Publisher: Ratalaika Games
Platform: PlayStation 4
Age Rating: Pegi 3
Release Date: 12/02/2020
A code was provided for review purposes.
Any Port In A Storm?
Reed Remastered is a remaster (and port) of the Reed mobile game developed by pxlink. It’s a simple yet stylish little platformer that comes close to its potential, just about makes that jump, but ultimately falls flat in the spike trap.
The game has the kind of story and start you would expect from a mobile game: short and vague. “Long ago… yadda yadda… Supercomputer created virtual world… blah blah… Virtual world breaking… chitter chatter… Save the day!”.
You play as the titular Reed, “a small creature created to save the world”. Let’s talk about Reed for a moment; there seems to be some confusion as to what Reed actually is? In preparation for writing this review I researched Reed Remastered and the original Reed game. In multiple sources, Reed was referred to as a cat.
So, Reed Is A Cat?
The ingame character does indeed look like a cute wide eyed white cat. But the cover art for the game depicts Reed as a stern beefcake bipedal macho thing. “A small creature” is the only real information we have to go on from the developers. There is a lesson to be learned here; If your main character is so visually contradictory and lacking in definition that no one can tell what it is, that character needs more development and focus.
The gameplay of Reed Remastered is satisfying and quickly addictive to any platformer fan. The controls are tight and responsive but you can tell that this game is meant for a D-pad. As Reed you must explore 50 levels to find information cubes needed to reboot the virtual world. Each level has a cube to collect, which opens the door to the next level.
The difficulty of levels can vary greatly. You will run through ten or fifteen levels then get stuck in your tracks on one for a while. As the game controls are tight, the difficulty comes from sneaky or clever level design rather than technical limitations. This is certainly a tick in the pro column for Reed Remastered, but no consolation when stuck on a particularly hard level.
What Came First? The Chicken Or The Cube?
Stopping you from collecting all those cubes are a variety of traps and hazards including: spikes, spinning blades, flying arrows, and chickens. Yeah, chickens, they can’t be killed and jumping on them can be a blessing or a curse. Your guess is as good as mine when it comes to why chickens are in the virtual world?
The game has a small number of secret locations hidden throughout, they are extremely easily spotted and uncovered. Even if you should miss one, an indicator on the level select screen tells you exactly where to look. Why include secrets then signpost them so heavily they can’t be missed?
Reed Remasters features an effective and pleasant ambient soundtrack, it fits the tone and style of the game perfectly. It’s very simple and slightly repetitive in nature but never really gets intrusive or annoying. However, the great ambient soundtrack does get disappointingly lost in the sound of firing traps in later stages of the game.
Is Reed Remastered Worthy Of A Second Chance?
As you near the conclusion of Reed Remastered, a lack of focus is clear; the game just ends. An example of this is the trophy system, the last trophy activates on competing level 44, yet the game has 50 levels. Why not include those last 6 levels in the trophy? It is as if the game is saying “well, you’ve practically finished the game so here you go”. This undermines the effort the player has made and robs them of some incentive to see things to the end. The game’s actual ending is anti-climatic and sheds no further light on the events of the game, so maybe you are better off giving up when the platinum pops.
The game also suffers from a complete lack of replayability or multiplayer. There are no difficulty settings, rating systems, or unlockable content. I beat Reed Remastered in an afternoon and found myself with literally nothing left to do in the game after a single playthrough. With no reason to replay, the game will be quickly deleted and forgotten.
Comparisons can be easily drawn between Reed Remastered and other beloved titles in the genre, such as Super Meat Boy. Some similarities certainly exist, but Reed Remastered does not have the focus, development, or lasting appeal of its more inspired contemporaries.
Rapid Review Rating
You Can Buy Reed Remastered From The PlayStation Store