This Fish/Feline odd couple rules the river. Rivertails review.

  Those dang piranha bullies stole my favorite reed. How dare they! I must get that reed back, somehow. Perhaps that cat over there would be...


Those dang piranha bullies stole my favorite reed. How dare they! I must get that reed back, somehow. Perhaps that cat over there would be willing to help me out for a spell in favor of some help in getting that nasty wolf of his families back. I hope he can set his taste for fresh fish aside for a moment as this journey is going to need both our wits and reflexes.

What is it?

River Tails: Stronger Together is a new co-op adventure platformer that has two players take on the roles of Furple the cat and Fin the fish. As they travel through the river and woodlands, they must work together to overcome the challenges and hazards of the environment and defeat big bosses while on a journey to help each other with their respective problems in the world. 


Stronger Together is best played with a controller and involved navigating a 3d world full of traps, enemies and puzzles. With a button for jumping and a button to grab things such as levers and ropes you are armed with all you need on your journey. The environment is a lush display of woodland and river, where each character has their strengths and weaknesses. The cat cannot get in the water and the fish does not well on land. What was interesting is that each character feels so different, from smooth swimming for Finn to a weightier movement from Furple you might develop a favorite while playing. But both are well balanced for their gameplay intentions.

The environments are littered with crisscross water, dry land, platforms, water bowls and more. Avoid the spike bones and thorns and outrun or outsmart carnivorous fish and more.  Each character will find moments where they need to pull a rope or lever to open a gate or lift a log enabling the other character to move forward on the map. As you get in later levels the pressure is on as often you get chased forcing you to move quickly and make decisions even quicker. It often becomes a memorization of where the safe spots are vs looming death as you race through the area. And so many deaths will likely follow. Luck the game does not punish you very hard as it is just a temporary setback that puts you back at the nearest save point of which there are many. 

The maps are very big and include hidden birds to collect, encouraging exploration on top of just getting through the map. As you move close together the camera zooms in, allowing you to better see details and as you move apart you get a better "birds eye" view of the larger area in order to prepare yourself.

The camera angles keep moving as you play the game, sometimes in annoying ways that make an already challenging area even more difficult to pass. It can be very hard to see exactly where to place a pin accurate landing for you to just miss, run into a hazard etc. Playing with the distance between the two allows some more detail which can help.

In other moments when both players have a good flow, you can see the true beauty of the gameplay as everything melts together in one cohesive dance, complementing each other's gameplay on the fly in one smooth motion. They are very cool moments that can have you grinning and cheering as you pull the moves. 

I have not played anything like this in quite a while, the last time coop gameplay felt this fun was in "It takes two", and you should take that as the huge compliment it is.

There are multiple themed worlds such as the piranha world and froggy world. And in between you can occasionally hookup with the beavers and chill in their camp playing mini games, visit "museums" and checkout other unlockable treasures. 

At the end of each world, you will find a boss fight which has a bit more of a area like focused feel and will take close cooperation to get past. In world one for instance the king piranha sits on a throne while his bodyguards chase the fish around. The cat in the meanwhile can stomp on mushrooms to stun the fish. It is then up to Finn the fish to pull a big hammer and launch those predators into the king. In the mean while Furple the cat still needs to avoid a series of falling objects. They are memorable highlights to figure out. In fact, despite hints as introduction to a new game challenge, the game forces the players to figure it out by themselves through keen observation and trial and error. 

And yes, before you ask, even though I have been mostly talking about the coop aspect, the game does have a solo mode, but it felt infinite harder as you have to move on character with the left side of the controller and the other with the right-side and personally I cannot split my brain like that very well, so preferred to run through this game with my wife. And based on our experience I can definitely say this game just begs to be played by two players at once. You can share a couch and screen to do this or as in our case we used steam remote play to each have our own screen while playing which worked pretty well, though our review copy had a few glitched initially getting connected. It must be said that once we had it working things worked very well and ran very smooth.


The cartoonish and colorful style of River Tails is very compelling, and the character designs are all too cute. They have a familiar feeling to it making it easy to relate to them. This is not limited to your player characters either from the booty froggies to the bone armor wearing piranhas as well as background animals there a lot of cuteness to find in the game. 

The story is carried forward by small cut scenes at the beginning of the game and in between different levels and world. There is no dialog but the expressive faces, music design and sound effect do a great job conveying what is going on and what your goal is in all this perilous traveling.

The only complaint we had was the camera angles at some times were very bad, blocking views, the save points are plenty but in some cases where puzzles were harder it took longer to find a new one, only to followed by 3 in a row with no danger in between what soever, and that felt weird to us.

As I mentioned sound effect and music are well executed and ensures the game feels rich and warm during gameplay. From splashes, little grunts from Furple and Finn etc, the games sound design make sit come to life.

Parental Reccomendation
This game is full of color, fun characters and challenging gameplay. Kids could absolutely play this and will learn to rely on each other, build trust in each other and even some patience will be gained as you will often have to start over and over and over as one of you will make a mistake and dies for you to be returned to the last checkpoint. There is no rating, but I can see this get E10+ or even an E rating. 

Final Thoughts
River tails is a pretty game with a unique cartoony style that has deeper gameplay then you might at first expect. With simple controls you can focus on the ever-growing challenges the game will through at you. The game can create magical coop moments as you get on a smooth run racing through levels, bumping lilly-pads , jumping over logs or swim through gates opened just in time to get to safety all in on smooth momentum. The game is definitely designed for two players , despite its one player option. Lucky enough you do not need to buy two copies as it is couch coop or in case of steam allows remote play. Rivertails is the most fun coop experience we have had since "It takes two" and is a really fine game to close out the year with. 

GameRiver Tails
DeveloperKid Onion Studio
PublisherGravity Games Arise
Release Date:14 December 2023  
Platforms:  PC  Steam, With a later release on consoles
Review Platform: PC (Steam)
ESRBT(Teen) for Crude Humor, Drug Reference, Mild Language, Sexual Themes

About the writer: DadGeek (Rob) is the co-founder of GeeksVsGeeks. He is a product of the eighties and never let go of his geek interest and hobbies no matter how often someone told him to stop. His love for gaming and all things geeks has been part of his parenting style and permeates throughout the whole family. A family of Geeks vs Geeks 


videogames 7579607173883903177

Post a Comment

Share your thoughts with us.


- Navigation -