Rigonauts is an inspiring battle game from Engient. Players have to devise contraptions on their own to defeat enemies. The fewer the materials and weapons are consumed, the more rewards players will get. Rigonauts is a test of one’s imagination, observation, creativity as well as operation abilities.
At the very beginning, a concise and explicit storyline is introduced. It tells that the Hobs of Rigo enslaved by the Komandants are on their way to flee and pursue freedom. However, their masters won’t let them go easily. In face of the interception and attacks, players cast in the role of the Hobs have to be smart enough to devise effective and powerful contraptions to counterattack.
First I need to clarify the abovementioned “contraption”. Basically, it means a battle vehicle where you can deploy weapons like cannons, machine guns, flamers and so on. Initially, it looks like a crude wooden boat, supported by two wheels through two pieces of wood. The wooden wheels and supports are detachable. The vehicle can be fully equipped and turn into a very powerful contraption eventually as the game progresses and more construction materials and weapons are unlocked.
Each weapon features a unique damage type and each material has its own weakness. For example, bones are vulnerable to machine guns and wood can hardly withstand flamers. These are what you have to take into consideration to make sure you can protect yourself while striking deadly blows to enemies.
Rigonauts boasts over 30 challenging levels in all. The first two serve as a tutorial, through which you will learn the basic operations: to build and to aim. Later on, when you’re in battles, you must defend yourself on your own. The interface is clear at a glance. Your vehicle stands steadily in the middle of the screen. On the left is a “shelf” displaying bits (detachable materials used to strengthen your vehicle), bobs (a variety of weapons) and available gun slots. On the top right corner of the screen is the “Go” button, and on the bottom right corner is an arrow icon with a number, which signifies the distance between you and your enemies. Before a battle begins, tapping on the number leads you directly to the enemies, enabling you to check on their vehicle: the overall structure, the materials, and the weapons deployed. You need to figure out its most fragile parts and then focus your gunfire on them. Furthermore, you need to deploy the right types of weapons based on the weaknesses of the materials used in your opponents’ vehicle. With that intelligence in mind, you tap the arrow icon on the left so that you can start to build your contraption.
The essence of the Rigonauts’ gameplay lies in assembling. You’re allowed to assemble all the materials and weapons at your disposal in any way you want. There are thousands of possibilities when it comes to design your vehicle. Following your operation plan, you tap and drag the target weapon to the right location one by one. When it’s appropriately placed, there will an iron sheet on the joints. Tapping it again, you’ll see an orange circle around. You can move as the icons in the circle indicate to adjust the weapon’s position and angels. Please make sure that all the objects are firmly installed, or you may see them fall off once your vehicle starts to move. If the latter happens, can you imagine what a tragic and humiliating scene it will be in battle? After the deployment is ready, just tap the Go button. Your contraption will march forward automatically. Once it’s in battle, there’s nothing you can do. This highlights the fact that prewar preparation matters. If you have a considerable number of materials and weapons, you’ll have the opportunity to create a marvelous piece of work, a giant “ship” with eight wheels and complicated wood & bone structures maybe.
The materials and weapons not only affect your chance of winning, but also determine the rank you’ll get if you win. If you manage to devise a contraption capable of the maximal damage with minimal materials and weapons, you’ll get the highest rank. Such setting drives players to use imagination as much as possible and keep challenging themselves. The rank is indicated by stars, arranging from one to three. The stars appear to be meaningless until I find myself stuck in the game because I don’t have enough of them to unlock the next level. Therefore, I have to go back and choose one from the levels I have passed to start all over again. I tried to make a more effective vehicle at a lower cost. Fortunately, I succeeded and got to move on in the game. If you fail, you’re allowed to retry as many times as possible.
As the game progresses, the enemies are getting stronger and stronger. They not only come in front but also from behind. Their vehicles have much more complex structures. You may have trouble in identifying the weaknesses. The path is not necessarily flat. It may have lots of bumps. In all, there will be increasingly difficult obstacles on your way to freedom.
In addition, Rigonauts features a distinctive interface that complements the game’s style thoroughly. To be specific, the initial interface is designed with the theme of gears. If you re-enter the game after having accomplished several levels, all the cleared levels will be shown inside the gear. By tapping the arrow icons, you’ll see the gear rotates and show different levels. Such a gear-themed design matches with the gameplay – assembling.
Rigonauts is an imaginative game that encourages and drives you to think out of box. It’s beyond doubt that it can entertain both hardcore players and casual players.