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Rad Rodgers (Xbox)

Developed by Slipgate Studios, Rad Rodgers is now available on PC (Steam) for £17.99, PS4 for £15.99 and Xbox One for £15.99.

Rad Rodgers is an action-packed platformer in which you’ll play as Rad, a young boy who’s spent the night playing video games on his dusty old console. He wakes up during the night and sees that his console has turned itself back on and won’t turn back off again. When Rad tries to investigate a little closer, he gets sucked into a video game adventure all of his own. Rad and Dusty join forces to restore the Elder Tree as guardian of the land to combat the corruption which is decaying the jungle world.

Immediately you are given the option of choosing whether a child or adult will be playing the game which will either allow cursing or will tone it down a little. As I started playing the game whilst the kids were in bed, I selected the adult mode with the idea that I’d be able to change it later on. When looking into the parental controls, I turned off the blood/bad language, but it didn’t make a blind bit of difference, even though the curse words (used very frequently) are bleeped out, you can still hear the expletive, which meant a change of game until night time when they had gone to bed.

You can also choose your difficulty level which will essentially dictate how many lives you’ll be given. Naturally, I opted to go for the unlimited lives. Once I’ve got a good feel for the levels, I’ll go back and ramp up the difficulty for more of a challenge.

One of my favourite things about Rad Rodgers is the music, its upbeat, energetic and it reminded me a lot of the games I used to play when I was much younger. The voice acting is absolutely fantastic and definitely a major positive to the game as it does bring so much humour to the levels (helped even more so when the cursing is free flowing). The sound effects have also been implemented to a high standard with gunfire varying depending on which weapon (dropped as a powerup orb) you have currently in use. However, as much as it allowed me to reminisce about my childhood playing video games, it also reminded me of the frustrations and little patience I had back then. I like to think I am better now although Rad Rodgers did irk me somewhat from time to time.  

Whilst levels are colourful with many hidden collectibles and secret areas, they grew very repetitive and would quite literally leave me feeling lost amidst dead ends or barricaded entrances, perhaps this was intended but without the ability to leave a level and return to the last place you saved, it does get tedious when going round in circles. Each level has the same objective, you need to kill all enemies, find all gems, find all of the secrets and then find four of the segments hidden through the level which will unlock the exit door. 

There is a total of 8 levels which have two mini-bosses, 1 boss level and 3 pogo vertigo levels. You could argue that Rad Rodgers is a very short game in terms of content, but each level took me anywhere between 20-60 minutes and I still hadn’t managed to find all of the hidden collectibles. I’m sure others who are more skilled at platformers (and those who use guides) would be able to do it in much less time.

I am so incredibly grateful to the “Photo Mode” in each of the levels as it enabled me to try and figure out where I was supposed to try and get to next. It is obviously great for taking large images of the level from a different angle as well if you'd like a new background wallpaper.

Within each level there are pixelated glitches, “The Pixelverse”, which only Dusty can enter, each one is a mini-game requiring a puzzle to be solved in order for Rad and Dusty to be able to continue their journey, usually by removing a boulder or adding a platform. The puzzles aren’t overly complex, the hardest part is trying to avoid Dusty banging against the sides too much which depletes his energy and ultimately kicks you out to try again.

There are a number of items to collect in Rad Rodgers including hats, lions and gems just to name a few. These are all hidden away throughout the levels and some of them will leave you stumped, I’m sure. You may need to go forward in order to go back or find a hidden jump spring but they are all accessible, even if it doesn’t look that way at first glance.

As you try to traverse the level you will be faced with a number of enemies, you can either shoot them with your Bolt Blaster gun (which has unlimited ammo) or you can use Dusty’s slam attack. There isn’t a huge variation when it comes to enemies and they are incredibly easy to defeat from a distance if you’re trying to avoid taking too much damage.

The controls are very simple and responsive, making it the perfect game to return to after a break as you’ll find it easy to carry on from where you left off. My only issues with the controls of Rad Rodgers is that jumping is inconsistent with regards to the distances that you can jump. Sometimes you’ll go to jump and completely miss or other times you’ll have what feels like a speed boost and fly past your intended landing point completely. 

I cannot get used to Dusty and how he helps you out when you’re on the edge of a platform. Sometimes it is great because you’ll nearly fall off and he’ll plop you straight back up again or you’ll be millimetres from climbing up to the ledge and he’ll pull you up with ease. There are times that I have tried to be clever and go to drop down diagonally but instead, keep getting pulled back up again! I wish there was a way to bypass Dusty getting involved because he starts to become more of a hindrance than a help!

Overall, I enjoyed playing Rad Rodgers, it is a decent platformer with a lot to do if you like to complete collections, achievements, etc. but if you’re just looking at playing through the game then you may be disappointed with what is available. With that being said, if I had to give it a score it would have to be 8/10.

Rad Rodgers has 39 achievements available for a total of 1,000 Gamerscore. A rather challenging achievement list, with a mixture of completing levels having found everything/killed all enemies as well as collectible related achievements. There are a couple of more interesting achievements such as completing a level without killing any enemies which I quite liked. Unfortunately, at the time of writing this review, it would appear that two of the achievements are currently unobtainable, which is a shame as I feel like these things should be tested prior to release. I am hopeful that there will be a patch to fix this issue imminently as the Steam version has been fixed. If you need any help or guidance, then head over to True Achievements where you will find plenty of useful information.

A game code was provided for the purpose of this review. Thank you!
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