Once upon a time musical giants roamed the earth, filling the world with music. Unfortunately, time and great evil have stolen them from the earth. That’s where you enter. You will need to explore ancient ruins and reconnect portals to bring music back to the world. With an African theme intertwined through play and challenging puzzles, there’s plenty to do to bring music back to earth.
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Towering heights to climb
You’re thrown right into the middle of the action in Rangi with little explanation of what’s going on. A pop-up window will explain how the controls work, as opposed to using the touchpad controls or the Gear VR controller, but in most cases, it’s up to you to figure out how to solve each puzzle. Although these puzzles get complicated very quickly, color always plays a rather important role in things.
You need to line up the missing pieces of the wall to complete the puzzles and restore the flow of color from its source to the doorway that leads to the next section of the game. This starts with one section that needs to be aligned and lit, but soon you’ll be dealing with three or four different strands that need to be adjusted. Each level has its own feel, but a common theme is the serious heights you need to teleport through to complete the puzzles.
Seeing the paintings on the walls of the temples or the pottery lying around as you descend through the levels of the temple, everything seems more tactile, although there is very little actual interaction. Be sure to study each section carefully, as the crevices hide artifacts out of sight of the main objective in each level.
Puzzles bring music back to life
In Rangi, you play a character known as Guruki, and it’s your destiny to bring the world back to balance by bringing music back to it. The only real exposition you start is a few text fields at the very beginning of the game. After that, it’s up to you to decide how things will go.
You’ll start by solving simple puzzles that require you to push and push wall panels into place to light up patterns. These offset wall pieces exist in 3 dimensions, which means you’ll soon have to move blocks up and down along walls, and into corners or into wall cutouts. It only gets more difficult when you have multiple lights that need to be connected.
While the puzzles quickly become more difficult, I never felt particularly frustrated with what I was looking at. This is primarily because each puzzle had several moving parts, and so instead of getting frustrated, I could figure out what I was doing wrong. Of course, once I felt like I had an understanding of the puzzles that Rangi throws at me, the game flipped the script with walls of spikes.
Teleportation is critical
To move in Ranks, you need to find the teleportation points dotted above the level. You will be jumping from one to another to access different panels that you must manipulate in order to defeat the puzzles. Even though you can see many levels from one vantage point, managing access to everything you need will require some moving around.
After you make the jump, tons of different teleportation points will suddenly appear for you to jump to.
Luckily, there are plenty of teleportation points everywhere. In many cases, you will only be able to see one or two teleportation points from the hall, usually at higher vantage points. However, after you make the jump to that higher height, there will suddenly be tons of different points that you can jump to. When you do this, you can often see the areas you need to complete the puzzles.
It gets tricky when you quickly teleport from one area to another to avoid traps like walls of spikes that are desperate to impale you. I had to move quickly left and right, and I was especially pleased to have a swivel office chair for VR gaming on the Gear VR. While I never had trouble jumping from one portal to another, the stark difference between regular puzzles and peak escape attempts definitely set me off at the beginning. Luckily, I was automatically resurrected at the beginning of the puzzle and managed to get through it after three or four attempts.