By Josh Speer / September 6th, 2016
Let me get this out there real quick – I’m not sure exactly what drew me to demo Riverbond. I wasn’t familiar with the developers, Cococucumber, and wasn’t familiar with the game itself. If anything, I was probably drawn in by the voxelated graphics, since I love anything that is retro and beautiful. And honestly, I’m really glad I did, since Riverbond was one of my favorite games I played at PAX West!
The best way I could describe Riverbond would be it’s what happens when Link has a baby with a voxel Princess Zelda. Though it is definitely inspired by the classic series, Riverbond is also very much its own game. For one thing, you can play it two player, which is a hell of a lot of fun, and also the way I experienced the demo. It’s also very fluid to play, as you can roll, raise your shield, slash with your sword, fire your gun or activate your super move.
As you wander around getting from one map to another, you will be beset by hordes of adorable enemies, many of which are oddly pig-like. You can take them out with either weapon, but keep in mind that the downside of the gun’s range is that you are slower when using it and have limited ammo. Luckily, you can switch weapons on the fly, which let’s you try some very fast and frantic strategy. Another great thing about the 2 player is that if you die and your partner is alive, you’ll eventually respawn. So being a good buddy is highly recommended.
Another nod to Zelda are bombs which grow from the ground and which can be chucked at enemies. Just keep in mind that friendly fire is a thing, so if you’re not careful you could wipe out your partner by mistake. That happened a couple times before we made our way to the very epic first boss. It was surrounded by a damaging electrical field when you hit it with your sword, which forced us to use your guns and toss some bombs at it. We barely killed the beast, but were able to by the skin of our teeth.
If you’re as fascinated by Riverbond as I am, you’ll be happy to hear it’s slated to come to PC and consoles sometime in 2017. I know I’ll be picking it up, as well as looking into the other games Cococucumber has already put out!