Keep Your Eye Out
Ravva and the Cyclops Curse is a retro side-scrolling platformer by first-time Switch developers Galope and well-known developers/publishers eastasiasoft. They take no shame in the inspiration they get from the NES era 8-bit classics and wear the influence like a badge of honour. Galope is a promising up and coming developer that is currently working on a title called Meawja, which they call “a retro-like platformer adventure of a ninja cat”, so keep your eye out.
A Short NES Styled Adventure
In Ravva and the Cyclops Curse, you are a young owl girl. Your mother is a summoner and you are her apprentice. It is a cute and wonderful life, at least until an evil cyclops puts a curse on your mother to steal her powers, and turns her to stone. It is up to you and your four summon-able companions to traverse the land and battle the cyclops’ monster minions.
Your four unnamed companions are all available to you from the beginning. You select them by cycling through them with the L and R buttons. They serve as weapons and tools alongside your standard (occasionally upgradable by finding a power-up) magic blast. Each companion has a different power that can be used to fight the onslaught of monsters and to help you with navigation through the 10 stages. Because all the companions are available from the beginning it takes a few rounds to get used to how to cycle through them properly and how to use each one effectively. One has an ice blast that can freeze certain obstacles and slow down enemies. One has a bomb that can blow up special blocks and is probably the most powerful weapon against the minions. There is one that just has a magical power that finds secret passages and power-ups and may or may not be useful against a certain enemy that is otherwise very troublesome. Then there is the fourth companion. It shoots fireballs that float up as they go and, to be honest, rarely got used and probably caused Ravva more trouble than assistance.
As is expected from the genre and style, you will battle your way through mostly linear stages with a jump button and a fire button. Ravva uses her magic and companions to blast enemies and solve platforming puzzles to get to the end of each stage. As you succeed, the stages become more difficult with both obstacles and enemies and become frustratingly difficult about halfway through the game. You will become very thankful when you stumble across the occasional extra life because the late stages get brutal and Ravva will die a lot. Fortunately the game keeps your stage progress so you don’t have to start back at the beginning.
Getting to the point, Ravva is a hard game. The platforming is mostly linear unless you get stuck and have to backtrack. This only happens on a few stages and as hard as they may be, these are the best stages. There are many moments where there are several obstacles and enemies working together to kill you. It can be overwhelming and the Galope team may be a little sadistic in their need to punish such a fragile owl child. For the die-hard retro player this will be familiar and comfortable territory. If a few hours of challenging retro platforming action is your preferred way to spend an evening or two, this will be a well-spent five bucks (or your local equivalent).
Review code provided
Platform: PC, Nintendo
Release Date: 01/09/2021
No. of Players: 1
Category: Platformer, Action
Download link: US eShop / UK eShop