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Rite of Passage: Child of the Forest Review

Gather your courage and face the endless night in Rite of Passage: Child of the Forest. As a resident of the town of Willow Ridge, you’re used to living in constant darkness, with the Great Lighthouse acting as the only protection against the violent Dark Forest that surrounds the village. But, when your husband disappears and the Lighthouse is consumed by a mysterious fire, it’s just you and your wits standing between Willow Ridge and disaster. Do you have what it takes to defeat the everlasting darkness?

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by on 05-30-2013     

Ok, to begin: Rite of Passage: Child of the Forest has been getting crazy good reviews; I mean, everybody loves this game. And that always makes me very nervous, because, what if I don’t like it? How can I write a one star review for a game that’s in the solid greater-than-four-star review category?

Turns out, those reviewers are on to something and I had nothing to worry about.

Title Image

Now, I’m not going to sit here and pretend like Rite of Passage: Child of the Forest was a flawless masterpiece of epic proportions. Every game has its flaws, and this one is no exception.

For instance, while I can agree that the artistry is lovely (the whole world really looks like it came right out of a storybook), I do have a bit of a beef with the animation. It’s extremely basic (in the cut scenes, they didn’t even bother to give talking a try; they just have all the characters shuffle around with their mouths closed) and all together unimpressive.

Not Talking

I was also decidedly underwhelmed by the "evil trees," which strongly reminded me of the evil trees from Babes in Toyland (The Annette Funicello one, which I adored, but never categorized as scary).

I mean, look at it; it’s not exactly inspiring fear, and it laughs like Jabba the Hutt.  Mostly, I want it as a pet.


But you guys. You guys. There is so much to love in Rite of Passage: Child of the Forest. From the very beginning the background music just catches you, and you’re off on this wonderful adventure. The music is even themed to individual puzzles; instead of a stock adventure song, you get one geared toward making your puzzle more enjoyable.

And there were so many interesting things I’ve never seen done before. For example, you have the ability to manipulate items in your inventory. I collected a coat hanger and had to bend it into a hook to make it useful; there was a lighter I had to open and click a few times to get it to light; there was even an amulet that had been broken into a bunch of pieces that I had to solve like a puzzle.

It was a really interesting way of making the things in my inventory a much bigger and more important part of gameplay, and I really liked it.

Amulet Puzzle

Speaking of puzzles, oh man, did I have a great time with some of the mini-games in Rite of Passage: Child of the Forest. They were unique, they were entertaining, and most of all: they were do-able. I never had a moment where I was sitting in my chair, starting at the screen, and feeling like a moron because I couldn’t’ even figure out how to play the stupid things.

Instead, I had a blast figuring out gameplay and feeling like a champion. I seriously had so much fun, especially playing the little boat one below. You grab the anchor and use it to guide the little boat around the rocks and through storms and away from sea monsters until you reach the end. Too cute! I loved every level.


And let’s not forget about the hidden object areas, which were both diverse and beautiful to behold. Sometimes you were just collecting things as usual, but others you were looking for parts of a larger object that were hidden behind the things on the list.

And did I mention the hamster? Yes, you get to chase a naughty hamster through town and into a hidden object area. When you catch it, you get to name it and keep it in your inventory. (Here’s my hamster, Hammond, hiding in the hidden object area.)


And the cute doesn’t end there, oh no. You get to hook your hamster up to a hamster-powered lighthouse in order to charge something or other (not as critical as the hamster-powered part).

Look at Hammond go!

Go Hammond Go

To summarize, I just really loved Rite of Passage: Child of the Forest. Were there some weak points? Sure; the animation could have been better, the plot seemed a bit forced, and I rolled my eyes quite often at how certain objects were used. And still, I had a blast.

The music set an amazing atmosphere, puzzles and hidden object areas were just the right level of challenging, and then there’s the hamster. Oh, that hamster. There were so many times I was just delighted by some new development or inventive aspect of gameplay, I eventually had to stop counting. Trust me on this one: Rite of Passage: Child of the Forest is an adventure worth taking.

With a side-kick like Hammond, how can you say no?


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