With indie-games becoming more and more popular on mobile devices, it’s getting difficult to distinguish them from their high-ticket counterparts. Cascadia Games, the developers of Cavorite deliver a classic game feel along with some interesting puzzles. But is this game successful in disguising its indie-game roots? Let’s find out.
The game begins with an introduction to Dr. Cavor who is trapped inside of the moon. He’s being held captive by funny looking creatures called Selenites. The player’s goal is to reach the surface of the moon and get back to planet Earth by solving a series of complex puzzles and collecting mechanical parts scattered throughout the level.
The game spans 63 levels across 3 different areas; the Deep Caverns, Lava Tunnels, and Lunar Foundry. The first few levels of the Deep Caverns are pretty simple and give the player a feel for the controls and the “anti-gravity” spray, called cavorite.
The touch-screen controls are fairly responsive and the placement of the buttons are where you would expect at the bottom of the screen.
When you pause the game however, the “resume” button is wedged right in between the “exit game” and “restart” buttons, which caused me to accidentally quit the level I was in the middle of playing. And since the game pauses automatically when you answer a call or switch to another app, you’re forced to carefully tap the resume button to avoid quitting or restarting the level. Pressing and holding the jump button causes Dr. Cavor to endlessly jump; this feels unnatural and cheap. Speaking of unnatural, the jump sound plays when the player continuously presses the jump button, even when the game is completed.
The graphics are sharp and pixelated, which is the intended look. The animations are smooth. Dr. Cavor’s idle animation is unnerving; he keeps fidgeting and looking around. The sometimes glitchy movement can be frustrating; I found myself eyerolling at some of the major glitches. In some cases, you might even get stuck in a level – perhaps this is why the developers included a tiny restart button wedged in the upper right-hand side of the screen. This button instantly restarts the level, so you have to be careful not to tap it accidentally.
Despite the various glitches, this is a very enjoyable game. The Cavorite spray allows you to raise boxes and temporarily freeze the enemy characters. The obstacles in the game include the Selenites, lasers that instantly burn you to a crisp, lava, and spikes that (for some reason) cause your eyes to bleed. The boxes can be raised or pushed to defeat enemies and activate buttons. In some cases, you work with the Selenites to complete the level. Activating the buttons will cause other actions, such as opening of doors. Be careful though, because moving a box over a mechanical part will make it disappear, forcing you to restart the level in order to add the part to your inventory. The bosses are challenging and sometimes you can find yourself restarting the level pretty quickly. Luckily, there is an unlimited number of retries for every level.
The music has a dark, sometimes creepy tone to it. It’s a fitting sound for the appearance of each world. The sound effects are pretty standard – if you don’t like the music or sound effects, you can adjust or mute the volume from the main menu. The jump and cavorite sounds are annoying, especially with the glitch. If you really enjoy the soundtrack, you can even download it for free from http://drcavor.com/downloads.html.
Cavorite is currently available for iOS and Mac.