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Ratyboy Adventures Review


No offence to Ratyboy, but if he was in our living room, we’d have reached for the baseball bat. A few inches high, standing on his hind legs and with a stoned look on his face, he is one creepy looking rodent. It would have been a reflex-swing.

Ratyboy Adventures isn’t quite as dark as all that. It’s a 3D platformer where the levels are single rooms in a house. Think Mario 64, but swapping the Mushroom Kingdom for an orderly kitchen and you’re pretty much there. Ratyboy lives in these rooms (thus the baseball bat), emerging from a mousehole in one of the corners.

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Ratyboy gets set to go on some adventures

He’s clearly a hungry boy, as his task is to find all the cheese in the room and eat it. The owners of the house were effectively inviting him in, as there’s cheese flipping everywhere. It reminded us of Boris’s quote about nobody getting work done, on account of all the cheese.

Being no taller than a DVD case, getting around the room is easier said than done. Sofas, worktops, cabinets and more are out of reach, but there’s clearly cheese on top. Ratyboy has to amble up small platforms first – the legs of office chairs, boxes – and use them as a leg-up to medium-sized platforms, before finally reaching the topmost parts of the room. With the cheese collected, Ratyboy can dive off the top of the bookcase and head for the mousehole, where an exit portal appears. 

Ratyboy has a Lara Croft ledge grab to make things a touch easier. Miss a platform by millimetres and Ratyboy will cling on and hoick himself up. But that’s the limit of his capabilities: he can jump, grab and do nothing else. 

There are dozens of levels here, each one a different domestic environment. There’s some slightly fancier offerings – a panic room and a gymnasium, for example, which most houses live without – but otherwise the levels are kitchens, bathrooms, dining rooms and more. Which ends up being slightly limiting, if we’re being honest. There’s a familiarity to each room, as tables appear in about half of them, sofas in another half, and we got used to the same models over and over. If they were more outlandish (the similarly themed Catlateral Damage took us to a witch’s house and the Moon, for example), then it would have spruced proceedings up nicely. 

Not that they would have looked great. The graphics in Ratyboy Adventures are at best plain, at worst the place where polygons go to die. The environments have zero charm, when charm was a baseline expectation for its forebears on the PS2, Gamecube and Dreamcast. You would have thought that, with a house as a backdrop, the devs could have leaned into the detail. Imagine the funny stuff they could cram into cupboards, slap on baked bean labels, or stick on the cover of books? If IKEA can do it, surely Ratyboy can. But no, it’s detail-less, a romp through the blandest of bland houses.

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Chase the cheese!

Things don’t get much better from there. Where most 3D platformers fail is the camera. We wonder if Ratyboy Adventures even attempted to succeed. Climb onto the shelf of a bookcase, and the camera jackknifes around, as if it wanted to get out of there quicksmart. It’s entirely possible to lose sight of Ratyboy completely. The camera becomes a problem precisely when the platforming is at its hardest and least forgiving, which is – as you could probably guess – unhelpful.

But nothing can eclipse the gameplay. Not since Bubsy 3D have I been so angry at the character I’m controlling. Can a character be the hero and the enemy at the same time? Because it sure as hell feels like Ratyboy is actively sabotaging me. 

The ledge grab does whatever the hell it wants. Sometimes it will grab a surface, other times it simply won’t bother. There’s clearly something in the code that determines one door knob is climbable while another isn’t, but it’s not something you could tell from appearances. We fell from a tall platform after missing a grab, wondering whether we missed because we were crap, or because the ledge wasn’t grabbable at all. Sometimes it was because we were crap.

There are the flimsiest of paths to the cheese. Tiny platforms, thin bridges, jumps where you have to double-back on yourself (grabbing a shelf from the shelf below): they’re all here, in sequence. We’d wonder whether there was an easier route, something that didn’t involve balancing on the top of an open door, for example. But in almost every instance this was the way Ratyboy wanted us to go. 

If Ratyboy’s controls were precise and buffed to a shine, then this would be fine, of course. But they’re not. The issues are myriad. Ratyboy stops still if he tries to walk on a platform that is a hair’s breadth higher than the one he’s on. The jump is a huge, wayward arc, when often you just want something small and controlled. And the sensitivity is way off. Walk in remotely the wrong direction on a tightrope and he will run and jump like a lemming. Dear god, I wanted to throw myself off after him. 

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You’ll need to grab every last bit.

Some leeway, a little bit of generosity, would have softened the problem. But nu-uh, Ratyboy wants you to collect every last cheeses in a level, and there are thirty or forty of them. Which means that no cheese gets left behind: you have to grab every last one, and that means going every flipping where. If you can’t find the last one, well sorry matey, you have to keep looking. If you can’t be arsed going back to get one that you missed, then you better get arsed. 

If there was one thing we felt playing through Ratyboy Adventures, it was pain. It was a sharp jolt every time we tried to grab a ledge but couldn’t. It was pain when we slowly, carefully walked Ratyboy across a tightrope, only for the camera and controls to gangtackle us to the floor.

Ratyboy Adventures might look vaguely like Mario 64, but it’s a distraction. Just as we picked up the pad with the intention of playing, Ratyboy came from behind and bit us hard on the butt. It’s possibly the most painful 3D platformer we’ve played. Curse you, Ratyboy.


  • Plenty of levels
  • Uh, it’s good to see 3D platformers coming out?
  • Desperately drab-looking
  • Controls are overly sensitive
  • Camera is my nemesis
  • Levels are too precarious
  • Massive thanks for the free copy of the game go to - Purchased by TXH
  • Formats - Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One (review), Switch
  • Release date and price - 17 May 2023 | £4.19
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<b>Pros:</b> <ul> <li>Plenty of levels</li> <li>Uh, it’s good to see 3D platformers coming out?</li> </ul> <b>Cons:</b> <ul> <li>Desperately drab-looking</li> <li>Controls are overly sensitive</li> <li>Camera is my nemesis</li> <li>Levels are too precarious</li> </ul> <b>Info:</b> <ul> <li>Massive thanks for the free copy of the game go to - Purchased by TXH</li> <li>Formats - Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One (review), Switch <li>Release date and price - 17 May 2023 | £4.19</li> </ul>Ratyboy Adventures Review
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