hot  /  reviews  /  videos  /  cblogs  /  qposts

Rigonauts

Review: Rigonauts

2:00 PM on 08.13.2012 // Fraser Brown
  @FraserIBrown

I wish I was a practical gent, especially when it comes to construction. Unfortunately, I can't even put up a shelf without a lot of hassle, injuries, and the expectation of fanfare at the end. Thankfully, there are a number of games out there that allow me to flex my creative muscles with little or no knowledge of how to actually build things. 

Rigonauts doesn't just task players with building random stuff, however. No, it's all about war machines. Vehicles of death and obliteration. On wheels, in the sky, shooting cannonballs and flames, the Rigo is a versatile vessel. It's also run by goblinoid Hobs, the titular Rigonauts. The promise of goblin engineering was enough to make me intrigued, but does it offer more? 

Rigonauts (PC [Reviewed], Android, iOS)
Developer: Engient Inc
Publisher: Engient Inc
Released: August 8, 2012
MSRP: $9.99

The Hobs of the Rigo are an oppressed bunch, and I'm sure we can all agree that's a shame. Rather than accepting their fate, they built the Rigo to flee from their cruel masters. Easier said than done. Their masters are dogged buggers, and have sent numerous ne'er do wells after the little green fellows. The road to freedom is covered in enemies. The Hobs only hope is to keep blasting through.

That's really all there is to the plot, though the various enemy leaders and the Hobs themselves are generally amusing scamps. The art style is low key and inoffensive, but I'm already starting to forget it. It's accompanied by music that I can best describe as a pain in the arse; its repetitiveness is not saved by its jauntiness. 

Each encounter starts with the Rigo unadorned. It can move, but it doesn't have any weapons or armor. You can take as long as you like to rectify this and cover that vehicle in bits and bobs. In this instance the bits are objects like wheels and beams made out of a variety of materials that get unlocked, and the bobs are your weapons. 

While the temptation to make a gigantic and intimidating engine of mass destruction is nearly overwhelming, the game puts a lot of limits on prospective mad engineers. Firstly, you can only build within a set location and it can't be too big. The allotted square is a decent size though, and I only really felt that it restricted me when I was making flying versions of the Rigo. Secondly, there are quite strict limits placed on how many guns and materials you can use. That wouldn't be so bad if your enemies were equally as restricted, but they are not.

Foes will attack with intricate creations, from vehicles that look like skulls, to a trio of mice. Some of them are absolutely huge. Despite this most of them fall pretty quickly, having weaknesses which are quite easy to exploit, and while players can prioritize targets, the AI doesn't seem to do as good a job. In fact, I'm not even sure if they do anything other than aim at the core of the rig. 

To progress through the game you need to collect stars. It's always stars. I want to collect the entrails of my fallen enemies. To get these stars players must use as few guns and materials as possible. Since the battles are completely hands-off, the entire game is about building, yet you get a better score for not bothering. Most battles can be won using the same combination of weapons and defensive item placement, and it inspires a half-arsed approach that takes all the joy away from being creative.

That isn't to say there's no fun to be had. There definitely is, but the fun doesn't come from playing the game correctly. My favorite battles all ended with me getting almost no stars. I'd spend ages making hilarious tanks, flying ships, and even a vehicle in the shape of an enraged pig. A pig, I should add, covered in laser cannons. Of course, this inevitably led to me replaying quite a few levels to grab the stars needed to progress. Have fun with a level, then do it again with zero creativity. That was my routine. Perhaps that is actually the way it's meant to be played, but if that's the case then it's simply shoddy design.

As the Rigo starts to face larger and even more heavily armed opponents, things do start to pick up. The battles don't really have a difficulty curve, rather they spike or plummet. Some battles are obvious and easy, requiring little or no thought, and some requiring multiple attempts to figure out the best solution, all interspersed randomly. Foes do get more deadly, though. More gun slots are offered to deal with them, and the game starts to punish you less for going a bit gun crazy. My flying porcupine of flaming death really appreciated this. 

Rigonauts has its fair share of potential, but the greatest issue is what the developers decided the challenge would be. It's not from the easily exploitable battles and inept enemies, and it's certainly not figuring out ingenious solutions to difficult obstacles. It comes from getting stars, and just keeping things simple. That's not a challenge, it's just boring, yet when I managed to ignore that, it charmed the pants off me. If you're willing to ignore the annoying system the game employs, then there's a few good hours of engineering impossible vehicles and general silliness. 



THE VERDICT

5.5

Rigonauts - Reviewed by Fraser Brown
Average - Like a meal of lukewarm water with white bread. It filled my time and my belly, but lacks any discernible flavor or nutritional value. A game that left me no different than it found me. Just passing through.

See more reviews or the Destructoid score guide.

Fraser Brown, Former Contributor
 Follow Blog + disclosure FraserIBrown Tips
Fraser Brown is that bearded, bespectacled Scotsman that covers PC gaming who is not Alasdair Duncan. Got a splinter stuck in his hand nineteen years ago and just left it in there. True story. ... more   |   staff directory

 Setup email comments

Unsavory comments? Please report harassment, spam, and hate speech to our moderators, and flag the user (we will ban users dishing bad karma). Can't see comments? Apps like Avast or browser extensions can cause it. You can fix it by adding *.disqus.com to your whitelists.

 Add your impressions

 Quickposts
Status updates from C-bloggers

Jiraya avatarJiraya
Metal Gear Solid - Marriage - Revengeance [youtube]https://youtu.be/YN470wKT9PM[/youtube]
wutangclam avatarwutangclam
Divinity: Original Sin 2 stretch goal lets you be a spooky skeleton. This is what I have dreamed of.
wutangclam avatarwutangclam
Going on the record saying a Borderlands movie is a terrible idea.
Tubatic avatarTubatic
Watching Free To Play. I kinda want to try DOTA2, though I'll be very bad at it. Its a very good story of pro-gamer culture, so far. Good Stuff.
RexterNathan avatarRexterNathan
Hello there, I just wanted to say that I'm new here and glad to be part of the community.
Niero Desu avatarNiero Desu
Just tried to explain the word BEAT to an ESL student. Reference.com has 58 variations of the definition. At the least, they can finally understand that Michael Jackson was not asking people to fight each other.
Mediamister avatarMediamister
Steven Hansen avatarSteven Hansen
DTOID PAX MEET UP DAY 1 WAS FIRE.EMOJI!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Shinta avatarShinta
[youtube]https://youtu.be/JOXdORyTqVY[/youtube] I told you guys ... The Witcher 3 has more pirouettes than a ballet show. It's ridiculous!
Nathan D avatarNathan D
Are we really calling followers "fappers" on these quick posts? I knew I loved Dtoid.
OverlordZetta avatarOverlordZetta
[youtube]https://youtu.be/z04MAOubUgM[/youtube] This might've been a fun show.
Cosmonstropolis avatarCosmonstropolis
Someone is trying to log into my Dtoid account. I keep getting emails notifying me of bad password attempts. What?
gajknight avatargajknight
If you spend 10 minutes trying to write a Quickpost...can it really be called Quickpost?
Mike Wallace avatarMike Wallace
So I have enough coins to get a new character in Heroes of the Storm. I like big portly characters like the Butcher or Stitches, but I did enjoy my free week of Tychus. Crowd thoughts?
GoofierBrute avatarGoofierBrute
Today I learned that Bad Rats 2 is a thing that is happening. I don't know how to feel about this.
techsupport avatartechsupport
The temp agency that employs me had me work as a sign spinner today. As in, I held a six foot cardboard arrow-shaped sign and spun it and danced for six hours. It got interesting when a homeless couple confronted me about hogging their spot.
Rad Party God avatarRad Party God
V days until !
Snaveage avatarSnaveage
5ish hours into Phantom Pain and it is absolutely glorious. This is truly A Hideo Kojima game.
Robo Panda Z avatarRobo Panda Z
It looks like my job at PAX didn't work out (For a variety of reasons). Have fun at the convention, everyone! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CdqoNKCCt7A
thelivinglegend avatarthelivinglegend
Witches of Crookback Bog from Witcher 3 is the best quest in the whole game and of any game I've played in recent memory.
more quickposts


Contest!


destructoid's previous coverage:
Rigonauts


View all:powered by:  MM.Elephant

Ads on destructoid may be purchased from:



Please contact Crave Online, thanks!



Seriously

Invert site colors

  Dark Theme
  Light Theme


Destructoid means family.
Living the dream, since 2006

Pssst. konami code + enter

modernmethod logo



Back to Top


We follow moms on   Facebook  and   Twitter
  Light Theme      Dark Theme
Pssst. Konami Code + Enter!
You may remix stuff our site under creative commons w/@
- Destructoid means family. Living the dream, since 2006 -