Rage in Peace is a rather enjoyable title that offers up one of the most challenging experiences to date that put it on par with the likes of “I Wanna Be The Guy”. If you’re one to enjoy bashing your head countless times against a wall, it’s time to find out why you may want to give Rage in Peace a chance with our review for the game.
+Fantasitc art style
+Perfect for speed runners
-Not for the casual gamer
-Brutally difficult at times
-Probably best played in short bursts
Do you like challenging games? Are regular platformers no longer cutting it for you? Does the thought of throwing your controller at the screen while weaving a poetic tapestry of profanity sound appealing? If you answered ‘Yes’ to any of these questions, today’s game is for you. You will laugh, you will cry, and in the end – you will die – a lot.
Rage in Peace by Rolling Glory Jam is a frustrating, sadistic endeavor in memorization and reflexes. You play as Timmy Malinu, your average Joe living the average life, and never really accomplishing much with it. One day, the Grim Reaper appears to Timmy in the office elevator with a grim message, “You’re going to die. Bad news is, it’ll be from your head getting cut off.”
The Grim Reaper then goes full Billy Mays with his hand gestures. “The Good news: It only says you’ll die today. The when and where isn’t really written.” At this point, Timmy sets off on his journey to die the way he’s always wanted to: “in his pajamas, in the warmth of his home, in peace.”
And death will not be his name, but rather, a major part of his game
At first glance, the plot seems silly. It’s just a comical way to thematically string together multiple levels of pain until you reach the end, but as you progress through the gauntlet, the narrative dives further into Timmy’s past where you learn that he suffered a traumatic event that made him temporarily comatose and left him to become an amnesiac.
Cutscenes play out between levels where you’ll view Timmy’s memories of times spent with his loved one. It’s surprisingly touching and I found myself being further drawn into the story after Act 3. Unfortunately, I never got to see how the story ends, as Act 4 became my personal hell.
Hell, by the way, is a never-ending cycle of death taking strong inspiration from games such as “I Wanna Be The Guy”. Rage in Peace is deceivingly simple with the only button inputs being the directional pad and jump. Your goal is simple: make it to the end of the level alive. But in practice, your only salvation comes from memorizing the location and timing of each death trap until you make it to the next checkpoint.
As you venture forth, you’ll become paranoid about everything that’s in front of you and try to predict where the obvious trap is. Unfortunately, the developers knew this and intentionally adjusted obstacles to counter. By the end of the first level, I was already second-guessing myself, which made me all the more paranoid and twitchy, assuming a cheap death was always a few pixels away.
You’ll die. You’ll die quite a lot.
The controls are rather spot on meaning if you die, it’ll be on you, although I couldn’t help but feel like there was some level of delay on the floating stages of Act 4. Timing is extremely important as many of the obstacles require an insane level of precision to overcome. Towards the end, I had to have two fingers on the D-Pad to quickly toggle between up and down as the travel time using my thumb was not quick enough to avoid oncoming walls.
Oh, did I mention Rage in Peace has a death counter? In the nearly nine hours I put myself through, I died 868 times and finally threw in the towel at the end of Act 4. There is an easy option called, “Goldfish Mode,” but I couldn’t bring myself to use it. Chalk it up to being stubborn or a glutton for punishment, but the point of playing this style of game isn’t to breeze through it, but to persevere and survive until the end.
If only that was my final load screen of them all
Rage in Peace also makes death look good. With a hand-drawn art style similar to Castle Crashers and Super Meat Boy, you’ll run the gambit of visuals from cartoonish characters to serene vistas that make you pause where you are to say, “Damn, that’s beautiful.” The audio is also appropriately catchy while playing through levels and the music during cutscenes has decent vocals, with the track name and artist appearing in the bottom left corner.
After everything is said and done, Rage in Peace is a challenge to quantify. I hated it, I cursed its creation, I cursed its creators, and I raged. But it kept pulling me back. I loved the dark humor, I relished in its challenge, and I woke up my neighbors yelling after I completed Act 1.
Rage in Peace
Platforms: PC, Mac, and Nintendo Switch
Platform Reviewed: Nintendo Switch
Developer: Rolling Glory Jam
Publisher: Toge Productions
Release Date: Available Now
There is a legitimate draw to this game that harkened back to my days as a kid playing old NES games for the first time and an intense sense of satisfaction when you manage to beat the odds. There is only one word for a game that hits such a range of emotion: Fun.
Our review is based upon a retail version that was provided to us by the publisher of the game. For information about our ethics policy please click here.
Final Score: 8 out of 10
About the Writer:
Greg F. is an RPG enthusiast whom absolutely enjoys the niche titles that come across from the East. When it comes to beat-’em-up brawlers such as Senran Kagura, Greg knows the titles just about as good as anyone else, but his passion not-so-secretly sits with his love for retro games from the NES and Sega period. In his free time Greg contributes to B.A.T.G.R. with his knowledge of such feedback.