RUBATO Demo is a free platforming game for Windows by indie developer dconn. Your goal in this free-to-play indie title is to take control of an adorable frog named Rubato and collect planet bits while making your way through assorted levels filled with traps.
RUBATO Demo takes inspiration from other classic titles within the platforming genre like Super Mario Odyssey. The game is therefore similar in style to paid games like Terraria, but for a free alternative, you may want to try a made-for-Windows interpretation of the classic Super Mario Bros console game, Mari0 for Windows.
Rubato, and by extension, you, has an incredibly important role to play within this game’s universe. Somewhere along the line, the solar system underwent a massive explosion. Now it rests on the little shoulders of our lovable frog friend Rubato to collect the bits of various planets and heavenly bodies and fix the solar system.
Each time you collect a planet bit, you’ll level up your health, but you’ll also unlock one of many area bosses that Rubato will have to defeat with his wily, froggy ways.
The brilliant thing about having a frog as the game’s protagonist is that you have abnormally high jumps and a strong tongue at your disposal. Like a real frog can use its tongue to catch food, Rubato’s tongue is incredibly useful. He can use his tongue to move boxes out of his way, grab projectiles fired at him and even swing from grapple points.
If you progress far enough, you can even gain access to a rocket launcher that enables you to perform rocket jumps and blow up blocks. Unfortunately, a bug in the game causes it to crash if you switch items after using the rocket launcher.
The game has a retro feel to it, achieved with expressive animations and pixel art. RUBATO Demo also has a decent selection of mood music that is sure to keep you entertained as you help Rubato pick up the pieces of the solar system.
As the title states, RUBATO Demo is a demo game. This means that it’s a preview of sorts for a full game that is still in development. As of this review, the game only has up to hours of active gameplay and no more than 28 planet bits to collect. Part of the gameplay is also a rather lengthy introduction, but you can skip it if you wish.
A decent demonstration
RUBATO Demo achieves the purpose of demonstrating the capabilities and intentions of its developer while being an entertaining and memorable gaming experience. Even though the game is fairly short, there’s enough opportunity to test out what Rubato can do with his long tongue and high jumps, whetting the appetite considerably for the developer’s next endeavour.
RUBATO Demo is beautifully designed, and even though there are some issues and a rather glaring gameplay bug, the game is still an excellent addition to anyone’s indie gaming repertoire.