Jun 25, 2017 Last Updated 1:48 PM, Jun 24, 2017

The Beggar's Ride Review

Published in Adventure
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The game opens with its premise: the player’s character, an old beggar, comes across a mask that wields unimaginable power and throws the player into a brand new world - a world “on the other side of the rain.”

This unlikely hero, though probably not as well-equipped as younger or stronger men, takes the challenge and starts exploring this new world and his newfound powers. As more masks are discovered, and with them, more powers, it is revealed that the powers that emit from these masks are that of a long-lost god. With these powers come memories of this old god, which slowly reveal the backstory of the game. The player soon realizes that this old Beggar is more than he appears to be.

The side-scrolling platformer is narrated mainly by the words that appear fixed on the background, requiring the player to move around the terrain in order to read the whole text. When the magic mask is donned, the visuals change to a dusky twilight color scheme and new words appear in lieu of the narrative text, allowing the player to interact in the presentation of the narrative. The gameplay format centers around the Beggar moving around his environment in the normal view, and when he goes into “god- mode” by putting on the mask, the Beggar changes the environment around him. Almost all of the puzzles in the game are centered on this concept, requiring the player to maneuver obstacles while switching between the “human-mode” and the be-masked “god mode”

One of the most unique elements of the game is the challenge of being a part of a three-dimensional world and only having two-dimensional movement.

The poetic narrative peppers in hints of social commentary, postulating on themes like the treatment of the impoverished, the aftermath of neglecting nature, and the importance of second chances. Along with the static texts that appear on the background, the story has small cutscenes near select save points, where the voiced narrator reveals the history of the god who has since fallen, and the Beggar’s role in the world. One of the most unique elements of the game is the challenge of being a part of a three-dimensional world and only having two-dimensional movement. Many of the obstacles are set up around this concept. For instance, the player might have to move through spikes which are swinging from foreground to background on a pendulum, and the player must move through the mid-ground in the interim. The player also must affect their environment with the help of the masks, by creating rain, tilting the landscape, moving boulders, and changing the sun and moon phases. While in many side-scrollers, this level of complexity might be frustrating, The Beggar’s Ride has such clean animation that it runs smoothly with the gameplay. The developers also provides the player with an art style and animation that shows extreme attention to detail, be it the idle animation, the in-game physics, or the enemies’ reactions to the player.

The music has a jovial ambience, mixing the usual temple music with woodwinds and bright chimes. When a mask is donned, the music changes to a deeper tone with heavy drums. This dichotomy between the two music styles and the differences in aesthetic in the game enables the player to fully embrace the differences between the “human” mode and the “god” mode. As the game proceeds, the storyline gets deeper and deeper and truly ropes the player into the experience with new mysteries unveiled at nearly every new puzzle. As I progressed, the game’s difficulty ramped up quickly, presenting more challenges that required more lateral thinking at each turn. Too often do mobile games translate poorly to PC, but in this instance, it seems as if The Beggar’s Ride was made for the mouse and keyboard controls and the larger, vibrant screen that comes with PC gaming. The Beggar’s Ride has an interesting storyline, a unique main character, and found new and fun ways to navigate a side-scrolling platformer. The art and animation are beautiful and polished, and the game runs clean and smooth. The only suggestions that I could make is the possible use of foreground and background for character movement.

8

The Verdict

The Beggar’s Ride has an interesting storyline, a unique main character, and found new and fun ways to navigate a side-scrolling platformer. The art and animation are beautiful and polished, and the game runs clean and smooth. The only suggestions that I could make is the possible use of foreground and background for character movement. If you are looking for a new platformer that seamlessly combines the whimsy of a fantasy with the challenges of a puzzle game, The Beggar’s Ride might be what you need.

Allison Holmes

Allison has been playing video games since she was little and used to sneak onto her parent’s PC and play on their Diablo account. Since then, she’s gone through nearly every incarnation of Nintendo and PlayStation consoles, and especially loves puzzle, adventure, and horror games. Recently, she’s gained an appreciation for indie games and other challenges to the form.

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