Defeat sliding puzzles, warp away from descending spikes and reawaken a world where music has gone missing.
Once the music giants roamed the land, filling the world with music. Unfortunately, time and great evil have stolen them from the land. That’s where you come in. You’ll need to explore ancient ruins, and reconnect portals in order to bring music back to the world. With an African theme intertwined through the game and challenging puzzles there is plenty to do in order to return music to the land.
Towering heights to ascend
You’re thrown right into the middle of things in Rangi, without too much explanation of what is going on. A pop up will explain how the controls work, differing between using the touchpad controls or the Gear VR controller, but you’re mostly left to your own devices when it comes to figuring out how to solve each puzzle. Even though those puzzles get more complicated very quickly, color always plays a pretty major part in things.
You need to align the missing chunks of the wall in order to complete puzzles and restore the flow of color from its origin to the doorway that leads to the next section of the game. This starts out with just a single section that needs to be aligned and lit up, but you’ll soon be dealing with three or four different strands which all need to be adjusted. Each level has it’s own feel to it, but a common theme is some serious heights that you’ll need to teleport through in order to complete puzzles.
Seeing drawings on the walls of temples, or pottery lying around as you descend through temple levels makes everything seem more tactile even though there is actually very little to interact with. Be sure to explore each section carefully though, as there are artifacts hidden in crevices out of eyeshot of the main objective on each level.
Puzzles bring the music back to life
In Rangi you play a character known as Guruki, and it’s your destiny to return the world to balance by returning music to it. The only real exposition that you get starting out is from a few text boxes during the very beginning of the game. After that, it’s up to you to figure things out as you go along.
You’ll start by solving simple puzzles that require you to push and pull the panels of a wall into place to light up patterns. These chunks of misaligned walls exist in three dimensions, which means you’ll soon find yourself having to move blocks up and down along the walls, as well as around corners or into cutouts in the wall. This only gets more complicated once you have multiple light streams that must be connected.
While the puzzles quickly become more difficult, I never found myself particularly frustrated by what I was looking at. This is primarily because each puzzle had several moving parts, and so rather than being frustrated I could work out what I was doing wrong. Of course, as soon as I felt like I had a grasp on the puzzles that Rangi was throwing at me, the game flipped the script with walls of spikes.
Teleportation is crucial
To move in Rangi, you’ll need to find teleportation points dotted over the level. You’ll jump from one to the next in order to get access to the different panels that you need to manipulate in order to defeat puzzles. While you may be able to see plenty of the level from one vantage point, managing to access everything that you need to is going to require some moving around.
After you make the jump, there are suddenly tons of different teleportaton points that you can jump to.
Thankfully, there are plenty of these teleportation points all over the place. In many cases from the floor you’ll only be able to see one or two teleportation points, usually at higher vantage points. However, after to you make the jump to that higher altitude, there are suddenly tons of different points that you can jump to. When you do this you’re often able to see the areas that you need to access in order to complete puzzles.
Where this gets tricky is when you have you quickly teleport from one area to another in order to avoid pitfalls like walls of spikes that desperately want to impale you. I found myself having to move quickly left and right, and it made me especially happy that I have a swiveling office chair for VR games on Gear VR. While I never had issues jumping from one portal to the next, the stark difference between normal puzzles and trying to outrun spikes definitely threw me off initially. Thankfully I was automatically resurrected at the beginning of the puzzle and managed to get through it after three or four tries.
Wrapping it up
Rangi is a fun and challenging puzzle game that will you insisting on just one more level. With gorgeously decorate levels, and a soundtrack that draws you in effortlessly. With a pricetag of only $4.99 it’s an absolute steal, and definitely worth your time.
- Easy controls for touchpad and Gear VR controller.
- Lovely graphics
- Fun, easy to learn mechanics and gameplay.
- Playing while seated requires a swivel chair
- Trying to figure out how some puzzles need to be solved