OVIVO – Review

My selfish relationship with puzzle games is that I tend to only lean towards ones with inventive mechanics. Portal, Limbo, The Talos Principle, etc. While I don’t mind more traditional puzzles or puzzle-solving, like the Professor Layton franchise, I always feel more incentivized when a game is able to truly take advantage of its medium.

Enter OVIVO, a platformer developed by IzHard, now available on the Nintendo Switch, which is the version I played. Within its world, you traverse through a black and white series of physics based challenges. Controls are simple, you use the D-Pad or analog stick to move and the A button to switch from black or white and enter the shapes you encounter. When you switch colors, you not only emerge within the shape or vice versa, but gravity also inverts. So while the game starts with simple traversal, it becomes increasingly more complicated, and you have to think about when you switch and when to time it. Portal players will be more than familiar with sustained momentum, as you might be forced to make a jump in order to progress, in spite of the fact that there is no jump button. You have to fall, hit A in order to switch, and make sure there’s enough of a space or a rise in order for you to be carried up and fly out when you switch again.

At the end of each stage, it’s revealed that this mysterious labyrinth you’ve been traversing is actually a piece of art, be it abstract or otherwise. It gives you an appreciation for the level design without showing off. And that’s basically it. Try to progress, gather the collectibles for completionist’s sake, and enjoy the relaxing music throughout this 2-3 hour experience. Simplicity is not a dirty word, especially for its $6.99 price tag. I’ve spent 7 bucks on worse things. Don’t act like you haven’t.

OVIVO’s only problem is that you wish there was more. Sure, the simple mechanics might make the game tedious if it went on for too long, but the attention to detail here is nice and there’s certainly potential for something even more robust if IzHard decides to use this to cut their teeth on a more complex title next time.

8 out of 10.

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