Rad Rodgers is a game that most people over thirty will instantly recognise. Not that i’m insinuating that younger gamers wont feel the same nostalgia but it’s us, the “middle aged” gamer that will feel it the most. Rad Rogers is essentially a modern 3D platformer that very much feels like the SNES and Mega Drive games of old. For me Rad Rodgers played a lot Mick & Mack, Global Gladiators (here’s a link) as well as games such as Cool Spot and Earthworm Jim.
Rad Rodgers is developed by Slipgate Studios who previously developed games such as: Rise of the Triad & Bombshell. The studio funded the development of Rad Rogers via Kickstarter crowd funding with an initial goal of $50,000. The studio managed to raise a total of $81,861 in 30 days. The publisher of Rad Rodgers is THQ Nordic.
Players find themselves in the shoes of the games hero, Rad Rogers. After a long night of gaming, Rad wakes up to find that his console has mysteriously turned itself back on and whilst investigating is suddenly sucked into a mysterious new world. Rad isn’t alone in this world and he is joined by his sentient console, Dusty and together they set off to save the world and return Rad to his world.
Like I mentioned earlier Rad Rodgers is a plat former. Rad has three simple functions: he moves, he jumps and he shoots. Rad’s goal, as well as the players, is to navigate the level to collect four gold pieces that once collected form together to make a key that unlocks the levels end.
This is achieved by guiding Rad through various moving platform puzzles and defeating enemies that make up the current level. To help Rad achieve this, players are joined by Dusty who has his own set of skills. Rad acts as your close quarters attacks and grants you the ability to climb vines etc. At certain points in the game players come across a glitch where you have to control Dusty to either locate a missing platform and return it to the world or to the more puzzling and often frustrating “turn on the nodes”. This is where Rad Rodgers frustrated me.
The node mini game gives you a set amount of nodes that needs to be activated to allow Rad to proceed. To do this Dusty needs to activate them all in sequence, failure means you have to start again and there is no obvious way to get the order correct. It is literally trial and error until you stumble across the right way! The first of these puzzles happens during level 4…
The world of Rad Rodgers is made up of three zones; each zone will respectively feature an end of zone boss as well as an overall final boss. The game world is only made up of eight levels, two bonus stages and the three zone bosses. These stages all feature the core game play of the title. One downside that I noticed is that the title has a small amount of “generic” enemies. These enemies appear on every stage which does make the game play monotonous once you have learned their attack patterns and how to combat them.
Zones also feature a bonus stage which gets players to explore as Rad, to venture as far as they can until they get hit and end the stage. This game play is very reminiscent to Endless runners such as Jetpack Joyride and Crossy Road which give a refreshing alternative to the previous plat forming fun.
Levels are also filled with collectables which offer a chance for a higher score as well as a large collection of cosmetic hats which you can equip Rad with. The game also has three difficulty levels: Easy, Normal and Difficult. Easy mode gives the player unlimited lives and 4 hearts of life, whilst Normal and Difficult scale this down to three hearts and a finite supply of lives. Once the player is out of lives you then have to start the stage again.
The use of 8 and 16 bit graphic textures really does fill you with that nostalgia, while also letting current technology populate the gorgeous 3D worlds. The soundtrack is also inspired by the general theme and features classic inspired tunes mixed in with a bit of 2018. This gives Rad Rodgers a personality that fits what it’s trying to be: a retro inspired plat former.
In closing, Rad Rodgers is an excellent modern update of a 90’s plat former. It has a story that many of us have probably dreamed in our younger years. Topped up with fantastic future-retro graphics and the sound board really fills you with nostalgia. On the downside: small amount of enemies and a puzzle system that offers a Dark Souls-esq difficulty can make Rads journey a unnecessary monotonous one.
If you want to check out Rad Rodgers then you can buy it from the Xbox Marketplace priced at a reasonable £15.99 ($19.99) and can be found here
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