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Raccoon Rising Review
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Raccoon Rising, a vertical platformer from Romper Games, is now available from the app store. Featuring slick visuals, terrific one-touch controls, and a number of challenging level segments and boss battles, Raccoon Rising is not your typical high-rising adventure.

Raccoon Rising Pros:

  • Beautiful graphic presentation and great comic-style cut scenes
  • Simple one-touch controls
  • Checkpoint-based progression ensures that trial-and-error deaths won’t cause huge progress loss
  • GameCenter provides global leaderboards and achievements

Raccoon Rising Cons:

  • Relatively short campaign
  • Lengthy load times
  • Low timer thresholds make earning 3 stars a challenge on many levels

Facing the rigors of deforestation that threaten his lifestyle and that of the other forest creatures, our hero undergoes a quick training before being unleashed to battle the bots that want to eliminate his natural habitat. Each of the game’s four environments is broken into a series of gates, rather than one endless effort. Each segment should take less than a minute to complete, though you may struggle with earning all 3 stars on many levels due to the relatively short timer threshold or the requirement to snag all sim cards spread among the dangerous items meant to keep you from succeeding. Dangers include spikes, horizontal column smashers, spiked balls, spinning blades, cannons, and other mechanical monstrosities. Bounce pads, helicopters, and moving platforms offer some assistance in reaching your goal. There are more than 60 gates in the entire campaign, though the best method of completing them is usually found through trial-and-error. Each completed gate acts as a checkpoint from which to restart upon your next death. There are no lives or health bars. If you hit a dangerous object, you simply restart from the last checkpoint.

Moving up in the world requires you to cling to the trees on either side of the screen, using a tap-to-jump mechanic to leap from side to side. Unlike similar titles like Ninjatown Trees of Doom or NinJump, you do not constantly run up the trees. In fact, you do not run anywhere at all. Rising is a result of well-timed, or precisely positioned, jumps. A simple tap will cause the raccoon to leap to the spot that you’ve indicated. You can also aim your trajectory by holding your finger on-screen and using the handy guide line that appears. This same mechanic allows you to power through some objects, setting off falling TNT barrels or chopping wood in mid-air. You are offered the ability to jump back downward, which is another departure from the aforementioned competition. This becomes necessary in a lot of cases if you want to go for the sim card star. The ability to change direction in mid-air is also possible by tapping while leaping. In this way, you can often avoid dangers that would send you back to the beginning of the segment were you to collide with them. It’s very intuitive, responsive, and easy to use.

Graphically, Raccoon Rising has a polished look and feel, with beautiful environments, great lighting techniques, neat parallax effects, and a variety of objects and foes with which to interact. Comic book-style cut scenes help to move the story along in an interesting way. Boss battles are more involved than the raccoon is used to while rising up, providing a fun challenge. Segments can be replayed at any time to try to pick up missing stars, though returning is a little convoluted and load times are annoyingly lengthy. The soundtrack varies between environments, offering a pleasant soundscape that complements the gameplay and environments. Controls, as described above, are very well done and a joy to use.

Replay value is very good, with the ability to find speedier pathways through treacherous environments acting as encouragement to keep trying new strategies. There is a Time Trial mode that gives you the opportunity to challenge other gamers to see who can make it through the fastest. GameCenter integration incorporates global leaderboards and more than a dozen achievements. A universal app for $0.99, Raccoon Rising is a clever twist on an overplayed genre and a solid 4-Dimple offering.

Raccoon Rising Review, reviewed by Kevin on 2011-11-28T00:29:31+00:00 rating 4.0 out of 5

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