When the first Cavorite came out, we were excited about the interesting mash-up of platforming and puzzle genres and cute retro presentation. Unfortunately, it was sidelined by boring level design and aggravating gameplay. We were hoping that the sequel would fix the problems of the first, but unfortunately it seems the developers didn’t feel it needed to to be changed.
You start the game pretty much right where the first one left off. Playing as Dr. Cavor, inventor of the levitating substance cavorite, you’re still trapped on the moon with a space-ship out of fuel. You’re forced to descend down into the depths of the lunar sub-surface in order to get enough moon gems to power your way home. During your travels through the game’s 60+ levels, you’ll discover rooms filled with all manner of devious traps and deadly devices to overcome, and enemies bent on stopping you.
Octobiology at its finest.
You’re only defense is a gun that shoots cavorite, which lets you to move and levitate blocks. This gives you the ability to sort of fly around the screen as you can grab onto the bottom of a box and go for a ride. In this manner, you can put the boxes where they need to be in order to solve the puzzles. For example, you might use a box to activate a button or give the doctor a way to reach something on a high ledge.
The idea is cool, but this is a game that fights you at every turn. The levels are difficult not because of how formidable they are (although there are a few that are genuine head-scratchers), but more because of the fiddly game mechanics and controls. The efficacy of the cavorite gun is random at best. Sometimes it works just fine, and sometimes it wont do anything, even if you’re pressed up right on a box. You double tap the gun button if you want to hang onto the bottom of the box while it floats, but this only seems to work about half the time. And this is assuming you manage to hit the buttons at all– they are so small that we found ourselves missing them more often then not.
The roads are icy today.
Adding to this frustration is the fact that boxes get stuck on invisible pixels. The slightest tap on a ledge will send them crashing down. They can take unpredictable tumbles, and controlling them in the air is an imprecise and obnoxious process at best. Enemies also have a tendency to get snagged in inconvenient places or not act like they’re supposed to, and Dr. Cavor’s pathetic jumps and rough controls will have you getting stuck quite often, making you hit the restart button over and over. You can skip a level after 3 failures, but this seems more like an acknowledgement of the games shortcomings than a helpful feature for the player.
There’s the old saying, ‘if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it’. But if it’s broken, then please fix it! The old problems of the first game were carried over to the sequel, and were not sure why the developers decided to keep on keeping on with this. Charming graphics and music can’t make up for lackluster gameplay.