Often when we imagine heroes we don’t picture them has having a round Santa body and beard. The Beggar’s Ride is here to show gamers a new type of hero, one of a more stout variety, in this Android puzzle platformer. Take control of The Beggar as he finds a mysterious mask that grants him god-like powers. Players get to explore strange and beautiful stages filled with temples, spiritual themes, and bizarre enemies as they uncover The Beggar’s past.
Platforming and puzzle solving are the main elements of gameplay. The game succeeds in both and I felt very satisfied once I figured out how to overcome the title’s various obstacles. However, it is the game’s creative puzzles that make it a truly unique experience. In order to solve puzzes, The Beggar must utilize the abilities he received from the strange masks. As the player progresses they will find these masks that increase their abilities. These powers range from controlling clouds to make it rain, tilting the screen to slide objects around, and even moving the sun.
With the ability to manipulate the environment, The Beggar can solve puzzles, disable enemies, and progress more easily through each level. To use these abilities The Beggar must equip these masks and enter into god mode. He can’t move during this time but does a charming little dance. It can be frustrating to switch between god mode and normality, especially when platforming. However, the game is pretty forgiving with puzzles and allows them to be reset.
The Beggar’s Rise also lets players pick from two control schemes: a virtual joystick or touch controls. The former allows for much more accurate control while the latter is sloppy and would make platforming a nightmare. Though the game starts off with rather easy puzzles and platforming elements, the difficulty really picks up in later stages. Not only do the puzzles and platforms get more challenging, but so do the enemies as they will now seek you out. These creatures range from ancient stone guardians that hurl rocks at you to malevolent shades. Thankfully, there is no life system but lots of save points instead. If The Beggar is hit by an enemy or damaged by the environment he’s sent back to a previous save point.
The Beggar’s story is mostly told through text that floats throughout the environment, sometimes changing when The Beggar enters into god mode. This story is painfully beautiful and poignant as it talks of gods, poverty, and unevenly distributed power. Once The Beggar kills his first enemy text appears that reads, “Perhaps it was inevitable. But it felt wrong. And cruel.” These words drove through me and I could feel the deep sadness The Beggar felt for a creature that would have otherwise harmed him.
Gamers can expect to beat The Beggar’s Ride in about 2-3 hours. At a price point of $3.99, players need to decide if this beautiful, but short game is worth the price. There is somewhat of a replayability factor as each level has collectables scattered about. Players can see how many of these collectables they’ve obtained in each level and overall. Also, old areas can be revisited once you obtain new abilities, allowing access to otherwise hidden collectables, which is great for completionists.
In addition to the game’s elegiac narrative, The Beggar’s Ride’s visuals are gorgeous, creating a whole that makes for one of the most beautiful and poetic games I have played in a long time, which was a welcome surprise. Gamers will immediately be charmed by the title’s touching and somewhat heart wrenching tale. This game is a must for anyone who is a fan of puzzles, platformers and having their heart strings tugged by a gentle old Beggar.
An absolutely stunning puzzle platformer backed by a poignant story.