RPG Time: Wright’s Legend Preview
It’s not often you can watch a game and feel like you’re seeing something unique. Although it plays like an homage to a lot of familiar games, RPG Time: The Legend of Wright has a style all its own. I haven’t seen anything like it.
Imagine you’re a child gamer in love with role-playing games, not to mention esports or classic games like Pac-Man. You fill endless notebooks with drawings of adventures, monsters, dungeons and puzzles. All you need is an adventurer to bring the game to life. That’s where you, the player, come in. RPG Time: The Legend of Wright is about an upcoming game designer named Kenta. He designed an RPG adventure called The Legend of Wright. You play as Wright, with Kenta ever-present over your shoulder. Kenta is both dungeon master and guide. He also invents the world in real time. He might want to clear part of the dungeon and create a trap while you’re standing in it.
The first thing you notice about RPG Time: The Legend of Wright is the art style. Black and white pencil cartoons in Kenta’s notebook form the basis. Sometimes the game switches to comic book style panels. “Real world” objects like basketballs and shoes are in the mix, along with 3D cardboard cutouts and characters. It’s a charming and creative aesthetic that’s constantly changing, though it stays true to its premise. The outside world is the office. Inside Kenta’s play and imagination, anything goes. Kenta creates analogues for everything we find in games, from on-screen action to cardboard D-pads. Wright’s “health bar” is a measuring tape.
Tribute to games and gamers
From moment to moment, RPG Time: The Legend of Wright plays like a variety of games. One moment is a bit like Zelda, with Wright exploring a dungeon and using weapons to fight in turn-based combat. The next minute, it turns into a platform game or a maze. While the player doesn’t need to know video game history to appreciate RPG Time, it’s obvious that Kenta and developer DeskWorks do. I sometimes felt like RPG Time: The Legend of Wright jumped between styles a little too often. Some moments felt a bit disjointed. Because each level must fit within the borders of Kenta’s notebook, Cardboardia’s levels are quite small.
While we quibble, there are times when the directions or controls aren’t entirely clear, and the colorful, cute art can be hard to decipher, especially on the busy desk. Compared to its visuals, smooth control seemed like a secondary focus. I also don’t know who RPG Time: The Legend of Wright is for. Family-friendly, the game seems aimed at older players who will appreciate the many game references. At the same time, the story and the language are quite simple and the humor is not very sophisticated.
Like most RPGs, the mechanics of RPG Time: The Legend of Wright start simple and the game adds complexity as it goes. However, the more things he tried to do, the more I felt a disconnect with the simple premise. The game is coming to mobile as well as PC and console. It feels like a perfect touchscreen type of game.
An intriguing insight
Almost a decade in the making, RPG Time: The Legend of Wright has already won numerous awards for its unique design. I only had the chance to play a small part of the game and I can’t wait to see Wright’s whole adventure until the end. RPG Time: The Legend of Wright absolutely nails that passion for creativity that I bet most game designers felt as kids – and hopefully still as adults.
***Xbox code provided by the publisher***