Rochard ($9.99, App Store Link), by developer Recoil Games, brings a fresh take to the platform genre. With creative puzzles, great graphics, and some of the best voiceovers I’ve heard, this game really has a lot to offer.
In the game you play as John Rochard, a laid back astro-minor who works for a company named Skyrig. As you make your way through the game, John encounters a gang of enemies, who call themselves”wild boys”. To fight against the wild boys, John has the G-Lifter by his side, which is useful for picking up crates or other items to throw at enemies, changing gravity, or manipulating the environment.
Other than the G-Lifter, John also has the Rock Blaster, which is a more offensive weapon when you don’t feel the need to use the G-Lifter to throw objects at your enemies. In Rochard, you’ll be doing a lot of different small puzzles to get through doorways and move from one spot to the next, which you’ll find out about early on in the game.
While there are only 5 chapters in Rochard, they’re fairly long and the puzzles keep your intrest in the game. The AI can be a little dull at times, and isn’t much of a priority when concentrating on the more creative puzzles.
To shake things up, you can use the G-Lifter just to make things more interesting and challenging. Or, if you prefer, you can just use the Rock Blaster and shoot away, while taking cover at the same time to regain your health.
The G-Lifter is also tied into the platforming aspect of the game, as it can be used as a grappling hook of sorts while aiming the G-Lifter at bolted down items to get from point A to point B, which makes the platforming that much more fun and intuitive.
As far as the sound goes, it seems like Recoil Games has really put a lot of time into it. The soundtrack for Rochard is composed by Markus “Captain” Kaarlonen, and features a mix of blues, southern rock, and some 80s electronic music. It sounds great, and it helps speed up the pace of the game. The soundtrack also does well setting up certain situations while John is fighting off enemies or trying to get through a puzzle. Rochard also features great sound effects and voice overs.
Rochard uses the Unity engine for its visuals. It has some sharp graphics, but nothing too extraordinary or anything that pushes the limit. The graphics are also a bit cartoonish, which works well for the fun and laid back sort of game that Rochard is. Everything in the game comes together well visually. All the levels, enemies, and John himself make the game a lot of fun, just as any indie game tries to.
Rochard is a great puzzle platformer, and the puzzles are a lot of fun to play. The enemies and the platforming itself aren’t too challenging, however, and the AI could be much, much better. Meanwhile, the sound effects and soundtrack make a good addition to an already fun game, and add to the overall effect. While there are only 5 levels, the levers are pretty long, so there’s still plenty of gameplay.
All in all, Rochard is a great platformer, and each of its various elements blend together extremely well to create a truly enjoyable gameplay experience. For its few faults, Rochard does a lot of things right. As such, I award Rochard 4 out of 5 stars.
Price: $9.99 (Mac App Store Link)
- Great puzzles
- Sound effects and soundtrack are a big plus
- Hilarious dialog
- The AI is kind of weak
- Enemies and platforming aren’t very challenging