Redden – Stay On Target!

Nov 24, 2017
Action

Have you ever dreamed of being a master archer? Not by precise timing and aiming, mind you, but by becoming a sentient arrow? Plus, having the story of said sentient arrow told by a stapler to an iPhone in a junk pile? Well, congratulations! You both have an exceptionally weird fantasy, and a game custom built for you – Redden.

Redden is an ever increasingly strange game with a very strong core. This is good, because a lot of what’s resting around that central gameplay starts to wear thin pretty quick. As I said, you become the arrow in Redden. You ride air currents and avoid downward drafts and other hazards in order to reach your target. Later, you gain the ability to pierce additional objects for bonus points. It’s sort of like a horizontal Knightmare Tower, what with it’s initial charge up and emphasis on mid-air combos, and Angry Birds if it let you guide the birds mid-flight.

The controls are slick and intuitive, with one thumb keying your boost while the other guides your arc through the air. As gameplay conceits go, it’s rather simple. The key is navigating through the various elements the world throws at you, ranging from trees to wild animals. Downward drafts can drain you of your precious boost ability, which can bring your scathing shot to a screeching halt.

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All your actions are painted with vividly animated shadowbox aesthetics. Reds, blacks, and delicate off-whites convey your swift, determined shots wonderfully. Unfortunately, the camera is less inclined to this. In fact, it will sometimes zoom in ludicrously close, and not during a moment of striking through significant obstacle. No, you just can’t see the draft that’s only a few inches above because… I guess they had to stretch the game out somehow. I would have preferred more genuine challenge to this, but thankfully it wasn’t too prevalent an issue while I played.

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A greater irritant, the soundtrack, is far easier to resolve. At first, the music doesn’t seem that bad, but over time, the repeating tracks start to grate on your nerves. In fact, it got bad enough that a family member in earshot even complained about it. It lacks variety and hits just the right note to make you grow tenser than the string of your bow.

It's sort of like a horizontal Knightmare Tower, what with it's initial charge up and emphasis on mid-air combos, and Angry Birds if it let you guide the birds mid-flight.

Also, that story is just… I’m amazed at how nonsensical it is. Clearly it’s supposed to be about finding purpose in life over time and reincarnation, but with such an out of left field intro that has so little to do with the core narrative, there’s nothing to hold on to. Any other story angle could have been taken and it would be better. I’m one to enjoy the absurd and unusual, I certainly had fun with Downgeon Quest. The difference here is that where Downgeon Quest was funny, Redden plays itself dead serious. A starkly serious narrative, where a stapler talks about its past life to a discarded iPhone. Might not have been the right approach.

If you can get past these blemishes though, Redden is a splendid time. It’s available in three chunks, with the first for free on Android and iOS.

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Our Rating

ProsCons
Flowing visuals and intriguing mechanics help Redden stand out.The repetitious audio design and overly quirky narrative undercut what is otherwise a promising game.
Rating
6/10

REDDEN
REDDEN
Developer: Joonyoung Kim
Price: $2.99
REDDEN!
REDDEN!
Developer: Team Bulosodeuk
Price: Free+
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Elijah Beahm

Elijah is a man who can't stop talking about games, geeky things, and to the chagrin of his colleagues, horrible puns. He's been working as a game journalist for several years now, and in addition to Appolicious, His other work can be found at GameCritics.com, I Need Diverse Games, and The Unabridged Gamer on YouTube. When not reviewing games, you'll probably find him ranting on Twitter, writing, or replaying Dead Space 2 for the zillionth time.

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