Rip Them Off (Xbox One) Review

By Albert Lichi 24.11.2021

Review for Rip Them Off on Xbox One

Once in a while, mobile games get ports to consoles. For some, it makes a lot of sense. Some titles were effectively designed with console sensibilities, like most platformers or shooters, thus those typically transition easily to other systems. Puzzlers can go either way, but, more often than not, these are designed around a touch screen interface, and have a very casual approach to game design. Not everything on mobile devices has to be on consoles, and forcing something that was designed around mobile-play would be counter-intuitive. Rip Them Off happens to be something of a smart-phone app that has been ported to consoles, and it couldn't be a worse fit.

Rip Them Off is a very esoteric mobile title that is a poor fit for a console controller. Not only does it not make any sense for the Xbox One, the objective and how to play is terribly explained. The core idea is also really vague, and the infographics-style visuals are too abstract that they lose all meaning. What Rip Them Off tries to present is a corruption of capitalism, where users are meant to exploit the system by raising and lowering prices. Prices of what? It does not even matter. What is the product being sold? Who knows. Rip Them Off gives no answer, because it is irrelevant. The nihilism is so intensely aggressive that it becomes impossible to get invested into anything this has to offer. This kind of cut-and-dry, matter-of-factness is obviously deliberate, but when every aspect of the experience is purposely devoid of any soul, nothing matters.

The tutorial has a very smug and condescending prose to the instructions on how to play. Most of the time it seems like it is a prank that is trying to set up gamers for failure. Upon grasping the basics of how to play, Rip Them Off turns out to be one of the most uninvolving tower-defence ever made. Aside of a few minor decisions in regards to what prices should be set for the stores placed, the experience is largely passive since there are too many restrictions on what can be done. As the people run by, the goal is to get each one to shop and make sure to get them to spend all of their money.

Screenshot for Rip Them Off on Xbox One

What makes this fail as a tower-defence is there is no strategy, and that the balance is constructed around playing exactly as the designers intended. There is no way to know an effective way to rip off anyone until Game Over, because of the trial-and-error way the scenarios are designed. After setting up shops, there is no way to know how much money the consumers have, or how many will be walking around. This is critical information, because stores have a specific capacity, and having some idea what there is to work with would greatly reduce on the guess work on how much to invest on anything. Expect to get at least one Game Over for the first run of every level, and to set speed up function to max to get it over with. Navigating is also a chore, as it is easy to click on the wrong icon. This was a phone game, after all, and a controller is a backwards way to play something like this.

The most impressive aspect is the visuals and how it doesn't even look like a video game. It resembles something that could be mistaken for a post-modern, '60s style advertisement. Even the music fits the kitschy tone that the developers were very deft at capturing. Sadly, this is all a smokescreen for the fact that there is so little… game here, and the only thing that there is to do is to manipulate the system over and over again. It is mindless and bordering on depressing.

Screenshot for Rip Them Off on Xbox One

Cubed3 Rating

2/10
Rated 2 out of 10

Very Bad

There is no reason why anyone would ever play this on any console. Even if it were played on its intended platform, Rip Them Off is barely a game. It is a strategy based, tower-defence where there is no strategy, as it revolves around failing to understand the conditions. No con-artist would ever accept failure, and yet this insists that gamers should learn to enjoy losing.

Developer

Lozange Lab

Publisher

Lozange Lab

Genre

Puzzle

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  2/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date Out now   Australian release date Out now   

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