March 8, 2011

A puzzle platformer where you use a handful of characters with unique skills together to pass traps and obstacles while collecting items as you attempt to get to the end of stages. No, I’m not talking about The Lost Vikings. I’m talking about CreaVures, the latest release from Muse Games.

The plot of the game is relatively simple: the forest the CreaVures live in is dying and they must band together to gather the fading light and restore the forest. You start with the cat-like creavure Bitey and as you progress through the 15 stages and 2 boss battles you acquire the remaining four creavures to use: Pokey the porcupine, Zappy the lizard, Rolly the armadillo and Glidey the fruit bat.

Each character brings something different to the table. Bitey can latch onto hanging fruit and have his tail used as a vine by other characters. Pokey can fire his quills in different directions and create quill ladders on walls. Rolly is pretty obvious: she rolls and can smash through stone. And Glidey is also obvious as he can glide, but with a twist: he can also pick up other characters and carry them as he glides. Each character is used interchangably and at certain times to progress, giving this platformer a large measure of variety.

The actual gameplay is pretty easy to pick up and it handles well. There were a few times where the game would glitch or bug out on me, forcing me to restart from the most recent checkpoint I had been to though. Playing with both keyboard and controller felt natural and good, and the only problem I had with the latter was double-tapping to turn on the vines didn’t seem to work. Beyond that, the game controlled well and gameplay was fluid.

There are three different difficulties to play on in CreaVures, and each stage of each difficulty has a number of “Essences” and “Motes” – the game’s collectables – to acquire. On top of that, once you beat CreaVures you can use all five characters from the beginning of the game, giving the game a wide berth of replayability. 

The most striking thing about the game is the visual and audio style. With the light fading from the forest, everything within it glows in a rainbow of neon colors. With this gorgeous spread of an appealing visual pallet is ambient and mellow music that only adds to the aesthetic vibe of being within a forest. This changes up when you fight the two giant bosses to that of a more tense variety, but overall works great to supplement what the player sees.

All in all, CreaVures is a great indie puzzle platformer. Even with the variety and replayability packed within, the repetition might turn some people off but the game is a solid title with solid gameplay and a great audio-visual style.

Pros: Visually beautiful, controls well, great variety in gameplay

Cons: Buggy in a few places, replaying the game doesn’t change the experience much


Score: 4/5

Questions? Check out our review guide.