Kid Onion Studio’s “River Tails” is a 3D single and cooperative 3D platforming game where the players get a chance to take control of a fish and/or cat, in their quest to reach safety.
However, as you might imagine, it’s easier said than done to reach that safe spot…As there are plenty of problems to meet along the way – not least the fact that in single-player mode, one half of a joypad controls the cat, and the other half deals with the fish.
As for the game’s controls itself…Well, the controls are responsive – but it will take a while to get used to the controls. Once that is done, however, both characters can be moved semi-fluidly, with only the world layout causing impediments.
However, trying to rescue your friend is a problem…And the main reason behind that problem would be the game itself, as it’s rather difficult.
The cat, for example, can’t really move in water – the only thing it can do is jump, and then try to position itself so that it lands on something solid. It’s possible, but it’s annoyingly tricky, and is one area that could be improved.
Another problem is that there are various locations where a character can get stuck, making any rescue impossible (especially if both controllable characters get into trouble), and you’ll have to restart at the last checkpoint. This is in addition to the fact that there is very little time for your partner to rescue you, and it’s not easy to do anyway…
And speaking of checkpoints, there is an amusing bug that makes the cat shake for a fair amount of time before placing it on the ground.
The world consists of mainly jumping from platform to platform (for the cat) and jumping up sections of rivers (for the fish). The camera zooms in and out according to the distance position of the two characters, which can make moving tricky.
So, with that said, what about the visual aspects of the game then? Well…Graphically, the game is certainly very nice, with everything cell shaded. The cat and fish are nicely detailed. Whilst there isn’t much variety with the vegetation, it does look equally at home.
As for sound and music…There is very little in the way of sound effects (beyond a few splashes and other small bits), and the music is very much in the background. Whilst nice, it is repetitive.
So, all in all, “River Tails – Stronger Together” looks and feels like an interesting and promising game (and that even though it’s possibly too frustrating playing it solo…).
At the end of the day though, “River Tails” is most certainly in need of a lot of fixing and polishing before its full release in March 2023…So I wish Kid Onion Studio the best of luck with everything! (I’ll be looking forward to playing the full version of “River Tails” as soon as possible!).
+ Very nice graphics and animations.
+ Music and sound are present, but it leaves a lot to be desired.
+ The game’s controls are responsive, but the controls take time to get used to.
+ There are plenty of cute creatures to be found in the game.
– The single-player mode controls are fiddly.
– There is no AI unfortunately for easier play.
– Some of the leaps that you make are just blind faith ones.
Sound and music: 3/5
Replay value: 2/5
Make no mistake about it, “River Tails ” is very much in a very early alpha stage…For starters, there is certainly much work to be done on it… Nevertheless, “River Tails” could still very well end up as a good coop game, although I can see the single-player mode being frustrating, unless AI is introduced for one character…Still, “River Tails” is very much a game that you should keep a close eye on, as a lot could happen between now and its release in March next year (2023).
Title: River Tails – Stronger Together
Developer: Kid Onion Studio
Genre: 3D action/adventure platformer
Resolution: Program default
Release date: 2020-10-17
Difficulty: Hard (especially for single player mode)
Spent time: + 1 hours
Average grade internationally: N/A Metacritic.com
PEGI age rating: N/A
Demo via indiexpo
Robin Ek – Editor
The Gaming Ground
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