RITE: A Meticulously Crafted Platformer – Switch Review
As a video game journalist, it’s often beneficial to pretend you’re awesome at video games. Of course, there’s nothing about being a video game journalist that qualifies you to be a great “gamer”. Nor is there really anything about being a great “gamer” that qualifies you to be a great games journalist. However, in this instance, I’m more than happy to admit that I suck at platformers. Like, I’m really really awful. So, when going into RITE, a platformer that’s all about completing a level in as short a time as possible, I feared the worst. And yet, without a shadow of a doubt, I had one of the best gaming experiences I’ve had in a while. RITE is a meticulously crafted platformer and one that I keep going back to, time after time.
“RITE’s visuals quickly immersed me in its jaw-droppingly beautiful arenas.”
There’s something perfect about RITE’s visual aesthetic. The gorgeously detailed pixel art aesthetic that feels right out of the Fez handbook oozes with style. It adds a wonderful sense of bounce to the gameplay, populating your frantic platforming with mouthwatering eye-candy. However, it is never distracting. You won’t find yourself scrambling to work out where you’re supposed to go, or deliberating whether or not a platform is a part of the background.
In fact, the simplicity of the 2D perspective alongside the easy-to-comprehend layout of each level ensures that your platforming experience is as smooth as possible. This is perfect for the speedrunning nature of RITE, which encourages completing a level as quickly as possible. It takes but a second to figure out where each and every collectable that you’ll need to acquire is, and what the best possible route to get them is.
Nevertheless, the visuals never veer too far into the functional or practical space. Of course, it is beneficial that their unobtrusive simplicity allows for better platforming. However, I still felt that they added considerably to the atmosphere and tone of each level. There isn’t much of a narrative to RITE – rightly so -, but the visuals do enough to concoct a sense of world, that I quickly became immersed in its jaw-droppingly beautiful arenas.
“The longevity of RITE, as well as the exhilarating enjoyment it provides, really stems from trying to finish a level in record time all while nabbing each and every coin.”
Of course, the most important aspect of a platformer is the platforming, and fortunately in that respect RITE is unequivocally amazing. There’s a wonderful sense of flow to RITE’s fast-paced platforming that feels unrelenting and ceaseless. Its focus on speed ensures that you rarely stop, instead encouraging you to risk dangerous manoeuvres. While that may seem like a criticism as risky moves tend to result in painful deaths, it ensures that the momentum you build while playing never drops.
You will die countless times as each of RITE’s numerous levels are filled to the brim with hazards. However, the developers were clearly conscious of this and have thus altered their game accordingly. Not only is the respawn time lightning fast, but the arenas are small enough that learning the best route through them takes barely any time at all. Suffice to say you’ll rarely spend more than a handful of minutes per level.
That’s, of course, not to say that RITE will be over and done with quickly. Each level has a number of coins that you can collect, as well as a timer that’s constantly ticking up. Completing the level quickly is one thing, and can be done by simply collecting a special coin and heading for the exit. However, to truly complete a level you must gather all of the coins and reach the exit. The longevity of RITE, as well as the exhilarating enjoyment it provides, really stems from trying to finish a level in record time all while nabbing each and every coin.
“This is one of the best pick-up-and-play titles I’ve ever had the pleasure of reviewing.”
All of this perfect platforming is neatly tied up in one of the best pick-up-and-play titles I’ve had the pleasure to review. I’m extremely fond of games I can jump into for a few minutes in between bouts of slogging through long-winded JRPGs – I’m looking at you Xenoblade Chronicles 3 – and RITE is absolutely that kind of game. With a large number of levels to get through, it’s not hard to imagine that I’ll be playing this exceptional game well into the future.
*Disclaimer: Reviewed on Switch, code was provided by the Publisher.
RITE is an expertly crafted indie platformer that prioritises speed and fun. It's easily accessible due to its simple control scheme, yet incredibly challenging. While you'll certainly die a lot, RITE is not in the business of punishing the player, and its short levels will be easy to complete for most players. With a huge number of levels to complete each with additional objectives, RITE makes for the perfect pick-up-and-play experience on Switch.