Trite. That’s probably the best way to describe Rabio. If I told you it will set you back £4.19 then I’m sure you can hazard a pretty good guess as to what you are getting here. Oh yes, you better believe it’s another 2D “retro-style” platformer. Just the way you like it.
If I’m honest, using the retro tag as an excuse to deliver extremely simple and dated visuals is nothing new. However, Rabio is so unbelievably unremarkable in how it looks, that it’s almost offensive. There’s nothing to supplement them either and the presentation is incredibly, clinically basic. Put diplomatically, this is not a pretty game.
However, for reasons I cannot quite compute, Rabio is optimised for Xbox Series X/S. Given that it looks as if a home console from three decades ago could run this without breaking a sweat, I’m not sure what’s been done here if anything. Answers on a postcard please.
There isn’t any fluff around Rabio, it’s straight to the point. Your job is to guide the titular rabbit through a series of hazardous trials as you venture from screen to screen. All he can do really is jump, however when you come close to the top of the screen gravity will invert and he will stick to the roof. Doing this in reverse will return little Rabio back to terra firma. This mechanic is how the puzzle element of the platforming is realised.
The game is also described as “hardcore”, which isn’t really the case. There are a few levels (if you can call them that) which are a little tricky, but it’s more pulling off the moves as opposed to figuring out what to do. After a few seconds studying the level, you’ll figure out the order you need to move around in to get from A to B.
In terms of controls, Rabio is a slippery little mammal and moving with precision takes a little getting used to. Once you get the feel for it however, it won’t take long to zip through the levels although you’ll die a fair few times in the process. Doing so carries no penalty whatsoever so it won’t really slow you up.
On the subject of longevity, Rabio will probably take you around thirty minutes to complete. There is zero replay value once you have finished the game, and no other ways to play. There’s no level select option either, so you’ll just have to start playing the game from scratch if you wish to. It’s a pretty unremarkable experience and despite the low price tag, still can’t be described as value for money.
As you gallop through the levels, a handful of new hazards will be introduced such as fireballs, spikes and falling boxes. There are some decent elements of level design, but everything is so painfully basic and overwhelmingly mediocre it doesn’t feel as if there is any sort of progression at all.
The most compelling reason to play Rabio, as you are probably not shocked to discover about a game at this price point, is the Xbox Gamerscore. I don’t think I have ever played a game which surrenders 1000G so easily and quickly. Simply by playing, within my first sixty seconds I had “earned” 900G, popping so quickly the achievements appeared on screen back to back with no break in between. My poor Xbox could barely keep up.
We often discuss the easiest ways to boost our Gamerscore, with many gamers taking the hunt very seriously indeed. I can categorically say that Rabio deserves a place near the top of everyone’s list of trouble-free ways to grab some achievements. It’s actually ridiculous.
There isn’t really much more to say about Rabio. There’s nothing which demonstrates any tangible efforts to differentiate it from the dozens of other generic platformers out there. I’m not sure that developers have realised that throwing words such as “retro” and “hardcore” into their game descriptions are not valid USPs. If anything, this is one of the most common genres out there. This game does nothing to prevent it from vanishing into the middle-of-the-road crowd.
There’s not a lot that is specifically bad about Rabio, but there isn’t much good to report either. It’s a forgettable, tolerable half hour which is made worthwhile thanks to the easy Xbox Gamerscore.
Rabio is on the Xbox Store