Saturday, January 19

Review: Planet RIX-13 [Nintendo Switch eShop]

While early on in the Switch life cycle it was easier to talk about classic Adventure titles as more of a novelty, the embrace of the genre by indies has made them arrive with some regularity. For gamers this is great as it means more variety and choices for fans of this style of play but for developers and publishers it really raises the bar for what people can and should expect. This is the sort of situation that hits a game like Planet RIX-13 pretty hard, and the issue isn’t so much its simplistic pixel art style so much as its lackluster design.

Somewhat stranded after your ship crash lands near what appears to be an abandoned set of facilities on an alien planet you’ll need to explore and discover your means for escape while trying to avoid the spectre of grim death. For the most part there’s nothing complicated about the game mechanics, you’ll move from area to area, looking for things that are highlighted and you’ll then try to interact with them. Sometimes these be objects you’ll need to pick up or activate, and other times for some inexplicable reason they’ll just end up being something that kills you. Oh well?

The biggest issue for the game is that it’s just not terribly complex. For the most part it’s really quite linear. You’ll find something you need to activate, you’ll look in another area to find an item to help out, you’ll get through the problem, and then you’ll find a new area and repeat. There aren’t really any serious puzzles, about the most complicated element are a few keypads you’ll need to work out on a slower burn, so in the end it feels like a lot of going through the motions but there unfortunately aren’t really any compelling story beats to make the journey more exciting either.

As a whole Planet RIX-13 is certainly a classic Adventure game in form but especially compared with the stable already in the Switch eShop it is unfortunately quite lacking. There’s no particular challenge, excitement, or compelling mystery to resolve, there’s just progression for its own sake for the most part. Perhaps its budget price makes some of this forgivable but there are no doubt far more compelling experiences in the genre on Switch.

Score: 5

  • It has a budget-friendly price
  • Mechanically there’s nothing in particular wrong with it

  • For the most part it plays out linearly
  • There’s really no story of any significance compelling you to keep going
  • An abundance of better examples of the genre on Switch