Everybody loves cake, and nowhere does this seem more apparent than in the world of video games. From Portal to Cake Mania to Rabbit Wants Cake and everything in between, well-frosted deliciousness clearly seems to be a good motivator for gamers. In R.I.F.T., the latest browser game from Blacksmith Games, you'll fill the shoes of a lowly robot that brings pretty pink cakes to his master in level after level of puzzle platforming goodness.
with any puzzle platformer, the bulk of the gameplay in R.I.F.T. comes from navigating the environment to reach your objective. You'll navigate your robot friend left and right with the arrow keys on the keyboard, jump, and occasional do a little heavy lifting. The heavy lifting becomes key to the puzzle solving, as you'll often need to put heavy boxes on top of buttons to open doors, or move the cake from one area to another.
Just as soon as you get used to the basic puzzling elements, R.I.F.T. begins to throw some challenging platforming elements your way to test your reflexes as well as your brains. Guns will be mounted on some stages that fire out disintegration bolts to turn our little robot friend to rubble. Combining those with increasingly challenging jumping sections means you'll need to pay as much attention to keeping your metal hide in tact as to the puzzle you need to solve.
The puzzles themselves are never too complicated and often find their challenge in balancing the puzzling elements with the platforming elements. Certain button presses, for example, may be right in the line of fire of the disintegration gun. Other times you'll need to jump through a teleportation field at an angle that won't land you in the middle of a dangerous electrical grid. As you get deeper into the game, you'll find that the platforming elements can get tough as nails. Thankfully the levels are designed so well that you never feel frustrated as much as challenged.
Rounding out the excellent gameplay is a presentation that emphasizes fun and silliness in a delicate enough way to never feel downright wacky. The robot's master, for example, is a big pink blob dressed as a scientist who is constantly asking why he doesn't have his cake yet. If you take a little break, you'll come back to find your robot asking question like “Hello?” and “Are you asleep?” or making cute little comments like “I miss you!” or “This game doesn't play itself.” Bright colors and a bouncy soundtrack make the whole world pop, emphasizing the light-hearted spirit of fun that R.I.F.T. is trying to present.
you complete the 20 levels included in R.I.F.T. you can purchase bonus levels with MochiCoins, a virtual currency that can be purchased with real world funds. Created by MochiMedia and slowly gaining a foothold in the browser-based gaming industry, MochiCoind can be bought for as little as $5.00 for 4000 coins. Two separate bonus packs for R.I.F.T., each containing 10 levels, are available for 800 MochiCoins each. This means you'd be spending $1.00 per pack. Not a bad deal, especially considering R.I.F.T. has a level of polish that could have easily justified a budget pay-to-play indie download release.
The puzzle platforming in R.I.F.T. is nothing we haven't seen before, but fantastic level design and a whimsical spirit make R.I.F.T. a game that's a terrific experience regardless of familiarity. Fans of puzzle platforming take note: R.I.F.T. is one of the better experiences we've had for free this year.