We all experience moments in life that cause unpredictable changes in course. Despite our best efforts, the universe doesn’t always adhere to our personal road maps.
At these potentially challenging and exciting times, I find the ideal traveling companions are a rich, hoppy brew and a lovely, calming video game.
When it comes to preparing for an adventure, Uinta Brewing Company has plenty of liquid provisions to offer. Based out of Salt Lake City, this brewery proclaims that, “life is about living experiences worth reliving—and having the perfect beer to pair those experiences with.”
Their aptly named Double IPA seems appropriate for the road less traveled. Detour has a pungent nose of baked pineapple with a resin hop backbone, and just a hint of honey. This brew leads with a smooth citrus hop taste, which expands into a malty body of pineapple upside-down cake. The rich flavors are well-balanced against a spike of resin hops at the finish, which dissolves into a mellow guava aftertaste.
Originally released for PlayStation 4 in May 2017, Rime has been on my radar for quite some time. The gorgeous art style and enchanting setting displayed in its trailer certainly intrigued me. But a recent obsession with a certain game about hunting monsters occupied most of my time. It wasn’t until a rather deep discount from a flash sale that my quest in The New World was detoured to a mysterious and melancholic island.
Rime tells the story of a young man who is shipwrecked onto an enigmatic island after a torrential storm. Lacking any concrete memory on how he arrived in this place, the boy explores the ruined structures of an ancient civilization dotted across the island, hoping for some deeper insight into his situation.
The first thing that stands out about Rime is the aesthetic. Using a sort of cel-shaded art style and a moving musical score, Rime provides the player with an engaging and somber world. The island is beautiful on the surface, showcasing a colorful and interesting environment to explore. But beneath the lush gardens and sprawling coastal cliffs lies a world of haunting ruins, filled with strange murals and archaic structures.
Much of the gameplay in Rime is based on navigating the island and solving environmental puzzles in these ruins. The means to solve the puzzles are in the vein of memorable titles like Ico or Journey- collecting items to remove obstacles, manipulating the surroundings to progress, or time-based lock-and-key challenges. While the perspective-based puzzles are rather unique, a major weakness of Rime is how shallow and repetitive so many of the challenges are, especially when compared to earlier titles from which Rime so clearly takes inspiration.
That being said, I found Rime to be an engaging diversion and a worthwhile escape to an ultimately bittersweet story. The beautiful visuals and captivating soundtrack kept me focused through some of the more middling puzzles, and the mysterious premise held my attention just through the game’s conclusion. When paired with another delicious Detour, this has been an unexpected journey I can certainly recommend.
What brews and games have pleasantly interrupted your current flow? Let us know in the comments!