Cavorite is a platform puzzle game from Cascadia Games, containing 63 levels of jumping, grabbing, button-activating action.
We decided to review Cavorite mostly based on the artwork and the general feel that the trailer had left us with. The art looked absolutely beautiful, as does the general feel of the game, with a very retro look and a very retro sort of atmosphere involved. Even the story itself is set in the 19th century, so that piqued our interest even more. Unfortunately however, the game did not rise to our expectations.
The game features a professor that has invented a material called cavorite that when sprayed on any objects’ surface, it makes that object float (ignoring gravity). The professor sprays the substance on a spaceship that then takes him to the moon. Before he even knows it however, he’s in trouble with the natives, a bunch of green skinned aliens that take his spaceship away and capture him.
Cavorite finds you as the professor, attempting to escape from the Selenites’ moon base, by jumping around from platform to platform, and moving crates around in order to hold down buttons (to open walls), deflect lasers, and so on. The gun that you carry can spray the cavorite on the crates, allowing you to make them float, and grab on to them, helping you quite a lot with getting to hard-to-reach platforms.
All the while you have to avoid the three kinds of enemies, kill them by dropping crates on them (or using them to push the aliens into pits and other dangers), or use them to your advantage (a certain kind of enemy type will push crates that you place in its path, effectively helping out).
The game however doesn’t realize its full potential. Unfortunately for Cavorite there are a lot of platform games and a lot of puzzle games on the App Store, and as such, comparisons are bound to happen. The game simply cannot hold up to other titles in these categories. The game is not so much challenging as it is annoying, and for several reasons.
The controls are difficult and clunky, and the fact that you are on a timer (assuming you want a decent score), means you suffer even more since you can’t really focus on making the best of the game’s physics engine. The puzzle part of the levels is hardly a puzzle, as there are plenty of cases where identical looking buttons (that are situated in opposite points) each do different things, with no sort of hint or way to know which does what. Therefore it’s either a guessing game as to which button you should send the crate to, or a matter of trying and trying and trying until you get it right. This obviously becomes extremely irritating at one point and you just decide to stop playing right then and there.
It’s unfortunate that Cavorite doesn’t do better. The pixel art and sound are terrific, and the retro feel of the game is something we greatly enjoyed. The actual game play however kills it completely. Couple that with the fact that the game costs $1.99, and you’ve got double trouble.A game that could have been much more, Cavorite is for the time being a title best left alone (we will however keep an eye out for updates, hoping that the game is improved on).