Do you remember those little maze games you used to get as stocking fillers at Christmas? You had a small box, with a maze inside and you had to negotiate, with great skill, a small silver marble around the maze, while avoiding numerous holes. Well if you do remember that little gift, with its heady mix of pleasure and pain, then I welcome you to its modern day equivalent… Revolve.
Belgium developer Rusty Bolt have released a game that will test your nerves, heighten your senses and fire your reflexes into hyper drive.
You play as Reevo, a drone on wheels who is traveling through the wreckage of what looks like a huge spaceship battle, all while looking for his companion in the universe. That’s all the story on offer in this game, but it’s not about narrative or words or themes, it’s all about the skill. Revolve is a physics based platformer that tests your metal, as you progress through its many levels.
You have four action buttons which help you to control your little drone across the screen. The first is a boost, which gives you a nitro push across the screen at speed for a limited time, leaving you to hope that the momentum gained and the level designs might take you that extra bit further. Then you get a jump button, which turns into a double jump, but it’s not as easy as you think as it’s all about precision timing and combining it with the boost. Then there’s the pause button that slows you down mid boost, or mid air. This is brilliant for precision exploration and stopping you from dropping into danger. The other major control is inverting the gravity, which flips you the other way around, putting your journey suddenly onto the ceiling. Learning to deftly mix between the two gravities will be your bread and butter as you advance through the later levels. All these actions require you to utilise a limited amount of energy, or they don’t work, so you have to take that into account as well when planning your journey through the maze.
Now the objective of each level is to use the above actions to navigate through the whirly, twisted wreckage of a level, to get to the glow of light at the end. There are obstacles to overcome, bridges to build, and horrible fiery deaths to avoid. Each level if done quickly and to perfection, will take around a minute or two. But here’s the thing… it’s damn hard, like those Christmas maze games… but more evil. You will die a lot. There’s even an achievement for your troubles.
The big question surrounding whether this is the game for you all hinges or whether you want to try to get better, or throw your console in the bin and set fire to it. If you do want to get better, you should carry on, especially as it can be so rewarding to complete a level – after thirty attempts and a lot of screaming. It’s a game that you really need to switch off if you feel your blood boiling though, and because of the nature and size of the levels, it’s an easy game to drop in and out of with big breaks.
It’s also very addictive and you’ll feel the need to get to the end, even though midway through the many levels and chapters you’ll probably start to tire a little of the Revolve world – at least if you’re anything like me. Like I said before the game has a lot of levels divided into chapters, with the later ones being extremely tough. It reminded of the Trials series in fact, with that all mixed up with Marble Madness, and that would make it the perfect game to play on the go on a mobile. After you’ve completed a level you can always go back again to try to improve your score – but people with that mindset probably need to go and see a doctor right now.
In the visual department, Revolve is simple at best, but what it achieves it does very well indeed. It has a space themed background, with floating wreckage and glowing orbs. It’s all very nice, but does start to get a bit boring as you progress through the levels. I wish there was a little bit of variation for my space weary eyes to take in. The sound however has a dreamy, trippy quality that helps calm the nerves in the hardest of situations. All the effects work brilliantly and it does a solid job throughout.
Overall if you’re looking for the next puzzle game that will test your highly skilled reactions to the full, then Revolve is exactly the game you’ve been looking for. It’s set at a very good price for a game like this and might just be worth a punt if you want to take a chance. If you’re a gamer who gets easily frustrated, needs a story and wants an easy ride, you should look away right now as this isn’t the place for you.
But all things considered I enjoyed my time with my little drone friend… and it’s a big improvement on that maze game I used to get for Christmas.