Riverbond is a voxel dungeon crawler developed and published by Cococucumber and was released on 6/9/19. It features bright colors, simple controls, and gameplay that can be fun for the whole family. It also has a whole host of weapons and skins to find, including some cameos of characters from your favorite indie games like Shovel Knight, Bastion and Lovers in a Dangerous Space Time!
Upon starting in you’re free to pick one of 8 worlds to battle your way through, I myself picked the first stage which has you battling birds and stealing chicken eggs up until the boss fight with the mighty Captain Barbacus, A giant fish who has adorned an apron and take up a spatula as his weapon of choice. Surprisingly the boss fights can catch you off guard as they are a little more in-depth then the rest of the combat in the game. The variety of weapons, ranged and not make combat enjoyable as you can pick and choose which weapons to keep and toss through the stage. Weapons of the same size will function like one you may have dropped but some have different charge attacks which depending on your combat style can make it more or less enjoyable for you. My favorite weapons are the spear styled ones you jab with, those seemed to do the most damage and were the best at clearing out large swaths of enemies. As far as the combat mechanics go, it just slash, occasionally dodge, and use your blaster to clear out larger hordes. It is very simple, but that makes it so almost anyone can pick the game up, play, and enjoy it as long as your into this style of game.
As far as scenery goes the game is very colorful and the voxel models of everything make it feel almost as if you had blue ski-dooed into your GameBoy Color making everything 3D instead of 2D. The worlds are each unique and each stage inside a world has it’s own feel to it. It keeps it fresh as your moving through a world, one stage I’m destroying crab nests on beach, and then on the next stage I’m clearing bird soldiers out of a town that they have invaded, you changed stages a few times until you get to the boss battle. All of the bosses look unique and have their own unique mechanics as well.
The game is also multiplayer, which makes it considerably easier to play, and also adds a fun couch co-op element to it. Are you waiting for time to pass until you leave for your movie showtime or dinner plans? Why don’t you both grab a controller and hack and slash your way through some adorably lovable badies? It’s a fun game to pass the time with but unfortunately that’s about as deep as it goes, there aren’t any upgrade mechanics to speak of and there is only one special move no matter what skin you have on. So after a while the game does get pretty bland and you sort of lose the spark you had when you first start playing it. I can also attest that it is simple enough for your kids to play and enjoy as well. I had a friend of mine’s kids play it on co-op and they’ve beaten just about every world aside from one or two and they are ages 4 and 5. So at the very least it’s a fun simple game to bond over, but I’m not sure that i would pick it up for it’s full price of $24.99. Might be a good idea to wait for it to go on sale and then nab it, but otherwise I would recommend picking it up if you’re looking for a fun, simple, and no strings attached shoot and slash dungeon crawler.