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Shellie - ShelliePancake

18 June 2023

Rift Rangers

Rift Rangers is a Roguelite, Power Ranger's-esque tower defense pixel game brought to you by Epic Story Interactive. A challenging, fast-paced game that forces you to keep moving or die as you try to defend varying parts of a map while swarms of monsters come for you.


The Rift Rangers are compromised of 4 members - Rapid Yellow, whose specialty is Dashing; Black Fire, who specializes in Detonate, which causes multiple bombs to detonate at once; Sentinel Blue, who overclocks the RiftTech, causing them to fire at a higher rate and the Green Guardian who's specialty is Assemble which positions all RiftTech to the location of the Ranger. You are warped to various locations to defend against swarms of Master Brain's minions.

Like most Roguelite Tower Defence games, the difficulty ramps up pretty quickly, forcing you to keep moving and place down as many weapons as you can strategically or get swarmed and overrun, ending your run. Whilst there are some walls that can block the swarms of enemies coming for you, these can sometimes hinder you in your quest if you aren't careful, and they can corner you, leaving you a sitting target. Currently, there are only two levels, and they last for 20 minutes, and to aid you in your quest are varying RiftTech, such as turrets, bombs, or saw blades spinning across the map. As these kill enemies, the enemies drop Energy Chips, and collecting these enable you to upgrade by giving you a chance to choose from three options. These can include making you a bit faster, making your weapons stronger, or giving you a chance to spawn more than one of your RiftTech weapons. Choosing from these is critical as one time, I opted for stronger turret bullets, wasn't paying attention to my health, and didn't choose the chance to heal - Which got me killed 5 minutes into my run. They also enable you to unlock abilities for your Ranger and unlock new Rangers to play as.


The controls are simple. WASD or arrows to move around the map and JIKL to drop your RiftTech of choice. You can use Spacebar to Dash or make a selection when you upgrade and get to choose your bonus. Initially, I used the mouse to make my selections and then scrambled to get back to the keyboard before being overrun, but I quickly learned that using the keyboard to scroll through my options was much smoother.

Graphically it's an eye-catching, beautiful little game. The bright, neon colors stand out among the many games on the market, and the characters are well-drawn. The simple designs can be forgiven by cleverly making each character stand out with their own bright hue. The cute hero poses give them their own character and make them really feel like their own heroic team. Whenever you die and your run ends, a pixelated news clip runs, explaining how the Rift Rangers had to retreat, and this is clever, and I think a better way the creators could have created an end game screen rather than just some writing on the screen stating Game Over.


The maps and levels are dark and feel futuristic, contrasting against the neon and bright enemies that swarm across the map. The edges of the map are slightly darker, bringing the focus to the center of the screen and creating a sense of space and depth. Later, you can find yourself on top of the station, looking down upon the world. The audio is enjoyable, and I listened to the full, original track upon starting the game. Every superhero team deserves its own title track!


The developers poured love into this game, and the small details - such as the custom title track and poses - stand out to me as a consumer and make me take notice. While there are many Roguelite Sentai Genre games, these nuances bring a game its own personality and make it stand out that little bit more among the rest. While I personally am not a huge fan of Tower Defence games, I enjoyed my run with the Rift Rangers.


The Bad

- Simple to pick up and play
- Visually beautiful and eye catching
- The developers are actively updating

- Steep difficulty curve
- Lack of levels

The Good

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