Getting really good at tough action games is something that rarely happens to me. To be brutally honest, it has only happened once during my childhood with Manic Miner, many years later with VVVVVV and a few days ago with Riser. Now, I am not certain as to why this simple, procedural platformer really got to me, nor why I really got it, but I know there’s the very real danger of me mainly loving it due to it being kind to me. Do please keep this in mind.
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So, Riser. Well, it is a platformer as you can easily tell by the screenshot posted above and one that semi-randomly and quite brilliantly rebuilds itself each time you play it. A fabulously enjoyable game that has you racing against the climbing waters and moving swiftly towards the top of the screen if you want to survive. The longer you last, the faster the screen will scroll and the more demanding things will get with the addition of more traps, trickier platforms and cute little green monsters.
And then it gets darker. And then the sun rises again and as you ponder on what a lovely idea the inclusion of a day/night cycle was, you notice the weather changing and, if you are anything like me (and let us hope you are not), you’ll be decidedly impressed.
A game that has you frantically jumping, wall jumping and double jumping in the trickiest of ways, takes the time to make itself look all beautiful and dynamic. While you try to grab weapons, bonuses and loot and build your gaming skills, Riser makes sure the scenery never gets dull. And the procedural generation algorithm never gets silly.
Then there are all the amazing little touches: that you can collect money and buy upgrades that radically change the way the game plays, that you can get injured and lose part of your jumpiness, or that if it snows you can watch the enemies get covered by it.
Hmmm, yes, well, maybe I’m right in loving this one after all.