Rest In Pieces
Switch version tested
Review code provided
The Nintendo Switch is no stranger to a good port or two, everything from old console favourites, current-gen big hitters and mobile goodies have all been given a new lease of life on our favourite hybrid, all to varying quality. Itatake now bring their fiendish arcade puzzler Rest In Pieces across after a successful outing on mobile platforms, but is it a smashing success or a crumbling performance? Let’s take a look.
Like all good puzzle-based games the premise is simple, albeit slightly twisted this time round. You play as a porcelain statue representing the character who’s soul has been trapped, you must make your way through a series of nightmare worlds swinging on the end of a string in order to escape your nightmare and awaken. That may sound like a simple task but RIP is deceptively challenging but brilliant in its execution.
RIP is broken down into six nightmares full of various pathways and obstacles that generate in random order and each featuring a sinister antagonist plucked from the realms of horror.
- The Killer Clown
- The Kraken
- The Yeti
- Count Dracula
- Insect Nightmare
Each of these nightmares will contain three characters to save which are suited to the villain. For example, The Killer Clown will feature carnival theme characters such as a trapeze swinger where the Kraken will feature nautical characters such as Pirates. As you are pulled through the nightmare you must swing left and right to avoid the multitude of obstacles in your path, if you hit one you smash to pieces. To awaken from your nightmare you must pass through three checkpoints represented as eyes, once enough eyes have been collected the next nightmare will open to you.
Each character controls very differently, taking the weight and shape into account you will have to master the momentum of each character as they swing back and forth, narrowly avoiding obstacles and enemies is an intense business and the slightest error can see a good run full to pieces right before your eyes. Luckily, there is a slight reprieve in the difficulty, along the way you will collect gem’s which serve as a currency to buy new characters and outfits as well as a revive. Providing you have passed through at least one eye you can revive for a price but this can only be used twice per run with the hardcore challenge being to complete each nightmare with no revives. Some characters will also have special abilities such as a temporary shield or a blast that clears the way but this can only be used once per run.
To say that RIP is a challenging game is an understatement, the challenge ramps up fairly quickly and you will find yourself becoming stuck on a certain world maybe with a certain style character for some time but the game does allow you to keep any gems you pick up per attempt meaning even if you fail miserably you don’t leave the run empty-handed and can still make some form of progression by unlocking another character to try out.
Controls are nice and simple as you would expect from a mobile port, after all, all you are doing is swinging left and right. Using either the left analogue stick or shoulder buttons, ZR and ZL, and A to activate an ability, you can focus all your attention on the path unfolding before you. Music is dark and foreboding, though only one theme plays throughout the levels it set’s the tone more than adequately. Sound effects are few but also effective. When you pass through an eye a flash of light will hit the monster and they will scream and react to your progression. Visuals are a delight, though RIP is a very dark game it balances the shadows and obstacles well enough with your character so you can always clearly see what’s happening in both docked and handheld, this ensures that the challenge is a fair one not because of poor design.
RIP is one of the most creative puzzle games I have played in a long time, something as simple as hanging a character on a bit of string works wonders and delivers a solid challenge in all the right ways. I wouldn’t go as far as to say RIP is a scary game but it is a worthy contender for a survival horror listing, full of close calls and tense moments you will go from clenched buttocks to grinning like Jack Nicholson many times over throughout your time with this one. With plenty of scope for additional nightmares, I mean the game releases on Friday the thirteenth, a hockey mask nightmare wouldn’t go amiss, this is one to keep on your memory card and keep going back to.