Game Info:

Rupert and Riley Shipwrecked
Developed By: MadFrog Studios
Published By: MadFrog Studios
Released: May 10, 2019
Available On: Windows, macOS, Linux
Genre: Side-scroller
ESRB Rating: N/A
Number of Players: Single-player
Price: $4.99

Thanks to MadFrog Studios for the review copy!

Rupert and Riley Shipwrecked is a side-scroller that is fairly family-friendly with its’ cartoon art style and largely non-violent gameplay. The game was decently challenging in some segments and had some issues. Overall, I found it to be very entertaining.

Rupert and Riley is composed of 5 different islands with 4 levels in each. At the end of the 4th level there’s a bullet heck boss fight. The game is pretty short with about a 2 hour completion time but levels are varied well with each introducing new mechanics and new environments.

Rupert and Riley Shipwrecked

Strong Points: Clean art; great gameplay for the most part; kid friendly in nearly all aspects
Weak Points: Boss fights require an amount of precision that doesn’t work very well here
Moral Warnings: Shooting fish; level with whales kissing

Your goal is simple. Collect colored fish in the order shown at the top of the screen. Your “gun” shoots out a bubble to track a fish, and you float it up to the boat above. Fish are aplenty but due to random generation you can end up with levels being impossible to finish because a certain color fish wasn’t around. To make things more difficult there are a variety of enemies and traps. Jellyfish will slowly swim towards you and big sharks will shoot cannons. You’re given a small pea shooter to combat these. Sometimes there will be obstacles in the way. You’ll have to use area-specific abilities to blow up mines, pull large blocks out of the way, and break crystals. The core gameplay loop is simple enough but has some decent mechanical depth and wounds up being quite addicting.

The biggest flaw is the boss fights. It is expected of the player to dodge somewhat precise bullet patterns and attacks. The issue is that the character is large and moves slowly, so dodging bullets doesn’t feel very smooth and it’s difficult to position yourself correctly. The level of difficulty is higher than it should be with these fights and for the wrong reasons.

Rupert and Riley Shipwrecked
Score Breakdown:
Higher is better
(10/10 is perfect)

Game Score - 88%
Gameplay - 17/20
Graphics - 8/10
Sound - 9/10
Stability - 5/5
Controls - 5/5

Morality Score - 94%
Violence - 8/10
Language - 10/10
Sexual Content - 9/10
Occult/Supernatural - 10/10
Cultural/Moral/Ethical - 10/10

The art is fantastic. It feels like you are playing through a cartoon show with its bright colors and well-done animations. Sometimes I had a bit of trouble telling what was a background and what wasn’t, but aside from that I love the artwork. The music and sounds have a very childlike feel to them and compliment the cartoony art-style perfectly. The controls are a tad complex and have full controller support and fully rebind-able buttons. I didn’t encounter any bugs during play and the game ran smoothly.

Shooting various enemies with a gun that shoots small blue pellets is common and you have an arsenal of weapons like grenades and missiles. When things die they show no blood or gore and just simply break apart with a ‘crack’ sound. There was one level where there were several whales kissing above the water. The dialogue had no bad language in sight.

I absolutely recommend Rupert and Riley Shipwrecked. I didn’t expect it to be such a childish game when I picked it up, but I’m very happy I did play this and think it could be one someone younger could enjoy. The issues mentioned are prevalent but don’t hinder the game enough to hurt my opinion of it much.