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Red’s Kingdom

Posted by GG Goblin On August - 23 - 2018

Get your nuts back.

That line between mobile games, handheld games and full on console games is becoming more and more blurred, as we see games frequently making the jump back and forth across different platforms. Not so long ago, the idea of a mobile game coming to full console, or a console title appearing in more or less full form on mobile, would have been the object of scorn. Now though, it happens quite often.

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Which brings us to Red’s Kingdom, an action puzzle game from Cobra Mobile which previously enjoyed success on iOS devices. Now though, this plucky squirrel is taking his search for nuts to the Nintendo Switch, and this brightly coloured puzzle game proves to be an excellent fit.

You have to feel sorry for Red the Squirrel. Mad King Mac has been very mean and, aside from other less important crimes, has taken Red’s stash of nuts. Nothing else matters, Red must get his nuts back. Such is the story that sets up the highly enjoyable gameplay in Red’s Kingdom. It may not be much, but it is all we really need.

The gameplay is what will pull the players in. The core idea is similar to those sliding games, like the excellent Slayaway Camp, where the player will slide their hero in a certain direction, and they will keep moving until they hit something, halting their progress. Red’s Kingdom works like this, in that each small area is set up like one of those puzzles and the player will have to work out which way to slide Red in order to get to where they want. The difference however, is that each area is not an individual puzzle, but they are all interconnected as part of a larger, explorable map. All the player has to do is work out how to get where they want.

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The play area is pretty big, and offers plenty of variety in the otherwise simple gameplay mechanic of sliding. By moving around the different areas, players will come across items that can help them to access new areas, and there are also all manner of different hazards introduced through the course of the game that will test the players puzzle solving skills. Even being able to attack enemies becomes a puzzle of sorts as the player needs to work out the safest direction to attack from. Levers, teleporters, little ramps, all of these objects and more can open new areas to explore and new ways to progress.

Nuts are everywhere for Red to collect, littering the levels along with other things like health hearts and even a couple of power ups, although they do have limited use. But still, the appearance of nuts can at least give the player an idea of where they are able to reach, if not always straight away. This can be quite handy as, despite the relative simplicity of the gameplay, it can be tricky at times to work out where to go or how to get there. Getting stuck on a puzzle can be frustrating, especially when they tend to have an obvious solution.

But the real problem with Red’s Kingdom comes down to the repetitive nature of the gameplay, which is far more suited to the type of mobile play which may involve short occasional sessions. Playing Red’s Kingdom in short bursts is highly entertaining and worthwhile. However, for the longer gaming sessions that are more likely on a home console, Red’s Kingdom will start to drag and be dropped in favour of something else.

Whether played in handheld or big screen mode, Red’s Kingdom is a great looking game. The occasional cut scene is well made and filled with humour, and the minute by minute gameplay is smooth and colourful, with plenty to look at and enjoy. Even the soundtrack is decent and fits well with the game, with a couple of tunes that are quite capable of getting stuck in the players head if they hang around too long. In all, the production value is impressive.

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There is a lot to like about Red’s Kingdom. The puzzles are fun and occasionally challenging, the visuals are nice and the sound is equally good. If played in short bursts, there is enough here to entertain for a fair while. However, the game will grow tiresome if the player hangs around for too long. For the more casual puzzle player, Red’s Kingdom on Switch would be worth checking out. Now get those nuts!




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