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Published 30.11.2021 00:00
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Rob Riches review

There's something to be said for a game that just ticks all the boxes in the way you'd expect them too. Rob Riches, a relatively straightforward sokoban-style puzzler, is one such game. Even though it doesn't do anything to drastically reinvent the classic premise of sliding blocks and gathering items to reach an exit, it has some fun level design and near perfect convenience tools that make wrestling with its challenges relatively frustration free.

Slide and steal

Rob Riches puts you in control of a treasure hunter who is venturing through dangerous ancient ruins. Your goal is to gather all of the coins in each room before proceeding to an exit, which leads to another treasure room. Each of these rooms has a grid-based layout, and you maneuver Rob by tapping on a virtual d-pad to have him hop between squares to solve puzzles, avoid traps, and gather coins.

Across the three different kinds of ruins Rob ventures through, you'll encounter a lot of familiar puzzle archetypes, including levels with slippery ice, crowds of boxes, timing-based traps, and more. There are few surprises in terms of the kinds of puzzles you can find across Rob Riches (provided you've played some amount of sokoban puzzle games before), but they are all well executed and paced well so that even novice players can grasp each new set of mechanics as they are introduced.

Rinse and repeat

Early levels of Rob Riches are generally very generous in that you have the freedom to make mistakes and still complete levels. This includes making unnecessary movements or even moving objects or activating switches incorrectly. Later levels mostly create challenge by removing this margin for error--false moves can send you off a cliff, block you in, or make coins suddenly unreachable.

This could create some frustration if not for the convenient undo and reset buttons that are constantly in view while playing Rob Riches. At the tap of a button you can roll back the steps you've taken so far one at a time or instantly reset the entire puzzle. These features may sound like a small thing, but they allow for you to engage with levels without them feeling like overly punishing trial and error pursuits.

Test your tolerance

In addition to the undo and reset buttons, Rob Riches is full of little touches that make it a worthwhile premium experience. For example, the way levels are stitched together so you're always moving forward without interruption is a nice decision that allows for easy binge play. There's also a level select screen that conveniently tracks how many moves it has taken you to solve each puzzle which is also measured against a move goal you can try to reach as a way to add replayability to its levels.

If there were something to knock Rob Riches for, it would probably be the lack of an in-game hint system. The ability to undo and reset puzzles is nice, but there are a few puzzles in the game that are real head-scratchers. Occasionally, just walking away from the game and returning to it later was enough to allow me to see a solution, but there were definitely some levels that I needed some outside help to figure out, and it would've been nice to not have to go hunting on YouTube for that kind of help.

The bottom line

All in all though, Rob Riches is a great package. Its straightforward puzzling is made to be about as convenient and welcoming as possible, making it a worthwhile pickup for anyone regardless of your level of experience with these kinds of games.

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