Rack N Ruin
Top Critic Average
For this type of game, I feel like the combat and puzzle solving should be the strongest aspect on offer, but they ended up being the worst part of the experience. Outside of the lousy checkpoint system, there really isn't anything too terrible about Rack N Ruin, it just doesn't have enough going for it for me to unequivocally recommend it. If you don't mind repeating areas and using the same few abilities over and over again, Rack N Ruin isn't a total loss, just weather your expectations before you enter.
Laced with punishing difficulty spikes that put off rather than urge on, Rack N Ruin falls short with an array of irksome gameplay elements and lack of innovation.
Rack N Ruin takes great elements, mixes them together, and then adds a ton of frustration on top. There are things to like here, but they are hidden behind bad controls, confusing design, and annoying gameplay elements.
Rack N Ruin redeems itself with a second showing on PC, but only if you abandon your controller for the ol' fashioned keyboard and mouse. The black comedic story of a demon set to enslave the earth pops with colorful backgrounds and challenging, fast-paced gameplay and finds redemption in its PC release.
Rack N Ruin is a twin-stick shooter (sort of) with a juvenile appreciation for wanton destruction. The role-reversal, with you as the bad guy, brings up some interesting questions, but the story doesn't take neart enough advantage of that fact. It can be good to be bad, but Rack N Ruin's character isn't all that deep.
Rack N Ruin is a lot of fun when everything clicks, but these moments just don't happen often enough. If you're into top-down button mashers, then this may be worth a look. Roaming the world, while confusing at times, can feel rewarding when you make new discoveries, and Rack himself is an endearing character. Some poor design choices bog the experience down, however, and it's a real shame – especially when you consider the types of games that clearly inspired this title.
Ultimately, Rack N Ruin is a good game that easily could have been great with a few tweaks. Strangely, the game hides a lot of its enjoyment away from the player by not telling the player what to do next. While it can be an extremely frustrating experience at times, there are enough satisfying moments to recommend the game despite these issues. So, if you're willing to dig into it, give Rack N Ruin a spin since there is a good game there, just hidden.
Sometimes the difficulty is great, but map traversal, checkpoints and cheap deaths should be the most difficult things about the game. Still, Rack N Ruin is good for nostalgia and those looking for a top-down adventure shmup with a challenge.
Amazing presentation and a wonderfully charismatic main character go a long way to making this worthwhile, but a particularly frustrating, dated brand of difficulty makes seeing this adventure through to the end a big ask for all but the most dedicated.
The kind of challenge where things are so boring but you keep tuning out, defines the Rack N Ruin experience. It is not a buggy or glitchy mess, and most things work as intended. The problem with Rack N Ruin is that it sets such a low bar for itself and whoever picks it up, that it leaves no impression at all.