Indie Review: Rochard
Rochard is another physics puzzle side scroller, but that's where the similarity ends. It separates itself from the rest by being intelligently designed and a blast to play. So just how is it such a proverbial gem, well...
- Worth The Time?Definitely. For anyone who enjoys physics inspired puzzle badassery, then yes.
- Things LovedThe physics based puzzles. The pace and well designed difficulty curve. The aesthetics suited the game very well.
- Things HatedA lack of, what could have been, a multiplayer mode. A little short, but only because I wanted more.
- RecommendationAn indie game I highly recommend. Rochard is a side scrolling action platformer that uses and executes physics based puzzles brilliantly. It's light use of humour and a fast paced gameplay only serves to better the experience and you won't want to stop until its credits are rolling.
- Name: Rochard
- Genre: Side Scrolling, Platformer, Action, Indie
- Players: 1
- Multiplayer: No
- Platforms: PS3, PC
- Developer: Recoil Games
- Publisher: Recoil Games
- Price: $9.99 (R 81.62)
- Reviewed On: PC
It’s a bad day gone worse for John Rochard, the leader of a team of asteroid miners working for Skyrig Corporation. Their mission, to mine and extract turbinium, a kind of space diesel and well, it’s not going so great for John’s particular team. They’ve been having a dry run and the entire complex seems to be slowly breaking down; so you can imagine their excitement when they discover some kind of ruin while digging. As is the nature with discovering mysterious ruins however, things start to decline when space pirates and one or two other adversaries show up to claim said ruin for themselves. Thus starts John’s search for his team and adventure to put a stop to his “bad day”.
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Rochard is a side scrolling platformer which tasks the player with manoeuvring John from one side of an area to another. This is made entirely more complex by a variety of brilliantly designed physics based puzzles. You’ll soon find yourself navigating an assortment of physics altering objects and obstacles. Some of these things include using your trusty G-Lifer to move and launch objects, basically Rochard’s version of Half-Life 2’s grav-gun; a device that allows John to swap from normal gravity to low gravity at the player’s whim; different types of force fields, each blocking specific things; areas of upside-down gravity; as well as a whole bucket load of very enjoyable gaming devices. More than that and what makes Rochard so enjoyable is the variety to the approaches the player can make to overcome each obstacle. I usually find myself slightly disappointed with puzzle mechanics when there is only one, very clearly defined, way of getting through a section and Rochard’s indifference to this makes it so enjoyable.
Speaking of all the puzzles and design gone into Rochard, I was honestly surprised at how well done the mechanics were executed and it is definitely something above and beyond what you’d expect from the usual indie game. It’s a well polished game and the difficulty curve is almost perfect; making sure to get increasingly difficult but never frustrating you. Moreover, the game makes sure to introduce new challenges and obstacles just when you think you’ve seen all it has to offer. Something I also found enjoyable was the placement of collectible treasures that gave that extra test to any who wished to tackle collecting them.
When it comes to aesthetics, you’d imagine an indie game would fall flat in this aspect, but in fact, Rochard isn’t too shabby at all. Its visuals are what you’d expect from Team Fortress 2 as a side scrolling game and the music, when there is any, fits the current area and game overall. If anything, the production values, despite a slightly weak story, keeps the game rolling along at a great pace. And if you’re willing to forgive a story that isn’t exactly breaking any records or winning medals, but that at least makes an effort, you’ll be in for a cracker of a game. This is especially the case when John will utter odd country American phrases like “If a frog had wings it wouldn’t keep bumping its ass” or the game will try introducing a little humour to the situation. It’s not overdone and while occasionally a little cheesy, it works to keep you enjoying the gameplay and connected to John’s plight.
When all is said and done, Rochard is a great indie title to consider purchasing. If anything, its low price on Steam and PSN should seal the deal. There’s a demo available to all, try it out, it’s a hoot.