Rakoo & Friends is an updated version of Rakoo’s Adventure, a mobile game that was released a couple of years back. It’s a vibrant and colourful game that looks aesthetically pleasing. From the gameplay aspect, it’s a bit hollow and I feel like I’ve seen it many times before.
The story is about Rakoo, a loveable furry creature on a journey to find love. I would describe the game as an endless runner. The game consists of 64 auto-scrolling side-scrolling levels in which you must guide Rakoo through a series of levels, full of enemies and obstacles. You can take control with either the Gamepad or a Wiimote, but no Pro Controller or Classic Controller Pro. Every level is short and compact, and sees you collecting flowers along the way. As you progress through the game, you will unlock four other characters to assist you. Each buddy comes with their own set of skills, that are designed to tackle obstacles on your journey. Each level contains three gold coins, as well as a bonus for collecting flowers. You use the coins you collect to obtain Miiverse stamps, and unlock hats to customize your character. During the game you come across a range of obstacles and enemies, but nothing is particularly difficult or challenging. It would have been nice to of had some more difficult challenges or possibly a higher difficulty level.
The game looks and feels like a mobile game, and even features many unlockables that felt similar to games like Candy Crush or Jetpack Joyride. Rakoo can use a hot pepper that temporarily makes him breathe fire while running at high-speed, this helps to destroy items in your way. You can also ride a huge beast, that smashes through the level. Whilst doing this was fun, it made the game far too easy at times. I found myself easily progressing through the game with no real challenges.
The bosses in the game are also very easy, which again I felt was a shame. A bit more thought or challenge would have made the game feel a bit more rewarding and satisfying. It does get slightly more difficult towards the end of the game, but not enough to make it engaging. The move to Wii U has brought a few additions to this game. Multiplayer support for up to five is included, which gives the game a bit more reason to play. Also the flower collecting aspect, allows for some replayabiltiy after your finished. Outside of multiplayer, I really don’t think there’s much for the solo gamer with repeated plays. It’s too bad there’s no option to increase the difficulty.
My favourite part of the game is actually the general presentation. From the cute characters, nice animations and cutscenes, vibrant colours, and sound effects, it certainly looks good. Rakoo is a quirky, and well animated main character, full of personality. It’s a shame that the visuals outshine the fairly generic gameplay. Rakoo’s collectable hats all animate in different ways when he gets a powerup that makes him sing. The game looks very much like a well animated children’s cartoon, that I’m sure kids will enjoy.
Overall, Rakoo & Friends is game full of vibrant colour, cute characters and nice animations, but unfortunately the gameplay is a bit repetitive and boring after a while. The multiplayer adds a bit more depth, but the game needs to be more challenging to be engaging in any way. The soundtrack works well with the style of the game, and I’m sure younger audiences will enjoy this title. It’s by no means a bad game, infact some parts I really enjoyed. It would have just been nice to have seen a bit more refinement or replayabiltiy.
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