Inspired by NES 8-bit platformers, Ravva and the Cyclops Curse is a linear experience built around four abilities used to defeat monsters and solve environmental puzzles. It is a short journey with a few stubborn moments but is still a decent way to kill a couple hours considering the low asking price.
You play as Ravva, a summoner on a quest to save her mother from a cyclops. On her own, Ravva doesn’t bring much to the table other than a simple, low rising jump. Instead, she enlists the help of four creatures to conjure unique abilities: a horizontal freezing blast, an upward fire attack, a downward angle green blob that can smash bricks, and an aura ability that reveals hidden items or parts of the environment. This is not a twitch platformer since the slower movement speed and environment calls for a deliberate moveset.
The campaign stretches across 10 stages, there are a couple boss battles, and each stage holds secrets for those willing to look. Besides looking for a way to reach that next part of the stage, enemies will also get in your way including portal generators that keep spawning enemies until it is destroyed. And what would a platformer be without spikey things to avoid? There are tons of spiked traps around every corner which does get a little repetitive and expected but at least some can be destroyed using a combination of Ravva’s powers.
It is also a little strange that the player must select one of the five abilities, the fifth being a Mega Man Mega Buster-style projectile attack, by tapping the shoulder buttons. Since there are enough buttons on the controller, it might have been easier to assign each ability to its own button since scrolling when in the heat of battle can be cumbersome. The timer found in each stage can also be your worst enemy as it restricts the player’s freedom to find those secrets. These gameplay elements are very NES-like indeed. They work just fine but can’t help be feel it could have been tightened just a little more.
Speaking of NES-like, this entire experience looks and sounds just like it was a forgotten 8-bit Nintendo cartridge (only with widescreen support). Each 2D pixelated sprite is more endearing than the last and the cutscenes have also been created with care. This is a game that actually took the time look like a NES game instead of just a generic sprite-based experience right down the font.
Ravva and the Cyclops Curse isn’t the best platformer but it is still one worthy of your time. The ability switching mechanic is interesting and used throughout the experience although there are a few areas of cheap challenge. But for only $5, it is difficult to look upon such a charming 8-bit game with too much frustration even if that nasty cyclops is a big jerk.
Also available on Switch, PS4, and PC.
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By: Zachary Gasiorowski, Editor in Chief myGamer.com
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