Triple B Titles’ Ring Runner: Flight of the Sages demolished its Kickstarter goal last year and was Greenlit on Steam shortly after. Ring Runner went on to be released on PC on November 19th. An undeniable indie success story.
You wake up on an operating table unbeknownst of who you are, where you are, and why there is a witty artificial intelligence inside of your head. There’s no time to wonder, because the ship you’re on is falling apart around you. It’s time to get the hell out of Dodge.
It takes ambition to open up a game with a quasi-Star Wars space station trench-escape, and Ring Runner: Flight of the Sages attends to this ambition throughout.
This top-down twin-stick shooter ARPG set in space bleeds quality and thrives on its attention to detail, perhaps to a fault. Its presentation deserves to be experienced.
You eventually find out that you’re a sage, and you’re capable rewriting the laws of physics with your brain. Naturally, having the ability to destroy things with your mind is going to upset some people, and your entire race is put up for extermination, unless you can do something about it.
There is a bit of a learning curve to Ring Runner, and it’s certainly not a game you can jump into. Each ship acts differently, from the way in which they glide through the emptiness, the different weapons they use, and how they perform in battle. There is a lot going on in the HUD at all times, you have a view of your weapons systems, along with their respective key assignment, and four colored bars each resembling something different. Your ships energy, shield, heat, and hull all need to be managed at the same time. It’s not an impossible task, but it surely takes some getting used to.
For all its complexities, my main grip with Ring Runner is its jagged pacing. The tutorial is, while witty and well-written, long and tiring. Just when I thought I had the controls down, and a basic understanding of the weapon layout, I would be tossed into a different ship with another string of dialogue explaining everything all over again.
Don’t let the tutorial hold you back though. There’s a whole lot of game here, and it’s worth sticking around to hear more of the hilarious dry humor from your brain-embedded AI, Nero. It’s also worth noting that you will hear a lot from Nero about his life-blood, PBC’s, or peanut butter cups. I’d be remiss if I didn’t tell you I was desperately craving some PBC’s by the time I was ready to write this review.
The combat itself in Ring Runner is fantastic, blasting your way through enemy ships in gladiator areas, or in the vast frontier never gets old. The game keeps things interesting by allowing you to fully customize your ships, and with 65 to choose from, the possibilities are great.
Ring Runner also has various scenarios like a team horde and zombie mode, both available online and offlline. Which brings me to Ring Runner’s online multiplayer. Right off the bat, the online multiplayer is locked until you reach a point in the single-player campaign. Once you do unlock the multiplayer component, you’ll be met with empty servers. If you wish to play any of the cooperative modes, you’d better be able to convince your friends to buy the game with you, which in all honesty shouldn’t be too difficult.
Atmospherically, Ring Runner is a beautiful game. Everything is well-designed, from the ships, the asteroids, to the derelict vessels that you need to avoid. All of this is coupled with an awe-inspiring soundtrack. A mix of piano and electronic is married into a symphony that fits perfectly into Ring Runner. The presentation was my favorite part about the game.
Overall, Ring Runner: Flight of the Sages is a great ARPG set in space in which you try to stop the extermination of your kind. Ring Runner is a great looking game, with a beautiful soundtrack. The game may suffer from some pacing issues, but the witty humor will keep you coming back for more.
Interested? Check out Ring Runner’s website!