Ravva and the Cyclops Curse
Gameplay 7
Graphics 7
Sound 7

Ravva and the Cyclops Curse is a 2D platform adventure that draws inspiration from the 8-bit NES era. Players must help a young summoner fight through ten levels of monsters to defeat the evil Cyclops that cursed their mother. Along for the ride are four summons that offer different abilities for Ravva to use. Some of these are more useful than others, but they add some variety to the gameplay. The game is very short but offers an entertaining experience while it lasts and should appeal to all retro fans.

Gameplay: Cycle through different summons while platforming through levels filled with traps and monsters.

Graphics: The visuals look authentically 8-bit, but despite the limited color palette everything remains clear and visible.

Sound: Each area only has one tune, but the music is upbeat and cheerful

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Ravva and the Cyclops Curse

Developer: Galope | Publisher: The Hidden Levels | Release Date: 2019 | Genre: Platform / Adventure / Indie | Website: N/A | Purchase: Steam

When Ravva’s mother has her powers stolen by the Cyclops Lord and turned into stone by his curse the young summoner apprentice is determined to set things right. Thankfully Ravva, who appears to be some type of owl creature, has some assistance for this dangerous mission. In addition to being able to shoot projectiles, Ravva can also summon four elemental spirits and make use of their powers. This ability is invaluable as Ravva has to travel through ten monster-infested levels to reach the evil Cyclops.

Ravva and the Cyclops Curse draws inspiration from classic NES games and takes the form of an 8-bit platform adventure. This means that the visuals, especially with the CRT filter enabled, look like they came straight from the late eighties. Due to the limited color palette, a lot of NES titles tended to look somewhat garish, but RatCC does a great job of keeping everything looking clear and uncluttered. Enemies are very visible and each area of the game has its own color scheme. This also extends to the four summoned spirits that can be seen floating above Ravva. Each of them has its own uses and players must constantly cycle through the four while making their way through the 2D side-scrolling levels.

The blue summon can freeze certain enemies and can also be used to extinguish flames for a short period. The red summon is the only one that can shoot projectiles upwards, which is great for hitting hard to hard-to-reach power-ups or flying enemies. The green summon has a short-range mortar-like projectile that can break through certain blocks and lastly the yellow spirit has a sonar pulse that can reveal hidden things. The range of the yellow summon is also very tiny, so for most of the game we found ourselves having to constantly use it to find all the hidden coins, power-ups, and breakable blocks around us. While this is not necessary to complete the game, it can lead to extra lives, useful power-ups, and higher scores. The other summons were not quite as useful, especially the red one, and overall the game could probably have done a little better job of incorporating these summons into puzzles.

After a quick tutorial to familiarize players with the abilities of Ravva’s summons the adventure begins. Unfortunately, the game only features three zones with three levels per zone before the showdown against the Cyclops. The levels consist of a forest, desert, and dungeon, which is hardly the most original of locations, but to be fair these were a staple for many NES titles, so they are quite authentic. Players who are not interested in chasing down all the coins for a higher score will find themselves breezing through the game, though, as the levels are quite short. Most of them are very linear too, apart from one that features some backtracking to kill pesky plants that are blocking the exit.

In terms of gameplay, RatCC is a very simple game but can get tricky in parts. It only takes one hit to lose a life and while Ravva restarts from the same spot once you are out of lives the level must be done from scratch. Along with all the enemies, players must also deal with traps, such as spinning blades, falling blocks, and spike pits. The game does have a timer for speedrunners, but we found that taking things slowly and carefully while collecting all the power-ups yielded the best results. Things like boosting Ravva’s default attack, a shield to withstand a few hits or even extra lives come in very handy. RatCC is not nearly as hard as some games from the NES era, but players who are struggling can make use of the “Kids” mode to complete the game. This mode provides players with unlimited lives, which makes finishing the game a breeze, but also disables Achievements to keep things fair. On the other hand, players who find the default mode too easy can opt for the “Master” mode where it is possible to reach a game over screen and have to restart from scratch.

Like the visuals the audio in RatCC harkens back to the 8-bit era with some basic, but catchy tunes. As an added bonus, the entire soundtrack is included as MP3 files that can be found in the installation folder. The sound effects also sound like they were ripped straight from that era. Since it is a 2D platform title the game plays best with a controller where players can cycle through the summons using the shoulder buttons. We found the controls to be very responsive and none of the deaths in the game felt cheap or unfair.

Overall, Ravva and the Cyclops Curse is a fun, but short title that should appeal to any platform fans who fondly remember the NES era. We would have liked to see a few more levels and different environments, but there’s enough content here to justify the price tag. The game is not going to impress anyone who is used to modern titles or expects mindblowing twists from every indie platform title, but accomplished what it set out to do.

System Requirements

  • OS: Windows 7
  • Processor: 2.0 GHz
  • Memory: 2 GB RAM
  • Graphics: 256MB (with Pixel Shadder support)
  • Storage: 500 MB available space
  • Additional Notes: Native game spec ratio is 16:9. Other specs will work properly but black stripes will be added. Compatible with generic USB controller devices, but we recommend Xbox 360 and Xbox One gamepads.
  • OS: Windows 7
  • Processor: 2.0 GHz
  • Memory: 2 GB RAM
  • Graphics: 256MB (with Pixel Shadder support)
  • Storage: 500 MB available space
  • Additional Notes: Native game spec ratio is 16:9. Other specs will work properly but black stripes will be added. Compatible with generic USB controller devices, but we recommend Xbox 360 and Xbox One gamepads.
  • OS: OSX 10.0
  • Processor: 2.0 GHz
  • Memory: 2 GB RAM
  • Graphics: 256MB (with Pixel Shadder support)
  • Storage: 500 MB available space
  • Additional Notes: Native game spec ratio is 16:9. Other specs will work properly but black stripes will be added. Compatible with generic USB controller devices, but we recommend Xbox 360 and Xbox One gamepads.
  • OS: OSX 10.0
  • Processor: 2.0 GHz
  • Memory: 2 GB RAM
  • Graphics: 256MB (with Pixel Shadder support)
  • Storage: 500 MB available space
  • Additional Notes: Native game spec ratio is 16:9. Other specs will work properly but black stripes will be added. Compatible with generic USB controller devices, but we recommend Xbox 360 and Xbox One gamepads.
  • OS: Ubuntu 12.04
  • Processor: 2.0 GHz
  • Memory: 2 GB RAM
  • Graphics: 256MB (with Pixel Shadder support)
  • Storage: 500 MB available space
  • Additional Notes: Native game spec ratio is 16:9. Other specs will work properly but black stripes will be added. Compatible with generic USB controller devices, but we recommend Xbox 360 and Xbox One gamepads.
  • OS: Ubuntu 12.04
  • Processor: 2.0 GHz
  • Memory: 2 GB RAM
  • Graphics: 256MB (with Pixel Shadder support)
  • Storage: 500 MB available space
  • Additional Notes: Native game spec ratio is 16:9. Other specs will work properly but black stripes will be added. Compatible with generic USB controller devices, but we recommend Xbox 360 and Xbox One gamepads.

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