A Beggar’s Ride. It doesn’t sounds like the most exciting or likeable game title I’ve ever heard, but it’s at least intriguing. Originally released as a title for mobile devices, the 2D puzzle-platformer has now been optimised with real controls on the Wii U.
The first thing that will strike you about the game as you begin the story, is the excellent and professional narration during the opening and throughout the game. I’m sure I’ve heard this narrator’s voice in another game before but I can’t put my finger on what. Either way, he delivers the rather wishy-washy lines very well.
That’s another point, the delivery of the story is a little pretentious and overly mysterious. The story is told from the occasional narration piece at the end of a section, but also through words written around the landscape as you walk past various points. It’s all rather stylishly done with the varying size words and their succinct nature.
It’s a very simple story. A beggar stumbles across the mask of a God and gains a new special power. Along the way he collects a few more until the game ends. There’s a rather predictable twist in the story but it’s nice that they actually tried and it’s somewhat interesting.
Coming from a mobile game, you’d be forgiven for worrying about the controls especially considering it’s a platformer at heart. Sadly, the transition hasn’t been the smoothest. Walking feels stiff and the jumping is a mixture of both stiff and float-y, if that makes any ounce of sense. Thankfully The Beggar’s Ride is a simple game and the slightly fiddly controls generally don’t get in the way. Platforming is simple for the most part which makes the game a more relaxing and laid back experience, which is to its merit.
The most interesting part of the game is in its puzzles. The God mask’s you pick up during the game give you the powers to solve the puzzles you’ll regularly come across. The first mask gives you the power to move clouds by using the gamepad touchscreen and produce rain. The second lets you rotate the landscape by using the gyroscopic sensors of the pad. You can use this to coerce rocks off the edge of cliffs and such. The last ones involve moving earth and changing the light. It’s a nice idea that works for the most part. The Sun power at the end is incredibly finicky though and seemed to have its own mind most of the time. Because of the laid back nature of the game, it never presents a huge problem as you seemingly have all the time in the world.
There are a few enemies in the game that will try to get in your way, but they really are few and far between. It’s especially surprising when you come across an enemy that’s aggressive to you rather than just something in the way, although it really won’t be a test of your skills to avoid them or take care of them.
The game is really rather generous with its checkpoints, something which I’m usually thankful for as I don’t like losing time and having to play the same things over and over if I fail. However the over generosity (basically every few metres) and lack of punishment for failing meant I played through the game rather carelessly. It didn’t matter how well I played.
The game looks fine for what it is even if it is overly simple but it suits the gameplay well. There’s also not really much to say regarding the sound design. It’s very much a middle of the road affair.
Overall, The Beggar’s Ride is a short, harmless 2D platform puzzler that’s not going to either amaze or disappoint. It’s got a few little flaws that stop it being a must have game, especially the controls. The gamepad is well used and welcome on the system, it’s just shame the game as a whole is so middle of the road. Certainly not bad, just not great either.
– Uses the gamepad well
– Nice narration
– Controls just don’t feel ‘right’
– The final power is rather annoying to use