Rigonauts on a surface level looks a cute casual game, but don’t be fooled by it’s cartoon graphics. Once you start digging into the title, you’ll quickly discover it’s a challenging and unique puzzle game. Rigonauts centers around a goblin like creatures know as the Hob. Hob being a slave decided to escape from his masters and stole a ship called “Rig”. After surviving disaster and peril the Rig crashes on an island. Thinking they have finally escaped, Hob the and crew of the Rig are shocked to see their master has sent his minions after them to capture them and bring them back. Using the debris from the Rig they must now construct a means to fight and protect themselves from the enemies they now face.
Gameplay in Rigonauts is creative and interesting because it lets you create they way you want your “rig” to be. There are weight and height restrictions, but other than that players are able to use their creativity and ingenuity to craft their vehicle the way they see fit.It is this feature that first appealed to me and one of the key features of Rigonauts. You can set up your offenses and defenses they way you chose. It’s all very cool. After you create your craft you’ll send it out to battle. When fighting you have no control over your vehicle, but you can pick targets locations on the enemy vehicles you want your Rig to attack before battle. This mechanic works fairly well, but can be problematic when facing two enemies at the same time with one in front and one in back. Some control during combat would have been nice, but I understand the plan and go mechanic adds to some of the puzzle elements. You can’t just build a craft and go, you need to think carefully about your rig’s construction as well as how to attack the enemy.
For me getting through a level is an accomplishment, as the game quickly increases in difficulty, but there is a 3 star system for those completionist out there. The star rating system is kind of vague and doesn’t give the player a lot of feed back as to how to get a better ranking, but essentially the more “bare bones” your rig is the higher your star rating when you defeat the enemy. If players want to 3 star a level they need to use minimal building materials and weapons. Usually I don’t care about star ratings, but Rigonauts ties level progression to the ranting system. At certain points in the game, you’ll need X amount of stars to unlock the next set of levels and be able to proceed. This could be frustrating to players, but luckily when you replay a level you’ve completed, the game saves your last construction making re-engineering it easier.
Rigonauts was a game that really surpised me. The free crafting ability is really enjoyable and the puzzles are challenging. If you are looking for something casual this might not be the title for you, but if you are looking for a challenging puzzler that requires critical thinking and planning, Rigonauts is a must. Despite it’s difficultly, Rigonauts is a satisifying game. It might take multiple attempts, but who doesn’t like taking out epic boss vehicles with a bunch of junk you’ve scrapped together.
Check it out on Steam here.