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John Rochard isn’t exactly a stranger to being left out to dry, but this time his employer Skyrig has gone too far. After four years of wild goose chases, he and his space mining team have been backstabbed and attacked by space bandits hired by the very company he was working for. So what else is there to do but go on a little revenge mission?
It won’t be easy. Rochard and crew’s space station isn’t exactly in tip-top shape, and the bandit invasion isn’t exactly helping the place out. The gravity hardly works, various force fields adorn the maze of hallways and caverns, and there’s debris all over the place to work around. That’s where the G-Lifter comes in handy. Essentially a gravity gun, it can pick up items and toss them wherever Rochard needs them.
Grab a big ’ol laser to make things go boom.
The gravity mechanic forms the core of the action in this puzzle-tinged platformer. Whether it’s used to build steps to an otherwise unreachable area, to aim a huge laser, or to nail an enemy with a block, the G-Lifter plays a large and very frequent role in the progression of the game. For the most part, the puzzles are quite clever and intuitive, and it’s rare that you’ll get stuck. But when it happens, it’s often due to the slightly imprecise controls, especially when it comes to the shooting mechanic.
The occasionally shoddy shooting really is Rochard’s biggest weakness. Aiming can feel loose and inaccurate, especially when played with the mouse and keyboard, though a gamepad is highly recommended. Thankfully, the only combat-heavy section is within the first hour or so of the game, after which it returns to its strong suit of puzzle-solving goodness.
Rochard may only last a few hours, but what’s here is a lovingly crafted puzzle title with tons of charm and more than enough head-scratching scenarios for puzzle nuts. And for completionist die-hards, there are tons of optional collectibles that will keep you searching and solving long after the main story is finished.
The bottom line. Wrapped in a humorous and stylish package, Rochard is brief, but well worth its $10 asking price. Get out there and secure John’s revenge.
Mac OS 10.6.6 or later, 2.6GHz processor, 1GB RAM, 3GB hard drive space
Mac App Store Age Rating: 12+
Clever puzzles. Amusing dialogue. Loads of collectibles to locate.
Controls not always precise enough. Fairly brief adventure.