“Exciting”™ “Expressive”™ Mitochondria”!™ These are just three words that can be used to describe Rhythm Rink, a roller skating Ludum Dare 37 entry. Mitochondria isn’t exactly an adjective, but it is the organelle that produces energy within most cells. You could say the roller rink is like a Mitochondrion, and the player character represents the digestion of energy sources through the matrix, so there’s that. There’s actually a banner on the inside of the rink that advertised these three words so I figured I’d try them out because it said so. Rhythm Rink is a very simple jam entry with easy controls and a basic concept. The gameplay is short and sweet, but the real aspect of the game I found marvelous wasn’t the game mechanics themselves, but the atmosphere of the game. It’s a simple rink, with a 2D crowd that bounces up and down on one plane mesh, and the camera is locked in place on the character at a fixed angle sort of like a Go Pro on an invisible boom. The player presses “Z” and “X” simultaneously back and forth to kick each foot. Once enough speed is built, you can then press “C” a few times to do a combination of tricks. It’s the same set of acrobatics, but the feedback sounds of key presses and trick performances are quite pleasing.
Setting the mood of the game, the brilliant synth soundtrack orchestrated with an OP-1 synthesizer is adorable and takes you to another world. The music is synchronized with player speed, so once the skater slows down, so does the music, and it’s rather displeasing to hear, so kick those feet and get back at it! A score is accumulated through the session, which only lasts a couple minutes. Other than that, it’s over when it’s over and that’s all there is to it! It would be awesome to see this game expanded upon because even with the limited features given that it’s a jam entry, the atmosphere and setting of the game were interesting. So much that I sat in awe for a while, slack-jawed and pressing “Z” and “X” until the timer ran out marveling at the thought of just being there. Great humor, excellent sound and wonderful game world, Rhythm Rink is a complete package even if it is bite-sized.
Download the game jam build here.
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