Every now and then a game will come along that will make us take a step back and leave us marveling at the sheer amount of creativity on display, all in a little $1 app. Rinth Island is one such game. It combines platforming and puzzle elements in clever ways, with easy-to-learn but tough-to-master mechanics, all wrapped up in a gorgeous package. Rinth Island is a unique, joyful, and challenging experience that everyone should try.
In Rinth Island, you play as either Gimble or Libby, inhabitants of the island who find themselves stranded after a devastating storm rips through the area. The adorable duo must find their way back home, and along the way they’ll help out other hapless island dwellers or take a detour to examine some interesting ruins that the storm has unearthed.
There are 60 levels divided between two worlds for our heroes to traipse through. During your travels you’ll push crates or other objects (like coconuts), traverse over treacherous bridges, pull levers, fire cannons, use explosives you gather to blow your way through, and climb up or down the massive, vertigo inducing stages. Each stage can be played through four different times with different objectives, like only taking a certain number of steps, gathering crystals, time trials, or completing the adventure/story mode.
Coming ’round the bend.
You control your characters with either a virtual D-pad, or by touching the screen and having Gimble or Libby moving to where you touched. We preferred the D-pad method, as the “touch” method seemed less precise and not quick enough for certain stages. Learning the mechanics may be easy, but the game is anything but.
There’s a lot of trial and error here, with you constantly trying to figure out the right order to pull a lever, move a crate, or blow up a rock. This can get a little annoying at times, as the simplest omission can stop you dead in your tracks. Sometimes you’ll be going merrily on your way through a stage, only to discover that you didn’t do something earlier and now you can’t go any farther. Expect restarting more than a few times.
Also, the circular, 3D stages can occasionally make it difficult to see exactly where you’re supposed to go and where trapdoors or other obstacles lie. There is a “rewind” function that allows you to undo mistakes, but you have to pay for this function via an in-app purchase.
Perfecting the Sam Fisher shimmy.
The graphics are simply gorgeous. Your characters are cute, well drawn and well animated. The stages themselves are lush and beautiful with stunning island vistas, magical fantasy lands, and dark and creepy underground lairs. They are also massive in scale, and you’ll sometimes find yourself in awe as you stand atop a platform overlooking the mountains, with birds flying by you and the waves crashing beneath you. The music is also great, with a fun and peppy, almost Celtic-sounding tunes.
Rinth Island is an amazingly fun game to play. With its challenging (though sometimes annoying) puzzles and gameplay, wonderful graphics and music, and massive amount of content, this is a game you’ll be coming back to time and again. There’s even a nifty level editor which allows you to annoy, we mean share, your own custom stages with others. Rinth Island is a game that every puzzle and adventure fan should be playing.