R.I.P Rest In Pieces is a nightmare come to life. In the opening sequence, you are greeted by a cute little porcelain figurine which is immediately replaced by a cackling freakish clown. The game created by publisher Team Itatake is a fever dream that makes you cringe and jump all while sucking you deeper into its simple story. The story is short and concise as it is found in a short blurb on one of the menu screens. The dream demons have trapped people’s souls in porcelain figurines that must survive three parts of a stage to be freed from the nightmare.
The game is made up of six levels with three figurines for each level. Each figurine must travel through three stages opening their eyes after each section until they awake from the nightmare. Each time you cross an eye, it will cause damage to the nightmare that looms over you. This, however, causes the nightmare to release its minions which are themed to the stages. The clown has clown minions, the Kraken has sharks, the yeti has snowmen, and other equally themed minions for the other three stages. These minions merely add to the obstacles for a short amount of time and then disappear until you reach the next eye. The six stages consist of different nightmare demons beginning with a circus-themed killer clown that is followed by a nautical themed Kraken, the snow-themed Yeti, mythology-themed Medusa, horror-themed Count Dracula, and finally the science fiction themed Insectum nightmare. Your character is one of 18 possible figurines that is dangling from a chain as you are trying to avoid obstacles as the level pulls you forward trying to make you crash and break.
Music and Art
The music is eerie and the sound effects add to the spookiness of the game. The sounds of the various monsters come in at the perfect time. The game even includes a small ting sound as you brush up against different objects and chip but not break the figurines. The sound of shattering porcelain as you crash into a rock or other obstacle is disheartening as you have failed that poor soul. The art style of the game is a beautiful mix of black and shades of grey in the darkness that are illuminated by the glowing eyes of the nightmares while the color tones of the porcelain figurines allow for a focus to be on your character as you move throughout the game. Each stage has a color glow specific to the stage such as red for Dracula and green for the Kraken. The very minimalist approach of this art style makes for an eerie experience in the game.
Controls for the game are very simple as you use the top left and right buttons to sway your porcelain figurine back and forth to avoid obstacles. The movement of the character is also based on how long you hold the left and right buttons. This allows them to move faster or slower depending on the particular obstacle you need to avoid. The only difficulty that comes with this is the faster you swing the figurine the less control you have over them. It really becomes a matter of knowing the characters and what works best for their particular figurine.
The game is not loaded with a lot of fancy features but the ones it does have are well suited for its story and gameplay. The themes of the game make for enough of a subtle variation that each level seems fresh with a new villain and theme to suit the figurine themes. The figurines vary in size and shape in such a way that their movements are never the same as the last figurine. The characters are unlocked by collecting the gold diamonds that are scattered throughout the courses. The characters each have three variant color styles that can be purchased using the red eyes that you collect along your path. The game allows you to spend diamonds in order to continue from where you crashed in a limited capacity so that you do not have to restart an entire level after you fail.
The game is simple to pick up and play with limited skills needed. It does, however, have increasing difficulty as each figurine becomes a challenge to master as you must learn how it moves based on its size, shape, and weight. The levels are loaded on a variable rate so that no two playthroughs are the same making for great replayability. This replayability is even more so found in the fact that even after you have defeated a level you can replay that level to gain more diamonds or to try to hardcore the level by not crashing through all three stages.
Rest In Pieces has a simplicity and eeriness that work well for the game. It is a surprisingly fun game whether you are playing it on your tv or portable. It is another example of how the Switch has become a premier destination for small independent games to shine. I would and am recommending this game to all of my friends as it has both entertained and impressed me.