Riah

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RIAH is a freeware platformer that looks and plays a lot like a classic NES or SMS title. It looks very “8-bit”. You play a heroine who is going on some sort of quest for some reason or another. Absolutely no story is given in this game, but it is actually kind of nice not to have to sit through screens of back story and some bullshit training mode before you can even start playing the game itself.

You start with a kind of extendable long sword as your main weapon. It took me a little while to realize that you can change your primary weapon to either a projectile (some kind of throwing dagger), a hammer that flies up in an arc or a kind of spiked Frisbee/boomerang that flies forward at first, then curves and flies towards the opposite edge of the screen. The projectile is the weakest and the sword is the strongest while the others do about the same amount of damage.

The controls are a little broken. The movement is fluid enough, but there is a slight delay when attacking, so if you find an enemy coming straight at you and you don’t kill it with the first blow, you’re going to take a hit. Quite often you will get hit by an enemy while the character sprite is halfway through the attack animation and subsequently cuss out your PC monitor. The exception to this rule is the projectile attack. Although it is the weakest, it is the only one you can use in quick succession. However there is a problem with the projectile attack as well. You know in some games when you become invincible for a second or two after taking a hit? Well in this game, the enemy also becomes immune to attacks immediately after being hit. Shit sucks man, fair play can go take a flying leap. Having said that, the projectile attack is still probably the best option for your primary weapon. To offset the difficulties of combat, the character is really quite agile and can perform a double jump which often comes in quite handy. Another thing I like about this game is the hit detection, it is very forgiving. Nothing can fuck up a decent game quite like shitty hit detection.

Another little thing that makes this game shine, as if it didn’t enough already, is the level creator that comes bundled with the game. As far as level editors go it’s very user friendly. You can literally just open it and start making a level within seconds. I haven’t quite figured out how to play the levels I make, so if you figure it out please let me know.

Also the controls: Z is attack, X is jump, C is change weapon and Alt is pause.

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