Posted on 17 Mar 2018 by Adison

Rad Rogers

The Defence

Developer: Slipgate Studios
Publisher: THQ Nordic, 3D Realms
Genre: Action, Adventure, Platformer
Platform: Consoles, PC
Review copy: Yes
Release date: No data.

The Prosecution

OS: Windows
CPU: Intel equivalent
VGA: Nvidia equivalent
HDD: 10 GB
DirectX: 11
Controller: Full
Mod Support: No
VR: No
FOV Slider: No
FPS Lock: Unknown
OS: Windows
CPU: Intel Core i5 @Unknown GHz
AMD Phenom II X4 @Unknown GHz
VGA: Nvidia GeForce 660
AMD Radeon HD 7950
HDD: 10 GB
DirectX: 11
Controller: Full
Mod Support: No
VR: No
FOV Slider: No
FPS Lock: Unknown

The Case

Rad Rodgers is an action adventure side-scrolling platformer combined with shooter elements. This indie game was developed by Slipgate Studios and published by THQ Nordic, 3D Realms. Rad Rodgers is not only the name of the game but also the name of the child you play as through the majority of the game. The other character you sometimes end up as would be his video game system dubbed Dusty. The game is fast paced and foul-mouthed to the extreme, packed full of platforming, gun shooting, vibrant settings, and ferocious beasts. Your goal is to explore, collect the multitude of collectibles, clobber some enemies and bosses, and get back home. Let’s take a look at the right and wrong of this whole situation they call Rad Rodgers.

The Trial

Mechanics are the golden puzzle piece in games like Rad Rodgers and when they fail the whole game takes a huge hit. This is largely due to the fact that the mechanics are used through the whole game. The jumping is based on how long you hold the key, which can lead to some pretty bad situations when you need that quick distance jump, but end up having to press and hold the key the whole time for it. This actually slows down the speed of the game while making the jumping feel clunky. Movement in the game might be fine, and might even make up for the clunky jump mechanics, if it wasn’t as slippery as an oil covered eel. At one point I was trying to get a log to swing back and forth and just kept sliding right off at the tap of a button, making me have to retry over and over and bringing me immense frustration. Finally, sometimes the mechanics just don’t work. I will very agitatedly shake my finger at the ledge grab mechanic, and scold Dusty for allowing me to fall off constantly when I want it to grab, and grabbing every single time I’m trying to carefully fall off and maneuver to a ledge below another.

The graphics of the game will leave you feeling one of two ways, as they attempt to blend a bit of retro pixel-style with the modern day 3D glory that we live in these days. While I admit that I like both styles, and feel that the game did an alright job with some of it, I would have to be crazy to not bring to eye the glaring issues they have. Eyes and glaring are exactly the points I’ll be discussing too. They glaring vibrancy of the game is fine at a standstill, but when you add it the fast paced action aspect, you end up staring at a blur of colors that smash across the screen at breakneck speeds, burning your retina as they do. I found myself with a headache and very tired eyes after every session I put into the game. I can’t help but wish things moved a little slower, not just for the sake of my eyes, but so I could appreciate them more, and so they didn’t blend so violently together.

Grenades for everyone!

The game has a Conker’s Bad Fur Day kind of feel to it, but it doesn’t manage to project all the charm that the Rare produced retro gold had. It’s hard, and made harder by the above mentioned issues. It has witty one-liners like most games who try to harken back to their favorite retro games, but you hear them over and over and grow weary of them quickly. In fact, the game could do with a little shutting up in my opinion. After so long I turned off the sound entirely due to it being so obnoxious. After doing the first few levels I got into the pogo minigame and found myself failing immediately due to the confusion I had on what I was supposed to be doing. Retrying, I found myself bouncing upward with a wonky directional motion that didn’t really work well. Miss once and you lose, except you don’t. Instead of having to beat this pogo interlude, if you fail it just allows you to skip it. Though this is a blessing, because I found myself unable to get through it.

Time to point the finger at the story and ‘foul-mouthed’ aspect of the game. There’s a nice story opening; but after that we are set upon by level after level without a single cutscene to be had. Just a grab bag of bad mechanics, frustrating levels, and well voiced but utterly obnoxious quips. The last thing to talk about is the vulgarity; I will note that this can be turned off, but it’s only there for vulgarities sake. A child running around cussing his head off, and weird video game monsters making quasi-humorous statements, often filled with smut and vulgarity for the fun of having it, leaves a bad taste in my mouth. I can get down with filth if it at least has a point that goes along with it, that’s the whole catch isn’t it?

Are those eggs? Those better not be eggs. I didn't sign up for eggs.

The game needs a little tightening up, and perhaps a bit more story put into it, because without it Rad Rodgers ends up trying to rely on some not very well done humor, some slightly off mechanics, and the collectathon. I won’t hit to too hard for the collectathon aspect however, these are not vital to the game. They exist for people who enjoy tricky jumping and puzzling out where they all are. I will say I’m not a huge fan of them when there’s an absurd amount, and avoiding them seems to shorten the game dramatically. That said, collectibles are a preference thing, so take them as you prefer. I will recommend the game if the above hasn’t turned you off to it, but if you dislike wonky mechanics in your jumpers I would give it a miss.

The Verdict

While the negative mountain of the game exists in the clunky mechanics, poor construction, and how you feel about the attempt at humor, the game is actually quite pretty when you can stop and admire the surroundings. The animations are splendid and the scenery is well constructed if a bit too vibrant. It’s mess to play, but it if that’s your sort of thing you’ll love it. The story feels a bit empty and it doesn’t get the charm it was going for. There just seems to be too much going on in the game. Start with all the stuff to grab, tons of enemies and traps, getting stuck without a clue where to go next due to the non-linear level format. I find myself wishing the game were slower, and I couldn’t play it for more than an hour at a time due to the above mentioned reasons.

Case Review

  • They tried!: The graphic art is nice and they gave it their all, you really can tell.

  • Bang Bang!: The weapons are fun and involved, aiming was fine and shooting the baddies had some real impact feeling to it.

  • Concept Failure: There’s a story somewhere in here but I can’t find enough of it to make up for the rest..

  • Slow Down!: Everything was just way too fast, so fast it hurt. It hurt a lot, in fact.

  • Loose Bolts: The game needs some serious adjustment to controllability and slippery mechanics, and damn it Dusty stop messing with me!

2 Score: 2/5
What is it, the testing department's day off or something?


  • Graphics: Complete adjustability to everything you could imagine there being. I did some modifications to LOWER the quality, it made it easier on my eyes. Had to remove that motion blur and bloom too.
  • Audio: Typical audio sliders available, but low and behold they do not correctly work. Half the sound effects still play when you turn them all off.
  • Controls: Both customizable keys and a controller scheme exists in here.
  • Language: Yeah, they have some of those, not that you need much to know what’s going on.
  • Parental controls: “Remove” the filth and blood, but you have to restart to do it. That’s how ingrained it is.
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