I’ll be honest: mobile gaming and I don’t have an extensive history. Outside of nostalgia trips with games such as Tetris and Pacman, it took me a while to give mobile gaming a chance. Jetpack Joyride, recommended by my older brother, was one of the first games I regularly played on my phone. I remember it fondly as both a blast and a challenge. So when I saw Halfbrick Studios, the creators of Fruit Ninja and Jetpack Joyride, made a new game called Radical Rappelling, I knew it was something I had to check out.
In Radical Rappelling, your sportsperson attempts to go down a mountain littered with spikes, collecting coins along the way, while avoiding the slow moving lava that’s coming after you. Most developers would’ve stopped there—producing another descent endless-runner—but Halfbrick kept going.
Upon opening the game, I was thrilled to see the two characters—Rip and Roxy—and get the option to play as either. I wouldn’t hold it against a game for not giving me this option but as a female gamer it’s something I always appreciate. But no matter which character you choose you can switch between characters at any time and, as an added bonus, each has their own set of items to earn. Radical Rappelling’s gameplay is simple: “Hold to rappel.” When you’re not pressing the screen, your character will remain on the same spot of the face cliff, rhythmically bouncing. And of course, you won’t want to “hold” all the time. Radical Rappelling is about mastering your characters bounce and their descent down the mountain. The trip down the mountain is filled with trampolines, springs, rings to jump through, special rocks that give you extra coins, and speed boosts that come in the form of arrows and clouds bursting with rainbows. Do enough tricks and you fill the Radical Remix meter, which—when full—temporarily makes you invincible and boosts your speed.
In addition to seeing how many meters you can travel down the mountain, gamers are given ranks and rewards for their rappelling prowess. This comes in the form of numerous challenges of varying difficulty: from “jump on a single rock three times in a row” to “Collect 40 coins in a single jump.” What’s great about this feature is it continuously adds goals for the gamer, breaking up the monotony that often plagues endless-runners. You can also skip challenges using rubies you collect in the game. Collecting coins is another big game objective, especially for people like me who love customizing their character. Those coins can be used to open the random rucksack to get 1 of 204 items (i.e apparel/different types of rope); these items become harder to get as the price to open the rucksack increases each time—radical inflation! But seriously, these items are really fun. My personal favorites are the Rhino Head, described as “real unicorns have curves,” and the Blanket Rope, described as “used to escape pillow forts.” And, for some added fun, you get a daily roll on the “Randomizer” which adds various power ups/situations to your rappelling for three runs; today’s gave me recoil boots, a coin magnet, and a remix start.
Radical Rappelling doesn’t leave much room for complaints. My biggest criticisms are the lack of story, the somewhat hokey in-game narration (ex. “Radical!” “Rats!” “Rock Slide!”) and the fact that the items serve no function outside of looks—it would be nice if they came with enhanced abilities. But none of these faults detract from the fun. Halfbrick describes this game as “random,” “ridiculous,” and “really, really, rad”: a perfect description in that it’s both horribly cheesy and incredibly accurate. Radical Rappelling is a fun experience that’s loaded with replay value and, especially as a free-to-play game, there’s no reason for you not to download it.
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