Addictive high score-based gameplay and seamlessly integrated leaderboards compliment a polished presentation and make Rope Raider a perfect choice for a short gaming session on the go. This deceptively simple and accessible physics-based platformer can be played with one finger.
Rope Raider has you assume the role of a portly, yet agile bandit who resembles Peter Griffin more than he does Lara Croft. The game sends you swinging across a night time cityscape using a grappling hook that is fired by simply tapping on a building. You have to tap the screen of your iPhone/iPod Touch again to send your character flying, hopefully within grasp of the next building. Read More…
Free Swingin’ is the main mode of play in Rope Raider. As the name suggests, you jump in and swing as far as you can in an untimed and essentially endless level. Loot is scattered near the tops of buildings in this mode and every time you collect some it adds to your final score.
The concept and gameplay really are for lack of a better word, simplistic. However, Rope Raider reminds me of the highly addictive arcade games of my youth and I’ve been playing it a few times a day since I got it, even with recent games like New Super Mario Bros. Wii and Borderlands sitting unfinished in front of me.
There is one hook in particular that keeps me playing Rope Raider. Local and online leaderboards are seamlessly integrated into the game as you play. You will actually see the previous scores of yourself and your online competition scroll by in the skyline as you swing, which creates a drive to keep playing and find the best route through the city. It’s a really awesome feature that I’d equate more with an Xbox Live Arcade title than a $1.99 iPhone/iPod Touch game.
The feature is carried across all three modes of play in Rope Raider. Coin Rush is all about collecting loot. In this mode, you can build your score quickly by collecting multiple coins in one swing. You begin Coin Rush with a time limit and can collect time-extending items as you play. Speed Frenzy is a short time-limited mode in which you try to cover as much distance as possible in the allotted time. The amount of time you start with in Speed Frenzy depends on the difficulty you select.
All three modes in Rope Raider have an easy, medium and hard difficulty available to play. As you go up in difficulty you will find that there is more space between buildings, shorter buildings will become more common and using assists like trampolines and hot air balloons will become essential to getting high scores.
Rope Raider has a clean, cartoonish look that I find quite appealing. The cityscape is surprisingly detailed and the game features some nice special effects and layered scrolling backgrounds that contribute to a cohesive and highly polished look. Your onscreen character is small, but is again very detailed and he features limbs that rag doll as you fly.
The game also features the ability to toggle the graphic detail level to best suit the device you are playing on. Players using an iPhone 3GS will definitely want to take advantage of the high detail setting. I review using an iPod Touch 2G and though I encounter some frame rate hiccups at the medium setting, it has not hindered gameplay at all and the game still looks very good and runs smoothly for the most part.
Rope Raider also sounds good thanks to a great ambient sounds cape that evokes a large metropolis at night. My only knock against this game is that you can’t listen to your device’s music library as you play.
If developer 10tons added a few new cityscapes to swing through and added some kind of adventure or story mode that mixed up the three gameplay modes to Rope Raider, I’d easily pay $10-15 for it. It is not only one of my favourite iPhone/iPod Touch games of 2009, but one of the best downloadable games I’ve played this year. Though some swinging precision would be lost in translation, the simple gameplay and addictive high score chasing of Rope Raider could work on any platform.
+ Local and Online Leaderboards Integrated into Gameplay
+ Richly Detailed Cityscape and Special Effects
+ Accessible, Can be Controlled with One Finger
+ Excellent Ambient Audio
- No Option to Listen to iPhone/iPod Touch Music
Game Forward Score: 5/5
Brian J. Papineau > Game Forward
Rope Raider (iPhone/iPod Touch) Quick Facts:
Developer: 10tons Ltd.
Publisher: 10tons Ltd.
Release Date: Nov 4, 2009 (v1.00)
Price: $1.99 US/CAN
iTunes Rating: 4+