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Cruising Through Space as a Sage in Ring Runner

Ring Runner: Flight of the Sages – Reviewed

By Julie Morley

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The player begins as a sage without any memory. He is assisted by a part of his brain that helps him relearn how to be a pilot.
The player begins as a sage without any memory. He is assisted by a part of his brain that helps him relearn how to be a pilot.

Ring Runner is one of the most unique and captivating games I have ever played, hands down. You begin Ring Runner as a sage who’s just had a part of his brain removed to be replaced with some sort of chip that will talk back to him. He’s uncoordinated and doesn’t have the slightest clue where we came from but thanks to this brain chunk, he’s able to learn the ropes as a Sage and navigate through space (somewhat) effortlessly.

After exploring a little, he finds some interesting ships he exchanges and eventually comes head first with a gang with a special liking for space trash.
After exploring a little, he finds some interesting ships he exchanges and eventually comes head first with a gang with a special liking for space trash.

Sages are something else in Ring Runner; they can control time, locate stars, and have the ability to manipulated planets. They are considered very powerful beings in the Universe and a force to be reckoned with. In the beginning, the gameplay is simple and mainly concentrated on getting the player accustomed to the world of Ring Runner. The sage amnesiac will travel all over space, meeting interesting individuals and learning about various ship parts, controls, and add-ons. Things seem a bit out of place for the Sage, there’s something about him that’s different that he cannot put his finger on.

Just who is this sage?

Later on, he's wrapped into a fighting arena with dozens of other pilots for the king's entertainment.
Later on, he’s wrapped into a fighting arena with dozens of other pilots for the king’s entertainment.

My experience with Ring Runner was a bit eye opening and challenging. The gameplay in itself is designed in a way that reminds me of classic arcade shooter games. The space setting only adds to that further. In addition to that, the art style and music added onto it further feed this design. It just screams classic and this may be part of the reason it’s so adaptable and easy to just go right in and play.

The sage learns new abilities as he progresses through each area and eventually switches ships for various reasons. In time, the players are capable of customizing their ship, choosing which of the hundreds of new abilities and ship designs they prefer. Eventually, they’ll be playing with their own custom ship with their favorite abilities. I loved the versatility and variety presented in each section. Once you became comfortable with one set of abilities, it seemed your ship and skills are taken away from you and exchanged with another. Because of this, the gameplay stays fresh and interesting.

When freed, he explores space a little bit more, meeting colorful individuals that help him piece together his memory slightly.
When freed, he explores space a little bit more, meeting colorful individuals that help him piece together his memory slightly.

And since the game has over a 20 level campaign, having a lot of interesting features to keep the players challenged and interested is the way to go.

Aside from the single player campaign, Ring Runner offers a multiplayer mode that is just madness. Multiplayer offers several different modes for a party of at least four to enjoy, including deathmatch and gladiator mode. During the latter half of the campaign, I had the option to include a secondary player for co-op mode or duo mode to help me work through some tight spots.

He winds up performing odd jobs and exploring strange places to figure out just who he is and where he came from.
He winds up performing odd jobs and exploring strange places to figure out just who he is and where he came from.

Personally, I adored the overall design and style of Ring Runner. The backgrounds and artwork are beautiful, making it an even better experience with each section. Never was there a dull moment – there’s tons content and story to enjoy. All around, Ring Runner is an attractive gameplay experience with aspects reminiscent of a classic shooter game with its own modernized and expanded appeal.

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[author image=”http://cliqist.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/01/julie.jpg” ]Julie Morley is a freelance writer and comic artist from Spring, Texas. She attended the Academy of Art University for two years, studying Animation and Illustration. Whilst here, she learned about writing comic scripts, storyboards, and general storytelling.  Since leaving college, she has been working on personal comic projects, stories, and illustrations. She aspires to release a self published comic within two years. For the majority of her life, she has been playing console games, typically being third-person shooters and sandboxes. Her favorite game of existence is Dark Cloud II (Dark Chronicle) and her favorite Indie game is Gone Home.[/author]

Nathaniel Liles
Nathaniel Liles is a freelance writer, writing major, and indie musician based in Southern Indiana. While procrastinating or avoiding real-world responsibility, Nathaniel enjoys playing rhythm games, action RPGs, and very colorful games with many bright, flashing lights. You can listen to Nathaniel sing songs or download his music for free at http://nathanielliles.bandcamp.com/.
Nathaniel Liles