The aesthetics of “the grid” from Tron Legacy drew in consumers to the Tron franchise with its cutting edge futuristic digital look on the world. If you take this same art style and apply it to The Hundred Acre Wood mixed with the basic gameplay of Trine, you end up with CreaVures.
CreaVures is a puzzle-platformer that gives you access to five main characters that you have to guide throughout the game, with each character having their own unique abilities to get you through each level. The puzzles themselves don’t pose much challenge and are accessible to all ages of gamers – a great selling point for the title. It’s ideal for parents playing with their children, especially considering its moderate pacing and length. However the game’s distinct lack of multiplayer and the fact that you have to drag every CreaVure to the end of the levels, breaks the flow of play and the whole “zen” atmosphere.
As I said before, CreaVures’ aesthetic can be likened to that of Tron. The mixture of dark and eye popping neon colours against the detailed models and textures creates wonderful style that’s easy to appreciate. The animations, however, fail to match the rest of the visual quality, presenting extremely wooden characters performing action that fail to flow between each other, and while swinging from a vine or crawling under a bridge, you’ll often witness the animations reset mid way through the action.
The graphics themselves, though, are sharp, especially if you choose the high resolution option, and it can be played at maximum settings easily due to its low system requirements. However, it lacks a modern widescreen option, revealing off-putting black bars around my 19″ monitor. It’s a nitpick really, but one that was difficult to ignore.
The graphics, art style and relative ease of the game promotes relaxation, don’t be surprised if you enter auto-pilot and get lost in thought while playing, especially with its soothing soundtrack. As you make your way through the forest setting the looping music creates an atmosphere of freedom and calm, and aids in making this game my go to relaxation/stress relief title.
There is almost no narrative to speak of in CreaVures and adding in even contextual factors of the game would break immersion by going against the game’s main design philosophy of being simplistic and easy going.
The smart but simplistic puzzles help to maintain the relaxing and soothing atmosphere for a delightfully laidback and enjoyable experience. Sure, it does have its flaws with the aforementioned dragging of each character through a level if you drift too far from the other CreaVures, in addition to the awkward animations, but they don’t hamper the experience and it’s magical, zen like atmosphere, which the developers painstakingly crafted through subtle usage of a basic narrative, aesthetic and sound. I personally beat CreaVures in one sitting and although it’s extremely short, It’s a great setup for children to play in short bursts and enjoy its light heartedness.
For any age, it’s a short ,relaxing and fun game that costs around the same price as a curry. It’s well worth your while if you’re a fan of puzzle platformers or if you’re stressed out and need to relax.
MLG Rating: 8/10
Platform: PC Release Date: 23/02/11
Disclosure: Midlife Gamer were provided a digital copy of CreaVures for review purposes by the promoter. The title was reviewed over the course of one week on a PC. For more information on what our scores mean, plus details of our reviews policy, click here.