Rochard is set in the future where mankind is exploring and harvesting the universe for valuable minerals found in huge asteroids. You play as one of these budding gold miners named Rochard, but when we meet him, he isn’t doing so well. He’s been 6 months without a single find and the corporation he is working for is running out of excuses to keep him on the payroll. But just in the nick of time, Rochard lands himself a huge discovery. Whilst drilling for minerals, his team ventures upon a hidden temple. But before Rochard has a chance to check it out, they are boarded by the ‘Bad Boys’ who seem to have their own evil motives.
The plot continues from there but doesn’t develop that much. Despite the game hinting at an overarching plotline, Rochard ends leaving a lot of unanswered questions and an ominous ‘to be continued’ strapline.
Rochard is 2D side-scrolling puzzler where you use the gravity-manipulating G-Lifer which allows you to pick up huge crates and solve puzzles, coupled with a trusty laser blaster to quickly dispatch the opposition. You also have some control over gravity. You can lower it so you can jump really high, fall from great heights without dying and moonwalk (just kidding, but that would be cool!). Purple stations reverse gravity and fuses control the many colour-coded barriers that can block either living matter, inanimate objects or weapon fire. The concept is good and well executed in its simplest form but it doesn’t fully exlore all of the mechanics. I would have liked to see some more challenging puzzles thrown in there as at the moment, it’s easy to breeze through the whole game wondering when you’ll get to the hard bit.
But Rochard is not about frustrating difficulty and intricate level design. It’s about firing an anti-gravity grenade at a bad guy and seeing him float up into the air like a ragdoll. Among human enemies, there are flying turrets, wall mounted machine guns and even dudes with rocket launchers surrounded by forcefields. The combat is very satisfying, but once again fails to really challenge. Although Rochard has a short health bar, your G-lifter can easily dispatch of any annoying turret by wrenching it off the wall, and throwing a box at a living enemy is a one hit kill.
But Rochard has a great sense of humour and even though you won’t become that invested in the plotline, the rotund space captain with his distinctive Southernly accent and strong character will always get you in the mood for some carefree platforming.
Rochard is definitely a no-go for a trackpad, and even a two button mouse is not perfect. You’ll find yourself straining over the keyboard to activate everything. If you have a controller or, even better, a multi-button mouse like the Logitech MX518 (which is what I use) then Rochard plays perfectly.
Rochard is an original concept, backed up by solid design. It’s characteristic, humorous and light-hearted, with gratifying combat and gravity manipulating puzzles. Some may complain it doesn’t ramp up enough in difficulty to render a memorable and challenging play-through, but for a fun little platformer, it’s great.
Publisher: Recoil Games
Price: $6.99 (£6.99)
Description: A 2D Side-Scrolling Gravity-Manipulating Adventure
Pros: Funny and light-hearted, plays great, overall enjoyable.
Cons: It’s easy to breeze through the whole game, not good for trackpads, not perfect for a two-buttoned mouse either.