you couldn’t just walk up one level blocks, you had to jump, it was particularly annoying when dropping down when fighting something and it caused you to get caught, which caused no end of problems, especially in the heat of battle. It would have been nice to have been able to move freely up the one block inclines so that things like getting caught out etc didn’t happen. Especially in the later levels when the enemies were a little trickier.

Speaking of the enemies, there was a nice balance on them, not too hard to defeat once you had a plan together (this is particularly aimed at the final bosses, and the harder mid bosses). Once you knew there strategy and how they went about things, it was easy enough the dodge and move about and get little jabs in now and then and get their health down at a decent pace. Basically, it was more about having patience than anything else, or, if you didn’t have to fight them, running past.

Achievements within Riverbond were very easy to get, but some could have been easily missed as there were a lot of achievements about speaking to certain individuals in certain levels, some of these I did miss first time round but went back to mop up and it turned out to be an easy 1100G.

I loved the weapons that you could find in Riverbond, mainly because some of them were absolutely nuts, but good nuts, like a fine pistachio. You could have bear claws for hands which acted as a dual wielding type of weapon, you could slap enemies with a giant hand, which again was quite funny, you had a basic sword and other sword variants to pick up, oh yeah and a gun that shoots rainbows, because you know, it’s the sort of thing to have. I loved the quirkiness about the weapons and always looked forward to see what I would get next from a chest.

Is there any replayability in Riverbond, this is a yes and no type of question. Yes, because you can go back do each level again and try and beat your previous score, no, because if like me once you had the achievements and beat the game, I really don’t see me playing it again. I’m not the type of person who would go back and try and beat a score, some people out there might, but me, no.

Would I recommend Riverbond? If you’re looking for something quirky that will kill a couple of hours yes. It’s fun, the variety of weapons on offer put a smile on my face, mainly cause I could be clawing someone one minute, to be slapping someone else around the face the next. 

Its got beautifully designed worlds, plenty of variety in enemies which can cause a shake up in tactics and if you have Xbox Games Pass, its free, double bonus.  

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