As a parent, you want to keep your children safe, no matter the cost. What happens if you reverse the roles? Children rarely want to see their parents suffering and will do whatever it takes to help. This is the concept behind Ravva and the Cyclops Curse! It’s a wonderfully old-school title about precision, danger, and magic.
Developed by Galope and Eastasiasoft Limited and published by the latter, this is a retro puzzle platform title. With fluid animations, challenging levels, and a high score to aim for, it captures everything that makes old-school gaming moreish.
Ravva and the Cyclops Curse is deceptively difficult.
Set in a fantasy world, Ravva and the Cyclops Curse stretches the realms of reality. Blending precision platform elements with magic and problem solving, you are required to be on point if you want to get the most out of this. The action takes place across three worlds and comprises ten challenging stages. You’ll explore dark forests, desolate wasteland, and spooky castle halls in a title that’s been inspired by classic platforming games.
You control Ravva, a young apprentice summoner who lacks experience but has a kind heart. Her bravery and loyalty are tested when her mother loses her powers after being cursed by the evil Cyclops Lord! She must go on a perilous journey to save her mother and restore peace to their once calm and happy lands.
Unique abilities and horrific monsters.
Ravva’s abilities are unusual, as she commands four companions. Each has a unique role to play and helps you to overcome obstacles, open new pathways, and tackle foes. You have your trusty wand to cast spells that destroy yellow blocks and kill monsters, but more importantly, you have your elemental friends to help. These comprise an ice fiend who freezes and slows creatures, a fire element that shoots upwards, a green mortar that blasts anything you encounter, and a cream all-seeing companion.
Understanding each strength and weakness is key, and using them correctly is the only way you’ll be victorious. Sadly, the Cyclops Lord commands a powerful army and has set multiple traps for you to overcome. You’ll face demonic beings that shoot bombs, chase you down, and float through the air. Selecting the correct companion to slow them or destroy them is easier said than done. You’ll panic, lose your cool, and die repeatedly, but this is half the fun! Ravva and the Cyclops Curse is unforgiving and only the best will survive.
The traps range from simple spikes, falling blocks, gargoyles that shoot fire and rotating moving blades. You must plan ahead, time your action, and pray for some good fortune. The difficulty this added to each playthrough was fantastic, and it made achieving the maximum points that bit more rewarding.
Power-ups, secrets, high scores, and evil bosses.
An old-school inspired platform game would be nothing without power-ups, secrets, limited lives, and high scores. Fortunately, Ravva and the Cyclops Curse has it all! The combination of precision platforming and using your abilities to find secret orbs was fascinating. You watched the stage timer tick down as you slowly worked through each stage trying to find everything, and this added vast amounts of pressure. If you don’t like the thought of this, you can simply ignore the collectables, but your end score is affected. This was a fantastic idea from the developer, as it offered multiple play styles and allowed me to decide how in-depth I wanted to go.
However, the power-ups weren’t too original, but it mattered not! You can collect an improved wand, a limited use shield, and extra lives. Other than this, the orbs you discover contain coins that increase your final score. The hunting of secrets is only achievable if you use your cream companion. He emits a wave of energy that uncovers any hidden objects or secret platforms. I loved this as the solution to your problem could stare you in the face and you’d never know it.
As you complete each of the worlds, you are rewarded with an end-level boss. These gargantuan beasts combine elements of the monsters you have previously faced but offer a much more stern test. However, with a small amount of practice, you’ll manipulate their weaknesses and they’ll succumb to your powers. The story culminates in the expected fight with the Cyclops Lord himself. I won’t spoil it for you, but he’s a bit of a dick, so buckle yourself in, as it’s a bit of a bumpy ride.
Ravva and the Cyclops Curse uses fluid animation and looks great.
I’m a massive fan of retro gaming, and l love Ravva and the Cyclops Curse’s unashamedly old-school look. I also appreciated the nod to classic titles and adored the strangely familiar castle world. It reminded me of Super Mario Bros 3 when you enter Bowser’s Castle. The fluid animation and combination of dank colours and bright tones made it pleasurable to look at and play. The sprites are well-drawn and the enemy models vary for easy identification. I’m grateful that the developers added their twist to some well-trodden elements, and this makes for a unique yet familiar experience.
The brilliantly simple audio-only serves to enhance the retro nature of this game. The chiptune soundtrack and basic shrill sound effects belong in a museum, yet they complement the gameplay. The developers have captured the dated aesthetics perfectly, and fans of older games will adore everything they see and hear.
Fiddly controls that’ll make you scream.
I’m not the greatest at multitasking, and Ravva and the Cyclops Curse highlighted this. Jumping while flitting between companions was no mean feat, and I ballsed up repeatedly! Trying to flick from ice to wand, or fire to mortar was tricky and took some practice. Other than this, the movement controls are fortunately accurate and extremely responsive. If you are not a bumbling fool like me, you’ll have this mastered in no time. If, however, you struggle, it’s still enjoyable, but it takes some effort.
Though the story follows a definitive path, and there are limited levels to explore, this still has lots of replay value. Thanks to its challenging high score system, you’ll need to perfect the mechanics to reach the top of the leaderboard. If you die, your score is wiped which you may consider harsh and unfair, but it’s a necessary evil that forces you to keep playing. Completionists will love the small achievement list that can be finished in a few hours with very little effort.
Ravva and the Cyclops Curse is a simple game that’s both challenging and enjoyable.
There are plenty of old-school inspired titles that are great to play, but Ravva and the Cyclops Curse edges out some of its competitors. With its unique twist on the retro approach, I loved its fluidity, difficulty, and level design. Its simplicity personified and demands you aim for the top of the leaderboard. I enjoyed it and recommend you to buy it here! Can you explore the ten challenging levels and defeat the Cyclops Lord? You best do as your mother and the harmony of the land relies on it.