RAD ROGERS: WORLD ONE
By Ferry "Sadhonker" Adams on February 20, 2018
Now, I don't know about you, but I still sometimes get the urge to fire up a good old-fashioned platform game. Usually, this means launching DosBox or equivalent and fiddling around with the settings as long as it takes to get the damn thing to work properly. Luckily, this is now a thing of the past (pun intended!), because Aalborg, Denmark based indie developer Slipgate Studios brings us Rad Rogers: World One; a old school 90's style platform game with matching gameplay and fun commentary from the games' two protagonists!
Rad is a young boy, who spends most of his waking hours playing videogames (I'm sure you can relate). After a late-night session of playing his favorite games, Rad is told by his mother to turn off the console, brush his teeth and go straight to bed. Now, I don't know if you remember being young and having your parents tell you to stop doing what you loved most, but I sure do. So I can relate to Rad's response of grudgingly turning off his console (which he has lovingly dubbed Dusty) and refusing to brush his teeth. Oh well, I'm sure we've all been there; that rebellious age when you think you know best and are sure that your parents got it wrong most of the time.
In any case, when Rad is finally sleeping, his TV suddenly turns on. Now, this in itself would not be a problem. But, in Rad's case, it will prove to be quite a challenge. "Why", I hear you ask? Well, the TV not only turns on but creates a dimensional vortex which sucks Rad into the screen, along with his game console. Rad is transported to a mysterious game world. Luckily, he's not alone. No sir, his trusty console, Dusty, has magically come to life and acts as an extra pair of arms when strapped to Rad's back! He also provides Rad with a blaster gun. Now, I don't think this is the way to go in the real world, but in the game world of Rad Rogers, it makes perfect sense!
You take control of Rad and guide him and Dusty through a number action-packed platforming levels, filled with various types of enemies and platform challenges. Rad can run, jump, climb and shimmy just like any good action hero should. Of course, he climbing and shimmying parts are easier to do when you've got a living console strapped to your back. Especially if said console is equipped with two strong arms. Another advantage of this arrangement is that you still have your hands free to blast your enemies into smithereens!
While running through the levels, you collect diamonds, health pickups and weapon upgrades. When collecting a weapon upgrade, your standard blaster can be transformed into a rapid fire blaster or even made to fire flaming bird-like rounds when using the Phoenix Cannon upgrade. Your standard blaster mode never runs out of ammo, whereas the upgrades each have their own ammo count, represented by a colored meter on the side of your gun. Whenever your upgrade runs out of ammo, your gun reverts to its standard firing mode. Be careful with the weapon upgrades, though. If you pick one up, it's going to affect your cannon's firing mode, even if you liked the mode you already had better. To this end, the developers made it possible to pick up the same upgrade again and the gun reverts to the previous fire mode.
Rad Rogers: World One consists, as you might expect from the title, one world. In total, there are seven levels in this world and, of course, a boss-fight! During these stages, you will sometimes come across pixilated and mysteriously pulsating areas. Often, there will be elements missing from the world, such as platforms. To continue your journey, you will have to restore these elements to their rightful place. This means that Dusty must enter a strange dimension, known as the Pixelverse. When doing so, the game changes to a top-down perspective and you must guide Dusty through the dangerous depths of this alternate dimension. When you find the object you are looking for, Dusty can give it a good whack and send it flying into existence in the "real" world.
Playing Rad Rogers puts me in mind of games like Commander Keen and, even more, Earthworm Jim. Rad and Dusty are a pair of wise-cracking protagonists, which makes it even more fun to play the game. Incidentally, you can turn off the commentary in the game's menu if you'd like. This is especially useful when there are young kids in the vicinity. We all know how young children's ears are specially attuned to hearing stuff they shouldn't, so it's a really useful addition to the game.
Rad Rogers looks really cool and plays like any good platform game should. The controls are easy to master and feel intuitive. The environments look beautiful, as do the characters. The gameplay is fun and fast, providing even the most seasoned gamer with a more than decent challenge. You can select the preferred difficulty from the main menu. Easy means that enemies move slower, do less damage and health packs give you more health per pack. The higher the difficulty, the faster enemies will be and health packs will give you less health per pack. Also, you will start off with less base health on higher difficulties.
All in all, Rad Rogers is a fun platform game, firmly rooted in the 1990's which, in my opinion, was an awesome era for platform games. It features a cool soundtrack, fun characters and numerous enemies for you to clobber and shoot, as well as a lot Easter Eggs for you to collect. So, if you feel like playing a cool old-school style platform game without the hassle of getting the thing to work, you should really give Red Rogers a try! I am already stoked to play world 2, 3, 4 and whatever the developers can come up with, and can personally guarantee that you will have fun running and jumping across the colourful game world and can't help but to chuckle at the verbal antics of both Rad and Dusty. So, basically, there's only one thing for it: Get ready to get radical!