Ravva and the Cyclops Curse (PS4, Switch, Xbox One, PC)

There once was a powerful owl sorceress who could summon monsters at will.  But an evil cyclops turned her to stone.  Now the sorceress’ daughter Ravva must use her weaker summoning powers to save her.  Ravva and the Cyclops Curse is an 8-bit styled 2-D puzzle platformer.  It’s available for most current consoles and PC, but reviewed on PS4 here.

Ravva can jump and has a basic shot, but if you press the L and R buttons she can cycle through her summoned monsters that have different abilities.  The blue ghost monster can freeze enemies and certain spikes, which you can then shoot to destroy.  The green glob fires powerful shots downward like bombs.  The red thing with horns fires two diagonal fireballs upwards.  And the one-eyed bat can detect secrets.  You’ll use all these monsters to defeat baddies and solve puzzles.

Scattered about the levels are orbs that you can shoot for power-ups and goodies.  Most give you coins for points, but some can give you a more powerful basic shot, a shield, or an extra life.  There are all sorts of enemies, and most come out of these portals that if you destroy, there won’t be any more monsters.  You’ll complete the level when you touch the diamond at the end.  If you get hit, you’ll get knocked back and lose a life, but at least you start back exactly where you left off and can continue from the last level if you get a Game Over.

Since this is one of those ‘one hit and you die’ kind of games, it’s nigh impossible in the later levels.  Luckily you can change the difficulty to Kids Mode if you like, which basically makes you invincible.  At the very least you can easily get all the trophies this way, although I found a bug that kept me from getting them unless I started over.  At only ten levels, this game is kind of short, but it’ll take you a while to get through them all on Normal settings.  While the game is a bit broken at being impossible on Normal and no challenge on Kids Mode, it certainly feels like a game I would’ve at least rented back in the 8-bit NES days as a kid.

Kid Factor:

Ravva and the Cyclops Curse is rated E for Everyone with an ESRB descriptor of Mild Fantasy Violence.  You can shoot monsters with magic that disappear when defeated.  When you get hit, you just get knocked back and hide under your hat.  Reading skill is helpful for the text, but at least most everyone can play on Kids Mode.

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