LifeisXbox’s Ravva and the Cyclops Curse review | I have never really played the classic NES games, but here I am reviewing a game that is a major throwback to them! Welcome to Ravva and the Cyclops Curse, a short 8-bit platformer inspired by classic NES games. As you will quickly find out, it’s not just the art style that was adapted, but also the gameplay. Prepare for some challenging levels, try not to lower your difficulty to ‘kids’, and emerge victoriously! Ravva and the Cyclops Curse was brought to us by Eastasiasoft.
Get ready to play as Ravva, a young summoner apprentice who’s set on freeing his mother, a very powerful summoner. The terrible Cyclops Lord cast a curse upon her and it’s up to Ravva to fight his way through tons of enemies, traps, and hidden secrets.
ℹ️ | Maui played Ravva and the Cyclops Curse for 2 hours on Xbox Series X. This game is also available on PC, Nintendo Switch, and PlayStation.
What we liked!
- Throwback graphics | Even for someone who is a little too young to have enjoyed the NES area (I kind of rolled into the gaming scene with the Game Boy Advance), I could still sense all the old school vibes dripping from Ravva and the Cyclops Curse. The 8-bit art style is so very enjoyable for younger and older players alike. The game uses quite a bright color palette that you just cannot get enough of and really gives off all kinds of throwback feelings.
- Summons | Since you’re a summoner, it’s pretty obvious that you can summon certain things/creatures that will aid you in battle. In the game, they’re actually called ‘summons’ so we’ll continue under that name, even though I feel like these summons are more like basic attacks disguised as summons, but hey, I’ll go with it because it still has some originality to it. First of all, Ravva has his basic attack that doesn’t require any summons and breaks yellow tiles. You’ll be using this one a lot but combing it with one of the other four summons will also be required. There’s an upgrade available to boost this attack, so keep an eye out for that (and for other upgrades such as a shield and extra life). Second, there is a blue summon that freezes spikes and enemies. It helps to freeze spikes so you can easily destroy them. The red summon shoots upwards so you can hit targets above you. The green summon spits some stuff that destroys green blocks and the last summon (orange) reveals things. Your final summon can not only reveal hidden platforms, it can also show you treasures!
- Levels | Honestly, the levels offer your basic platforming stuff, but we know by now that it just works. I must say that I really enjoyed the levels as they were very well constructed. Each level offered new challenges to overcome, and variety in enemies, to eventually reach the crystals floating somewhere at the end of the level. Combine the level design with the summons and charming graphis, and you get a well-balanced and fun game. In the options menu, you can pick your difficulty (kids – normal – hard) and you have the possibility to turn on the speedrunner mode. I only wish there were more levels to discover because Ravva and the Cyclops Curse is on the short side.
- Best of both worlds | Whether you like exploring and turning every stone as to avoid missing something, or enjoy a good old speedrun and continiously improving your time, Ravva and the Cyclops Curse has you covered. Thanks to one of the summons, exploring is a vital, although not always necessary, part of the gameplay. And then there’s a best time and best score to keep track of how well you’re doing. Either way, you can play Ravva however you wish, and I feel like this not only allows the game to attract a wider variety of players, it also ensures a certain degree of replayability for those who just cannot get enough of this platformer.
- Fast gameplay | I sometimes felt like I wasn’t given enough time to switch between summons since the gameplay can be quite fast. You often don’t have time to think things through all-the-way and you don’t get that many lives, and honestly, I ended up dying a loooot. A lot of parts require you to combine multiple attacks so things can get nasty rather quickly. It was a bit sad that I died a few times because I felt like I couldn’t switch between summons fast enough. And those monsters spawning from the green spirals don’t wait for anyone! So even though I liked the idea of the summons, I think the execution wasn’t entirely what it should have been.
- Soundtrack | Ravva and the Cyclops Curse has a lively and fresh soundtrack that made a great fit with the graphics and overall old school style that the game is trying to convey. But looking at how short the game was, I think a little more variation in music would’ve been nice. The soundtrack felt a bit repetitive and even though this game is rather short, I ended up turning it off and putting on my own music.
What we disliked
- Nothing to see here, you can continue to the conclusion!
How long to beat the story | 1 to 2 hours
How long to achieve 1000G | 1 to 2 hours
Similar with | Dinocide, Shovel Knight, …
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Head of PC team. PC, Switch, and Xbox game reviewer. Also a marketeer, concert and animal lover, and photographer in training 🙂