RiME is a secluded, visually stunning adventure arriving on Switch soon. If you managed to miss its original release a few months back on various systems, then that may end up becoming a blessing in disguise.
Undocked the game lights up the screen, lending its art-style nicely to the Switch screen. Tequila Works may have developed the game, however it’s been Tantalus Media which has been tasked with porting it across. With plenty of experience under its belt after the company previously brought The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess HD to the Wii U, on top of most recently porting Sonic Mania to the Switch, it’s fair to say the game's in good hands – especially based on the time we spent with it. It runs rather well so far, with just a handful of stutters on occasions when assets are being streamed; we were reminded it was a non-final build.
Our colleagues at Eurogamer took plenty of off-screen footage, below.
Told nothing on arrival, you control a young boy who washes up on a seemingly deserted island; your task is to explore what the world has to offer. Whilst you're on the go RiME will be an ideal adventure to get lost in, along with its puzzle mechanics suiting the control interface perfectly. Extra time has also been given not only to make sure the game is up to standard, but to make sure players obtain the same experience as they would on any other platform. The studio has even gone as far as to add its own achievement system, making sure nothing is left out.
Exploring the landscapes, climbing up the rocky hills or diving into the deep cerulean sea is just the beginning of this intriguing escapade. You also grow to appreciate the tranquil nature of the area you reside. Seagulls Sqawk. Crabs scuttle across the beach. The tide gently nudges the dry sand. You take everything in step by step, noting the little details and extra effort put in – even in handheld mode the audio poured out remarkably well.
Excited to look for clues, a white monument positions itself early on begging to be discovered; beams of light shoot out into heavens, guiding you along.
Switch owners, please don’t take this lightly. RiME should definitely be on your radar because this could be one of the most intriguing experiences on the console yet.
At EGX this year we also had the opportunity to speak with RiME’s producer, Remy Chinchilla, about the upcoming port:
To someone coming in brand new, could you describe RiME in brief terms?
Primarily it's an adventure puzzle-game. It’s more than what it looks. There’s a deeper meaning and narrative to the game. The key importance is that there is a narrative to the storytelling behind it. We tried as a team to make it as fluid as possible and not intrusive to the game.
For RiME itself, was there much inspiration taken from the likes Journey, Shadow of the Colossus or even The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker?
Not really directly to be honest. Obviously these big games have influenced us as gamers, but the influences were more like (Joaquín) Sorolla in terms of painting and music. Visually it’s all the Mediterranean atmosphere and look. Like if you go to Sevilla on the beach all the colour and tones aren’t going to be exactly the same as well. There’s plenty of personal inspiration as well from the team and from inside the game.
Is there any personal inspiration you can speak of yourself?
For me I drive the whole team, so I try not to interfere with the creative way, which is important. There is nothing directly in it for me but for the creators I know it’s very personal. In terms of animators and the artists they put a lot of effort into it. I think it’s personal for them because if you look at the game it has no blood, no violence and no text; only menus. It was quite a challenge to get that all together in the game. So to do that is a bit different from what we did before.
Apart from the obvious question of why bring RiME to Switch, what was it about the console that you felt was right for the game?
What I like about the console is the portability. You can take it anywhere and I’m a fan of the Switch because personally, with a kid, I can just put it to sleep and go back. If I’m playing and the kid is crying, I’m going back 15 minutes later and I’m exactly where I was. Perfect! I find myself with the consoles and PC gathering dust this last year. I think the Switch is perfect because you can take it anywhere and its great way to play it. You also don’t have to wait until you have an update, I mean you have to wait until you have an update but you don’t have to. You can go in and out of the game fairly quickly.
How was the process of porting the game to Switch and working with Nintendo?
It was good. Nintendo supported us quite a bit. Tantalus worked with them before so they had a great relationship. So we started porting to Switch about a year ago and Tantalus had access to the kit early – they had early access. They had about 10 kits of Switch really early. The kits were really scarce, so we felt really lucky. We had the hardware to work so that was really cool.
So the game was originally made by 18 people?
We started off as 18 people. At the biggest on PS4 we were a bit more. We were around 30, but no originally there was 18 people.
We understand you actually endured a bit of a difficult time getting the game out? Did that continue with the Switch or did you find it easier this time around?
We didn’t particularly have a hard time getting out as such. We wanted to get it right. RiME was announced really early into the development, so I think part of why the process is that it took too long, but it took the time we wanted it to. I think with Switch it went good. The reason we have a bit of delay is because the Switch is new hardware, so we had to learn with it and test, make sure the software and middleware would support it. Everyone was learning on the floor with us.
Yes, that reminds us of that famous Miyamoto-san quote.
Yeah, you remember when the game is out. If it has any delays or anything it’s because the game needs it. It’s better to take time with it, if you can to get it right. It’s coming out on the Switch now because we wanted to optimise it and make it look as good as possible.
With the extra time you’ve had for the Switch port, what have you managed to achieve? For example, why were you keen to get achievements into the game?
It is important. Back on PS4, we looked at achievements and looked at what we write in the achievements, so we don’t spoil the play but we give enough information so it’s relevant. All the achievements had context in the game, in the storyline and the narrative, so it was important to have that on the Switch as well.
What does the future hold for RiME and Tequila Works?
Obviously RiME is coming out before the end of the year. Players have been really patient with us, so I’m looking forward to the feedback on Switch. We had really great feedback on PS4 and consoles from players around the world, to the studio and personal stories.
With a strong critical reception too.
Critics are good as well, but it’s also players that sent their thanks to the studio. We have plenty of them and were really grateful to people.
Finally, is there an unannounced game in the works?
There are things in the works. We released The Sexy Brutale earlier this year and it was a co-production with Cavalier Game Studios. We also have the invisible arrows planned for VR later this year. So yes, we have quite a bit going on.
Thanks to Remy Chinchilla and Tequila Works for taking time out of their schedule to conduct the interview. Rime is scheduled to release on Switch on the 14th November for North America and 17th November for Europe. The game will be released digitally alongside a physical release that will come with a copy of the games soundtrack.
Are you looking forward to Rime on Switch? Or have you experienced the adventure before? Let us know.