As a huge fan of Lewis Carroll and the well-deserved popularity of Alice in Wonderland, Ravenloks intrigued me from the very first moment. The original novel has been adapted countless times, so I was curious to see what the Cococucumber team would do with this somewhat dreamlike fantasy adventure. And I’ll kill the joke now: I have good news, because we’re getting richer with a really cool indie game!
Ravenlok tells the story of a young girl who moves from the hustle and bustle of the big city with her parents to an old country house, loudly as the clock ticks. However, the dump is very boring, so the protagonist starts looking through the cobweb-infested sufni when he finds a special mirror. Through the mirror, he enters an enchanted world and it is then that the most exciting adventures of his life begin. Finn the White Rabbit tells him that he is the long-awaited Ravenlock and that he must save the Enchanted World from the evil and tyrannical Queen Larva.
The story is amazingly gripping and eye-catching, even because of the characteristics of the original work, and the special pixelated visuals only crown the original Alice in Wonderland experience. In the case of Ravenlok, the enchanted world can be divided into three different sections and they all have great visuals, but I like to highlight the part when we visit the mushroom-dominated area, which provides a really nice panorama and a truly unforgettable experience. The game is very short, and it can be played comfortably in the afternoon, so the player is sure to see a dream full of adventure. Ravenlok’s music adds to that shovel feeling, because the player enjoys groovy but poignant melodies throughout.
Among the advantages of the game, we should also mention the fantastically developed side missions, which were often more exciting and insane than our main goal, which was to defeat the tyrant queen. This was the case, for example, when the composer rabbit had to find his lost music, the frog quiz, or when we collected antique mugs for the tea party. And speaking of tea parties, Ravenlox boldly uses memorable elements from Alice in Wonderland, like said party, clocks, the speedy white rabbit, Tyrant Queen card soldiers, and red hearts. For this reason, fans of the original work can feel really nostalgic, and if we allow ourselves to be immersed in the game world, Ravenloks will definitely not let up.
In contrast to all its listed advantages, the creation of the Cococucumber studio is by no means flawless, the game’s biggest weakness lies in its combat system. Because Ravenlok never gets tired: he will swing his sword as many times as you hit the strike button. What we would give Dark Souls games! Because of this, the shield becomes completely unnecessary and all boss fights can be eliminated with almost hilarious ease.
However, Ravenlok can not only use his sword during combat, but also various items and potions against his opponent. The player can buy them in various kiosks using the coins collected on the tracks, of which there are a lot, many of which are in the game, so if the “constant flickering” technique is not fast enough, you can make it easier with purchased practical products. And if it is not a major enemy, then in most cases it is enough to simply bypass it.
In addition to the fact that the player’s challenges are easy to overcome, even the dialogues are often unreasonably long and unnecessary. In addition, Ravenlok often builds quests based on the player’s memory, so if you are not sharp enough, you will have to go through these uninteresting dialogues several times. Of course, it is possible to skip it, but then you can easily get stuck between tasks.
It may also be baffling that there is simply no reason for the cascading events. When the little girl steps through the mirror for the first time, Finn tells her that she must be the long-awaited Ravenlock. And the little girl goes at it without thinking, something like this: “I’ve got raven hair. It must be me.” This character building is true for the entire game, even if in some places the game tries to place the characters that appear. If this is not enough as an example, let’s take a look at the tyrannical caterpillar queen. He’s evil, and we know that, but it’s never discussed why he turned out like this and what kind of past could be behind the terrifying face.
If you are looking for a video game in which you can spend your free time relaxing without thinking, then Ravenlok is the perfect choice. This game will get the most out of you if you are not looking for a reason, but just want to experience the atmosphere of a magical adventure. However, if you want more than that, it might be worth looking for other, more complex titles.
Ravenlok has been released for PC, Xbox Series X/S, and Xbox One. We tested it on the latter.
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