Red Ronin Review

The developers claim Red Ronin is a turn based action game but I felt it was more akin to a puzzle game with a sprinkle of inspiration from turn based games that have come before – not to take away from Wired Dreams Studio’s creation at all as I feel it is deserving of either description while also being an incredibly fun game.

In Red Ronin you play as a samurai aptly named RED (points for creativity!) who is on a quest for vengeance against her old team for reasons I won’t divulge to avoid spoilers. Despite unfortunate grammar mistakes, the story really does hold up and these minor issues didn’t affect my experience at all.


Your task as the player is to eliminate every enemy on the map as efficiently as you possibly can. Red does not run, nor walk for that matter, and this is where the game mechanics come into play. Red likes to dash from tile to tile in any direction, all the while slaying the enemies in her path with one hit. That said, your enemies also kill you in one hit so plan ahead accordingly. As the levels progress, much like other games in this genre, they get more difficult. Luckily for you, you have two pickups that will help you conquer those really tricky maps – especially the boss fights which are a whole different ball game. One of those pickups allows you to stop time for one turn, which also stops your foes from attacking; the other allows you to change direction mid dash to get those tricky, nasty patrolling enemies.

Your success depends on memorising your previous failures. Learning from your mistakes and trying new approaches will help you solve the puzzle of the level. Personally, I felt there was only one solution per level rather than having multiple ways to conquer each subsequent level, and I felt this was a missed opportunity. You can try to brute force your way through the game, and it may work for the first half, but it will become quickly apparent that you have to use your noggin. You could become disheartened, as the game pulls no punches at all in the later levels.

Red Ronin is a very pretty 8-bit styled video game. Although it isn’t the most polished take I’ve seen, it does capture the visceral and brutal slaying of all the enemies that you are sure to annihilate on your way to claiming vengeance. It compliments the tone that is the world of Red Ronin with your blade splitting apart your enemies like a knife through butter; or the transition of the finishing blow on a boss that has taken you 10+ attempts. Oh. So. Satisfying.

The sound design made me feel like I was playing cyberpunk all over again, and suits Red Ronin to a T. The swish of your blade giving a satisfying sound when you cut through enemy after enemy in an incredible methodical combo; the pitter patter of the rain as you solve the puzzle of the stage that has been giving you grief for the past hour. The soundtrack helps to immerse yourself into the world of Red Ronin.

Conclusion

All in all Red Ronin is a fantastic 8-bit styled, turn-based puzzle game that gave me hours of fun all the while challenging me in ways I didn’t expect from this title. The pixel graphics complimented it well, even though I have a bit of a soft spot for 8-bit and 16-bit games, it did impress me. The game did crash quite often at the time of playing on my Series X but the loading times made this more an inconvenience then an issue. The soundtrack complimented the game well and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I’m not a huge fan of puzzle games (with not being the sharpest tool in the shed) but I sure did have tons of fun.

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Good
  • The visuals are a perfect match for the gameplay
  • Doesn't take long to master
  • Soundtrack sets the tone for the slaughter
Bad
  • The dialogue has many grammatical errors
  • The game crashed often
  • Puzzle solutions were very linear
7.4
Good
Gameplay - 8
Graphics - 7.5
Audio - 7
Longevity - 7
Written by
I've been playing videogames since my mum bought me an amiga for Christmas. I don't have a favourite platform but I like to play as many games as I can with the Souls series being my favourite. Fromsoftware are my preferred developers - the more difficult the videogame the better! I have a soft spot for 8-bit games and 8-bit soundtracks. Co-op games are also high up on my list.

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