A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Rime is an exploration adventure game about a young boy stranded on a strange island. He's not armed and doesn't fight any of the creatures that pose a threat to him, though he does find ways to defend himself indirectly, such as creating a lightning storm to stave off the attacks of a giant and hostile bird. He can also perish by falling off cliffs or drowning, though the screen always fades to black before his death is shown.
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What's it about?
In RIME, a boy wakes up on the beach of a mysterious island filled with ruins. This game is an emotional exploration adventure game that was years in the making. The island is broken into a handful of large open-world environments that the boy can freely roam and explore, often with the help of a fox that guides him in the right direction when needed. Each of these areas contains barriers or gates that force players to solve contextual puzzles to progress. Players may need to collect keys, make the boy shout to release energy from statues that can activate devices, or even interact with the island's animal inhabitants by luring them with fruit. There are also plenty of bonus items to find along the way, including keyholes that provide deeper glimpses into the narrative and cute little toys that will play a role in the game's ending. The boy is unarmed and never fights, but as the game progresses, darker elements are added -- including creepy phantasmal figures that haunt the ruins, forcing the boy to defend himself in inventive ways.
Is it any good?
If you don't mind having your heartstrings tugged, you'll have a grand time with this imaginative, sometimes sad, beautifully crafted indie escapade. Rime is a cross between a 3D platformer, a puzzle game, and a poetic adventure. It provides us with fun ways to jump and climb and run around the island looking for new paths and secrets that unlock fun little extras in the main menu. It also delivers a heaping helping of contextual puzzles, some simple, some surprisingly sophisticated. But they're never so complex that a little determination and investigation won't reveal what needs to be done. Among the most straightforward yet most satisfying puzzles are those that involve shadows and the movement of the sun around the earth on both a massive and a tiny scale. These clever conundrums rarely fail to initiate a ripple of delight when solved.
Most players should have no trouble establishing a strong bond with the boy, who displays admirable courage and determination in the face of isolation. That he doesn't resort to any sort of traditional weapon-based violence to defend himself just makes him more likable. The game's designers take a long time to reveal what's really happening on the island, and it's easy to miss important narrative clues along the way, which means some players might finish without fully understanding the story, which would be a shame. But if you take your time working through each level, do your best to find most of the hidden items, and take a moment to think about what everything you're seeing might mean, there's a good chance Rime won’t only satisfy your itch for good puzzles and platforming but charm your heart, too.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about violence in the media. Rime contains little in the way of traditional video game violence, but does its lack of fighting make scenes in which something violent or scary does occur feel more intense?
Talk about what it might be like to wake up without memories. Do you think it would be scary, or do you think you'd be plucky and curious enough to immediately set out on a mission to understand what happened and figure out who you are?
For kids who love emotional stories
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