Reviewed on Nintendo Switch
Developer: snowhydra games
Publisher: snowhydra games
Release Date: October 18th, 2018 Nintendo Switch
Where cubes find love, shoot lasers, and lay waste to handcrafted arenas.
Zarvot is a beautifully designed, Boxy aren shooter developed and published by snowhydra. When I say ‘Boxy’, I mean that it stars a cube named Charcoal as the protagonist along side another cube named Yellow who does nothing except provide some of the funniest banter i’ve seen in a game. They happen to be the exact color of their names which is the apart of the cute little humor the devs are going for. Your goal is to put together a surprise Birthday gift for their friend Red, who is another cube, and make him happy as he seems depressed every time the two visit him at his home. You must travel through Nine different areas to find a variety of items that form the ultimate gift for Red. Amongst the unique areas you battle other crazy looking box creatures and enemies that resemble real life objects in the blocky arenas that have force fields to block prevent you from leaving until you clear an area out. There are different bosses that get pretty difficult as you progress but shouldn’t take you too long to find a rhythm.
A Boxy Adventure
At the game’s core it is simply an arena shooter with a linear overworld and gorgeous graphics. You scurry along each area as crazy looking blocky creatures spawn. Some shoot, some chase you and some do crazy things to off you. You end up being boxed in with a strange force field until you defeat each enemy. You continue this pattern until you reach a boss of the area and once you defeat said boss you are awarded a the piece of the gift you are searching for. There is no tutorial and the game leaves it to you to discover the simple control system. While playing I thought it would eventually teach you things but it never did except one or two isolated scenes. After each chapter you meet with your depressed friend to try and uncover what’s bothering him. I found it kind of strange that you travel far after each chapter to visit your friend and he ends up kicking you out within seconds of your arrival. Not that big of a deal, just weird but then agiain the majority of the game is unorthodox.
As mentioned, the game largely leads you to discover the button configs on your own. You get access to your standard pea shooter or ‘pewpew’ as the game calls it. Holding down the shoot button will charge your laser. You also get a double jump, and a little ‘blink’ motion that zips you quickly to escape the hoards. Last but not least you get this sweet melee shine thing you can do for close combat. While holding this button you can create a laser circle around you that is pretty difficult to master. The game does get mundane and one dimensional but fans of the box shooter will be thrilled. The story is pretty basic but the graphics and gorgeous and the art direction is clever. I love the way the game transitions with a depth of field view. The dialog between you and your partner are hilarious and guarenteed to at least make you chuckle. I laughed pretty good when ‘Mustard’ asks you to check out his profile picture for his ‘Okcubic’ account. Get it? Okcubic…Okcupid ha.
Overall, I enoyed the game and the aesthics mixed with the humor and retro style box shooter. My only complaint would probably be that not a lot is explained and sometimes some of the chapters can be mundane throughout your adventure. Zarvot does come packed with multiplayer so can strap up against some foe’s for good time post game. I also like the simple fact that you can’t adjust the game difficulty if things get rouch i.e a particular boss I won’t mention for spoilers. So you must ‘git gud’ to beat it.
As mentioned, I enjoyed my playthrough and if you are a fan of a retro style arcade shooter and a little blend of modern graphics then you’ll enjoy it as well. I am a fan of the whole freestyle motif that snowhydra is going for.