Why Riverbond Sinks in the River
Riverbond for the Nintendo Switch
or, why it sinks in the river
I don’t mind the voxel aesthetic many games have. Minecraft is near and dear to my heart. It’s a cool style! When I saw Riverbond, a 3D pixel dungeon crawler with some insane lighting effects, I was thinking, “a better Diablo for my squeamish friends?” Sadly, Riverbond is boring, simply put.
Riverbond involves swords, guns, loot, and monsters. It plays like a twin-stick shooter, meaning one control stick moves your character, and the other aims the way you want to shoot. It’s simple gameplay. On top of this, there is a reload button and a jump button. Holding the attack button with a sword charges up the attack. Riverbond also features couch co-op!
Couch co-op is a snooze
It doesn’t help that Riverbond features Minecraft-styled music. Don’t get me wrong, Minecraft music is peaceful, appropriate, and sounds good. In this game, it is inappropriate. For an action, dungeon crawling game, peaceful compositions helped me fall asleep. I didn’t want to, though. So I tried it with a friend. We were bored after 30 minutes.
Fighting monsters, switching between guns and swords, and even the well designed bosses became tedious, so we picked different games in the end.
Although the levels are nicely made and have cool ideas, such as jumping up a waterfall, Riverbond just doesn’t have enough variety in tasks or an engaging plot to give meaning to your adventure! Even with four players and mushrooms that can be thrown is not enough, especially to warrant a party game.
More than just a river… level
Riverbond does feature a wide selection of levels that should take 30 minutes to an hour to complete, each with different themes. I did appreciate the variety, not every dungeon crawler has this, with the game’s graphics, to boot.
Speaking of the game’s graphics, Riverbond has some gorgeous landscapes. The lighting, the animations of the environment… That is the best part of the game. The effects the game has too, such as explosions and water are amazing. It is a shame that the gameplay can’t match up though.
Another aspect I liked was collecting characters. I could be a donut, a pug, or basically whatever the developers thought of when creating Riverbond. It’s cute and adds plenty of personality to this game.
Riverbond certainly is pretty, but that doesn’t save it from being boring. There aren’t enough different tasks. It doesn’t feel new or evolve throughout progression, which is why I give Riverbond a score of:
Not Quite There
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Reviewed by Jack Bankhead on the Nintendo Switch. Game provided by Cococucumber.