Demo Preview: Renaine

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Welcome Time Wasters!

I know it’s strange, but I’m taking a look at another game that still isn’t out yet. Two weeks in a row isn’t normal for me, but I stumbled onto something this week that I really feel deserves the coverage. That game is Renaine.

Renaine is a game that went to Kickstarter and was fully funded, and then some. It slipped under my radar during its Kickstarter, but I still want to take time to shine some light on this wonderful little game.

Renaine is a 2D platformer with some hack-n-slash elements as well. It puts players in the boots of the Phoenix Knight Aine. Our heroine is out seeking vengeance for her fallen friend, Ren. She’ll have to travel across the world and defeat an evil dragon to accomplish this task.

Renaine
A mage’s one weakness: vertical movement.

Aine’s special ability as a Phoenix Knight is that she con continuously reincarnate after death. This allows her to press forward with her task even if the enemies get the better of her. If she’s having too much trouble, Aine can buy special items and equip emblems for skills to give her a better chance against enemies.

Earning money requires Aine to defaet enemies and pick up the coins that they drop. The balance of coins to kills was well done. It didn’t make it too hard to get enough money, but it wasn’t too easy either. There’s also another use for money in the game. Players can use it to resurrect Aine if they die during a level. There are options for resurrecting with half or full health. If the players chooses to not spend money, they are sent back to town and will have to start the level over again.

One interesting aspect of Renaine is how the game handles its levels. See, they aren’t always the same each time. When the player dies, the levels will shift around and change. This doesn’t mean it’s all randomly generated or anything like that. Players will easily notice the same elements of the levels ifrom their last run, but in different places. I can see how this could keep the game feeling fresh longer, but it isn’t my preference.

The actual platforming and combat in Renaine is also solid. I’m getting a lot of Shovel Knight vibes from it. The biggest difference is control. Aine feels a bit more floaty than I was expecting, kind of like a Mario game. In comparison, Shovel Knight always gave me a more Mega Man feel with its controls.

Renaine
I just though you were rocking a unibrow.

Renaine makes me think of Shovel Knight in another way as well. It has charm. We’ll have to see if it keeps this charm in the final release, but I’m hopeful.

The visuals in Renaine are obviously going for a more NES look, but that doesn’t mean it lacks detail. There is plenty of gorgeous sprite art in the demo alone and I can’t wait to see the game in its final form.

When it comes to audio, Renaine caught me completely off guard. The game chooses to avoid chip tunes in favor of actual instruments. Even more surprising than that is the genre of music the game uses. It has this upbeat jazz music playing the first area. Some of it even has a more lounge music feel with singers included. It’s weird, but in a good way.

Overall, I’m really looking forward to this game. I’m a little bummed about missing the Kickstarter, but that just means I’ll pick it up on release. There’s going to be a Switch version of the game that I’ll likely grab. So long as everything goes well, expect me to do a followup review for Renaine once the game officially launches.

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