Rico review (iOS / Universal)April 12, 2013
10 word description: Old school 2D platformer. 4 worlds, 32 levels. Jetpack. Boss fights.
10 word review: Does what it sets out to do, mostly quite well.
You will like this if you enjoy: Retro platformers with an emphasis on carefully timed jumps and collecting gold coins in fairly large levels, rather than speed-running and dying a million times.
The good news: Controls work well, even though the buttons look rather tiny on the iPad screen. Nice level design, although it (intentionally) feels derivative most of the time. Abilities, via item acquisition, are introduced quite slowly, which adds a feeling of progression and increasing power to the player character. Multiple difficulty settings and save slots are very nice. No IAPs.
The bad news: The game can feel quite slow paced, but that is a design decision and it is what it is. I just have to tell you this stuff in case you look at the screen images and think it’s like League of Evil. It isn’t. There’s no Game center or iCloud support. I’m not too bothered about GC, but iCloud syncing of progress across devices would be great.
Arcadelife verdict: Rico really does nail a lot of the look & feel that defined old school platform games. There’s no ability to save a game mid-level, but the levels aren’t so big that this ever became a problem for me. The multiple difficulty settings are good; it’s worth mentioning that “Insane” is not a hardcore single life, permanent death setting, but you do only have one life with which to complete each level. This presents a significant challenge – no checkpoints, obviously – but doesn’t have the potential to make you cry as it might if death meant a complete restart.
Overall, the game elements work well together and the game held my attention without ever feeling frustrating or contrived. If you go in expecting a constant blast of blistering action you will probably come away disappointed. If you’re after a challenging trip down platforming memory lane, Rico definitely does enough things right to put a nostalgic smile on your face.