The connection between people is a common theme across many myths and cultures. Sometimes these are spiritual connections, other times they’re manifested. Red Rope: Don’t Fall Behind is a passion project from Francesca Zacchia that focuses on one in particular: the Chinese legend of the Red Thread of Fate. And rather than specify what this red thread represents, a lot of the interpretation is left to you. Red Rope: Don’t Fall Behind is launching today on Xbox One and joins a previous drop on PC.
Reading through the press materials we were given for Red Rope: Don’t Fall Behind, it’s admirable how much research and effort has gone into bringing the Chinese Legend to life. Every room, even the placement of enemies, has been made to mirror the mandala of Buddhist cosmology. This is clearly a game that is looking to transcend your conventional game design.
This is not solely an art piece. The gameplay looks innovative too, as you control the characters at either end of a red rope, either solo (controlling both ends) or cooperatively. Like trying to walk your dog around lamp-posts, the thread will need to be maneuvered and planned, as it can get caught. But it’s also your lifeline, as you use the thread to disable ‘enemy’ spirits and regain lives. There’s going to be arguments over this one, as family members and partners don’t quite follow directions.
There are 200 levels to navigate in the game’s Labyrinth, and the game has a quasi-Zelda look to it, perhaps with a hint of Binding of Isaac. Red Rope: Don’t Fall Behind doesn’t look procedurally generated or anything like that: the rooms seem to be authored, with some fantastic characters sprinkled along the way. It also looks like it’ll be devilishly hard, with communication being key and bosses being your downfall.
- Play with a friend or try alone. It won’t be easy either way.
- You are trapped in the Labyrinth: more than 100 hand-designed levels full of tension, action and mystery separate you from the exit.
- The rope is the only weapon at your disposal.
- Battle dozens of unpredictable enemies, learn their moves and plan yours. No tactics means death.
- Solve puzzles: carefully observe and exploit the many mechanisms.
- Discover a world packed with symbols to decipher and bizarre inhabitants.
- Defeat 4 mini-bosses and 5 bosses on the path to triumph.
- Climb the global chart but beware: every action has consequences.
- The game continues beyond the screen: communication and complicity are paramount.
- At least 10 hours of gameplay. Or 100 if you are not up to the challenge.
- A true hardcore experience: only a few will succeed.
- BEAT THE GAME AND BECAME AN INHABITANT OF THE LABYRINTH.
Having played Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons and having my heart ripped out by it, I’m expecting something similar here. This looks to be a heartfelt, personal odyssey for two players, and we can’t wait to play it.
Red Rope: Don’t Fall Behind is out today on Xbox One and will set you back £11.99. It is also making a red line for PC via Steam.
Red Rope: Don’t Fall Behind is an arduous challenge, a cathartic ritual that only the most valiant players will be able to carry out, be they fearless lonely travellers or couples with a strong elective affinity. Explore the Labyrinth, get acquainted with its bizarre inhabitants, its secrets and its rules. Face enemies, traps, puzzles and ferocious bosses. To escape the Labyrinth you will have but one weapon: the rope that binds you together.