Hands-On With Rinth Island

It looks like Buzz Monkey and Chillingo are bringing us a doozy of a puzzle platformer in Rinth Island this Thursday. We’re still literally pushing our way through a review copy, but let’s take some time out to give you the lowdown on this one.

A settlement on the eponymous island has just been well busted up by a storm, and now the locals need some gofers to straighten things out. This will involve pushing giant stacks of crates, lighting cannons, setting off demolition explosives — you know, pretty much everything you’d send some little kids out to do. Gimble and Libby find themselves tapped for the job, and under the player’s guidance these plucky little’uns settle in for lots of puzzle platforming.

Just one look at a screenshot and you’ll see why Rinth caught our attention. Each of the game’s missions takes an entire side-scrolling level and coils it around a puzzle-filled tower that rotates as the player character works his or her way through. The effect is just gorgeous and lends Rinth a memorable presentation, but this is far from a case of style over substance if our playthrough so far is any indication. Rinth’s crate sliding puzzles quickly grow into brain stumpers, and lest it threaten to become merely a 3D Sokoban, the game whips out dynamite, rolling boulders, and tests of cannon marksmanship in short order. Rest assured players will get plenty of use out of that instant retry button! The campaign sprawls over two branching overworlds ready for release day, with a third apparently on the way.

Rinth’s levels can be played again in a handful of challenge modes that cap solution time, steps taken, etc. If you happen to master those, the final frontier is to create your own diabolical levels through a powerful in-game editor that lets you test on-the-fly — very groovy. While you’re waiting for our full review on launch day, scope out the footage below and the game’s Chillingo page for more info. Rinth Island will release as a Universal game at a launch price of $0.99.