PAX East 2024 – Fretless: The Wrath of Riffson Preview

Fretless - The Wrath of Riffson
Image Credit: Playdigious Originals.

From Ritual Studio and Playdigious comes Fretless: The Wrath of Riffson, an indie RPG that blends turn-based RPG combat with some rhythmic game mechanics. Featuring strategic combat, humorous writing, and eccentric characters, Fretless gives off Earthbound vibes, which should pique gamers’ interest everywhere. Best of all, the amazing music by Rob Scallon will have you rocking out while playing this “guitarPG.”

Fight your enemies with sick riffs on your sick trip

You play as Rob, a musician trying to restore the world where the villains are corrupting music. Rick Riffson, the boss of the evil Super Metal Records company, was the first one encountered during the demo.

Riffson was destroying me with his keytar when I confronted him. I can’t say I’ve ever been beaten up by a man wielding a keytar before, so that was a new experience.

Fretless game
Image Credit:
Playdigious Originals.

Riffson aims to trap the best musicians in soul-binding contracts by hosting a Battle of the Bands contest. You will fight through devilish goons, monster-instrument hybrids, and musical creatures. Players can add riffs and equipment for their instruments that they find across this musical land to get rid of all the corruption in the music world.

Weapons have different move sets and change the soundtrack

Your weapons are different instruments; equipping each one changes the battle soundtrack. Each instrument’s own soundtrack shows how much work and love was put into Fretless. Your ultimate move, a crescendo, happens when you flip your amp switch on your battle UI. From there, you play the notes as they slide across your fretboard.

Button icons scroll across the screen, and the more you play correctly, the more damage you do. The bosses have an ultimate you play along to as well. Playing more notes means you take less damage. Each hit even plays a different note. Various status effects also play a big role, adding to the combat’s strategic element. You can have moves that build shields and can protect you from some damage.


Fretless PAX East 2024

Finding guitar pedals will be essential as this is how you level up. As you upgrade your pedal board, you’ll unlock various buffs and stat upgrades. 

I’ve never seen a game that shows so much love for its inspiration

Fretless was built around a love and appreciation for music and old-school RPGs. With beautiful visuals, smooth animations, and solid, clean pixel art, every retro gaming fan should watch this game.

The soundtrack alone will make you want to see more of this game and have you ready to rock out. With a 2024 release date, we can’t wait to experience more. 

Written by Mikey Yaden

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