Whenever I get hooked on a video game I feel emotion inside of me that I’ve never felt before.
RIME made me feel so much emotion. I felt happy, sad, angry, scared, devastated, and relieved. I didn’t know why I was feeling these things until I realised that the 5 stages in RIME are named after the Kugler-Ross model of the “5 Stages of Grief” – Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression and Acceptance.
The beautiful thing about this game is I had no idea what I was doing but I was so captivated by how beautifully made it was and how each stage was trying to tell me something different. It wasn’t until I started to pick up on the different stages and got to the ending that I realised the message the game was sending – that loss will always be hard, but you will learn to accept it and it will become easier.
The protagonist is a young boy who wakes up on a beach. There is no dialogue or conversing – you only hear a voice (sort of like a yell) from the boy which lights up objects in the puzzles. There is a black figure with no face wearing a red cape that you follow through the game but you cannot touch it. The closer you get to this figure, the further away it gets. This figure plays a significant role in the story and surprisingly turns out to be something you never expected. Along the journey you get to meet some characters that all have a unique reason as to why they are there and that reason helps tie into the 5 Stages of Grief theme. Although the story line doesn’t necessarily make sense at first and there is no dialogue, you are guided by a spirit-animal who makes it very easy to follow through each stage. The puzzles are simple and smooth, but can be time-consuming. However, that wasn’t a bad thing. And to top it off, the graphics in the game were stunning – keeping in mind I played on the PS4 and have heard the frame rate on the Nintendo Switch version is not the best. My perfect example is this screenshot of the little boy looking up at the stars.
I truly fell in love with this game that I had to play it twice to make sure I didn’t miss anything, resulting in a platinum trophy. It is a decent sized indie game and I binge played it in one day (we’re talking morning all the way to night). The story itself was just so incredible. I won’t explain it any further to save spoilers but it had me on edge the whole time, eager to know what was next.
RIME proved to be an adventure that was beautiful, easy to play and heartwarming. I believe anyone can play this game and fall in love with it the way I did. Make sure you have your tissues ready, it will pull on your tear ducts.
*All game screenshots and photography are my own*