Ribbit


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Rating: 3.3/5 (99 votes)
| Comments (27) | Views (25)

GrinnypRibbitConsider the nature of rabbits and frogs. One is cute and fuzzy, one is slimy and usually green. One is an herbiforous mammal, the other a carnivorous amphibian. One loves to live on dry, grassy land, the other in wet, swampy conditions. They don't have much in common, do they, other than the ability to jump really high, which makes them ideal characters for jumping-style platform games. But when you are designing such a game, do you go for the cuteness of the bunny and risk over-the-top sweetness, or do you go for the frog and eschew pretty for functional? Well, if you are Dr. Siamese (who apparently works for Nitrome), you instead create a merge-o-matic machine which allows you to take a pretty bunny and a slimy frog and create a freak of nature which will immediately hunt you down for revenge. You also create a game like Ribbit.

Designed by Jay Smith and Aaron Steed of Nitrome Ribbit is the saga of the aforementioned abomination, frantically trying to track down the evil scientist while navigating an increasingly difficult series of platforms populated by some difficult and nasty bad guys. Movement of your odd little hero is accomplished with the left and right [arrow] keys. You see, since the natural born hoppers have been merged at the head, this affront to all that is holy bounces everywhere. Controlling him is a matter of tilting the character to the right or the left, causing it to hop in that direction. Sounds simple, doesn't it? Well it is, at first. However, you will soon encounter areas that require you to master the art of twirling your character 180 degrees in mid-air, creating a super jump to get to higher platforms. And then you will soon need to master the double super jump, which causes the frobbit (my own term) to jump even higher, and gain the ability to destroy most of the enemies he will encounter.

RibbitAnalysis: What this odd and unique movement dynamic will do is divide casual gamers into two camps: those who can master it will have a fun and enjoyable time frantically moving through the various levels in order to extract revenge from a scientist who just doesn't know when not to mess with mother nature; and those who cannot quite master the dynamic and who face an uphill battle with a lot of frustration. Much of the frustration comes from the fact that with only 20 levels, Ribbit has a steep learning curve. Seriously steep. Precipitously steep. Sooooo steep...seriously, one minute you've mastered the basics of movement, the next you will have to have figured out not only how to rotate the character to create the super jumps, but how to stop the rotation at just the correct angle to move him forward rather than have him ricochet off of the obstructive scenery. Difficulty after difficulty piles on so rapidly that those with slightly slower reflexes might want to play the game in very short bursts, taking lots of breaks before damage is done to monitors, walls, or whatever else is within arms reach.

Ribbit is designed by Nitrome, so expect all the bells and whistles that that implies. Cute graphics, kicking music, high production values, it's all there to enjoy. It would have been nice, however, to have a reset button that allows you to replay a level if you get stuck. On most levels, this is not a worry as mistakes will kill you and send you back to the main menu. However, mistakes on some of the pure block breaking levels can leave you stranded at the bottom of the screen, with no way to reset other than quitting out of the game and going back in. And a slightly more gradual difficulty curve would have been nice. When you first encounter the Rhino Beetle — for instance — if you mess up on that very first move you can be killed, making it more worthy of a level near the end rather than in the middle of the game.

Gameplay flaws aside, Ribbit can still be a lot of fun. Even if you can't quite master the movement dynamic quickly, you can still enjoy watching a thing-that-should-never-have-been smash itself on the scenery with ever increasing speed. And for those who can manage to make the little abomination go where they want it to go, there's a lot of fun action to be had. Beautiful to look at and surprisingly addictive, Ribbit is a fun time waster for anyone with good reflexes and an off-kilter sense of humor. Just track down that nasty scientist who created Something That Should Never Have Been Born and give him a good talking to.

Play Ribbit

27 Comments

Quite honestly this is Nitrome's worst game in a long time. After getting to level 12 I decided the game was worth struggling with anymore.

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It's possible, perhaps if you lean on the right key enough and overflow some buffer, for the ribbit to get stuck at an angle all the way to the right. You can make it do a super jump, but you can't change the angle. (I'm sure I didn't lose keyboard focus.)

Anyway, even without that, way too difficult to control. Bouncing around is fun, though. Nice music, too.

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I Sort of agree, I mean its REALLY hard to beat a game like cheese dreams, Final ninja, or even Dirk valentine, but this fell short by a long way. Although it was painfully cute and the music was awesome, the controls were hard to maneuver. All in all It could have been worse, but definitely could have been better.

so ratings
Music: 9/10
Graphics: 10/10
controls: 5/10

well any who, keep em comin jay!
:D

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kingjulien86 Author Profile Page July 19, 2010 10:48 AM

I guess it's a good idea. However, after playing one level, I wanted to vomit because the character was flying in so many directions and I couldn't control it very well.

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Gave up early on, all the game play derives from trying to work around an unfriendly control scheme.

If you take away the control scheme all you have left is the most basic platformer.

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meester man Author Profile Page July 19, 2010 12:23 PM

nitrome, thou hast failed me. please, return to the final ninja and dirk valentine days and create easy-to-control-hard-to-beat games again.

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This being a Nitrome game, I was expecting it to be insanely difficult. Fortunately, I quickly figured out that it isn't. But then I got to the last few levels.

All in all , I'd give the game an 8/10. The controls are fun once you master them. Before that, they stink. The music and graphocs are wonderfully designed, + the ending is cute too.

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RIGHT ON meester man!!!

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Embarrising game, revovles around sloppy controls.

I don't want ANOTHER Final Ninja game, but I don't want Nitrome resorting to "Easy mechanic, bad controls".

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I am normally a big fan of nitrome's games, and I am usually fairly tolerable when it comes to some of their awkward controls, but this was to much even for me.
Not even halfway through the first level I was ready to throw my computer across the room if the little creature bounced out of control one more time.

Although I will agree as usual the music was catchy and the graphics were adorable (even if the main character is a little bit of a freak [: ). I just wish I could have had the chance to enjoy them. :|

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Me, too.

I love, love, LOVE Nitrome.

But this game is indeed Something That Should Never Have Been Born.

The controls are a train wreck, and even Nitrome's cute graphics and bouncy music can't save it.

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Interesting concept. I don't think it would take too much of a change to make it more "pick-up and playable". I like the idea of the rabbit/frog character flipping around, but its too difficult to control and many casual gamers will give up before they master the controls. Graphics are appealing and the music is great.

Unfortunately, this game fails to meet the number one rule of casual games: the player should be able to walk up to the game, figure out how to play within 10 seconds and gain an early feeling of success.

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Anonymous July 19, 2010 4:30 PM

Surprisingly the control scheme didn't bother me all that much with the exception of being in confined spaces. Level 5 is just plain lazy level design: go to the end of the level, hit a switch to open a door at the beginning of the level, which reveals another switch to open another door back at the end of the level.

Level 10 seems little more than to crush the wills of those who made it that far. The instakill rhino (read: timer) while traversing a maze of obstacles with little room for error just ramps up the frustration factor.

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Dave Lopo Author Profile Page July 19, 2010 4:58 PM

Remember, you can halt at any time with up or space. Once you remember, that, it's easy.

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TheMusicGirl Author Profile Page July 19, 2010 9:19 PM

Now, I'm a "collect everything" kind of gal, so obviously, I was compelled to collect every last fly and every last carrot, plus destroy all the enemies. When I got to level one (after the practice prologe type thing) I ended up just holding down the right arrow key at the end for a few seconds then exiting out, because I gave up. The learning curve is one of my weaknesses, and if I don't have it down by the first level, I'm done with the game. Sort of the Simon Cowell of games, you might say, and this one just frustrated me to no end. As always, Nitrome delivered when it came to graphics and music (Dangit, why can't they just sell the music to their games?!) but it fell so, so short when it came to gameplay that I have a headache typing this. Maybe some people who mastered the jumping/bouncing the right way enjoyed this game, but unfortunately I did not. I really hope that Nitrome has more games comming soon that I can enjoy. :)

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I liked the controls and was feeling quite proud for doing well in a Nitrome game until ... cue dark music ... I hit level 8 with the electricity. I guess I wasn't quite as accurate with the controls as I thought, and the game suddenly changed from fun to frustrating. I got through though to level 9 and it was even more annoying with the monsters that would suddenly stop and become deadly. I got all the way through level 9 until I got killed trying to get through the hoop. And that's it for me. Oh well, level 9 ain't bad for me and Nitrome.

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vanessa July 20, 2010 2:01 AM

what's the ending like? 'Cause I have not got enough patience to go through the whole game. But what's it like?

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This is one of my fave Ntirome games of the moment. Music: awesome (much better than Fault Line), controls: yeah they are confusing but I got used to them and now tis really fun!!!!!!!!(stuck on lv20 though.)

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I agree with most of everyone above in that this is a bit of a 'miss' but it still fits into Nitrome's catalogue of experimenting and pushing gameplay mechanics further it's just a shame this one is so obtuse to control.

Still, considering their output it's much more of a surprise that this is the first in an enormous amount of output that whiffs a little bit.

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Joe Gona July 20, 2010 10:29 AM

I made it to the end, spare a few level-restarting mistakes. I found it fun, if not a little difficult to control, and nice to come back to. Or, maybe I just like the magic colors of super-jumps. Nevertheless, I've played nitrome for a while, and some of these games require patience. A lot of patience. Still, I liked their tweak on the Knuckleheads formula.

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howbigis1gb Author Profile Page July 20, 2010 2:35 PM

I was honestly pretty disappointed, especially in light of Fault Line - nice music, but the only thing that kept me going was a Nitrome ending. This game was not impossible, but wasn't as fun to play as I'd have liked

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vanessa July 21, 2010 4:06 AM

@Joe Gona: WHAT?? the game was based on Knuckleheads?? But that game was WAY, WAY better. Who agrees?

P.S. Again, whats the ending??

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vanessa July 21, 2010 4:15 AM

Also, Ribbit is sort of like Parasite, as well as Knuckleheads. You wouldn't spot it straight away, but there are. It's again with the red and green. I loved Parasite, I think it's sort of in between Knuckleheads and Ribbit, Knuckleheads is sort of "dark" and Ribbit is cute. With Parasite it switches, like... well just go play it again, it's awesome!!

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Peter Zoomtsnk July 23, 2010 10:28 AM

Not bad... but the good people at Nitrome don't seem to be knocking out any good games like the old days when I used to struggle downloading the games (due to, I imagine, server loads) because so many people would be loading them.

I really hope they release some of the good ones like Rustyard (what a game!),Icebreaker, Skywire etc.

*Very miserable* I now look for other Nitrome copies out there, as there are other great developers coming out with some crackers. The above mentioned were great games that all my family would play - but now they're just knocking them out for the hell of it.

Very stale and boring. I want to be surprised by ingenious Nitrome quirks. BRING BACK THE QUIRKS!

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Yes, I agree, this game made me facepalm. I won't list my gripes because the above people have already done that.

I agree with Zoomtnsk, why don't they release good games like Dirk Valentine, Hot Air, Doghouse, Parasite, and most of all, the Final Ninja? The last platformer they made was Final Ninja 2, and that's the best game ever produced. Ever.

I miss the old style of games, I hope it comes back.

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LiszkaY July 27, 2010 4:31 PM

Definitely the worst Nitrome game ever! :(

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Aw, I loved this game...I thought it was brilliant! The only level I had a bit of trouble with was level 17, because I was impatient to get to the end. I loved the music, the story, the movement dynamic...everything!
(The rhino beetle got me laughing, really, what genius!)

I felt bad that the main character

was stuck being the way he/she was...it would have been happier that way. In that sense the game is a little dark....it looks all overly sweet but the creatures in it face such awful fates.

So...lovely game, and I'm sorry that not as many people enjoyed it.

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