Developer: Cascadia Games
Price: $2.99
Version Reviewed: 1.0.1
Device Reviewed On: iPad Mini Retina, iPhone 5

Graphics / Sound Rating: ★★★★☆
Controls Rating: ★★★☆☆
Gameplay Rating: ★★★☆☆
Replay Value Rating: ★★½☆☆

Overall Rating: ★★★☆☆

I believe the most important thing a game can do is to feel right. That is, the player should feel like when they succeed that they are doing things as they are supposed to. The game’s feedback is such that it rewards the player for doing things in a way that feel natural and proper. This doesn’t necessarily have to force solutions to problems into a box where only one solution is possible, but the game needs to make sure that the player is satisfied not just by the solution, but by working out the problem. It’s better when players feel rewarding joy at a solution, not relief from an ordeal. Too often, Cavorite 3 is the latter.

Cavorite3-6Cavorite 3 involves moving a lot of boxes by using protagonist Dr. Cavor’s Cavorite gun, which shoots out an anti-gravity substance. Boxes must be moved and manipulated using the gun, with a double-tap of the fire button used to hang from boxes in mid-air for transportation to various places in the level. Switches must be activated, and they regulate the hazards that fill Cavorite 3’s 63 levels. Making the key jumps, timing necessary moves with switches, and just keeping Dr. Cavor alive are all important. Thankfully there’s a quick restart button available and the game has a great detailed pixel art look to it, along with iCade support. The buttons on a retina iPad can be kind of small with this game, after all.

Cavorite3-4The problem with Cavorite 3 is that it just always feels like I’m doing something that I’m not supposed to. Boxes have to be awkwardly bounced off of Dr. Cavor’s head to get them in their proper place. Moving a box a pixel too far can mess up the physical location of a puzzle. Grabbing onto boxes sometimes doesn’t work quite right. It all just adds up to an experience where nothing feels elegant, it feels too much like I’m fighting the game just to survive. It’s not just because some of the levels can get challenging; it’s that solving them rarely feels like I cracked a puzzle. It’s more like there were missing pieces that I drew in crayon on cardboard just to fill out the jigsaw.

It’s a shame, really. Cavorite 3 is a good-looking game and its main mechanic is fun and accessible, but it could make do with some more work to make the puzzles feel right. It’s just too frustrating of a game for me to truly enjoy at this point.


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