While I was at Play NYC, I had the opportunity to try out the charming puzzle game Way of Rhea, also known as Monsters and Sprites, by Anthropic Studios. The demo was short but sweet, and I later discovered that it was put together in nine days earlier this year, using in-house tech and specifically for a Playcrafting expo.
According to the official website, Way of Rhea promises to be a narrative driven puzzle game. You play as a small creature wearing a traditional Japanese kitsune mask and make your way through the level, with a simple catch: you can only interact with objects that are the same color as you. For example, if you want to push the button to open the blue gate, you need to be blue. If you’re pink, nothing happens. It also is a sidescroller, which I find to be an underloved puzzle genre usually. While I didn’t get to see much of the narrative, as the opening level seemed designed more to acclimate the player with the game mechanics, I left eager to play more.
The color changing mechanic that was used reminded me of indie game She Remembered Caterpillars, which although it has a similar gameplay basis, gave off a much different feel to Way of Rhea. Not just because of the sidescrolling, but the art style of Rhea is simplistic in the best way. Details like the kitsune mask can be appreciated without distraction from overly complicated scenery and designs, which makes it easier to focus on the puzzles themselves.
Though the demo only lasted about five or ten minutes, it was enough for me to get a good glimpse into the world of Way of Rhea, and now I’m looking forward to going back when the game releases. No release date has been announced as the game is still too early in development, but Anthropic Studios promises a release on PC, Mac, and Linux platforms.