A game set in a bioluminescent world that looks like Avatar’s Pandora, filled with critters that have to team up and combine their unique powers to make it through? Okay, sign us up! That’s the reaction Muse Games and Chillingo are banking on at any rate, because they’re bringing CreaVures to iOS this Thursday. If our time with its first level set is any indication, this is shaping up to be one interesting – not to mention gorgeous – puzzle platformer!
So just what is a “CreaVure”? We’re not entirely sure, but we think it could be shorthand for “Very cool creature.” The first of five worlds introduces the player to two: swift, foxlike Bitey, and a cross between a sumo wrestler and a porcupine named Pokey. One could vaguely guess at the specialty of each, but what’s amazing is just how layered their interaction is, and the range of obstacles the player can conquer by switching off between them.
Bitey can run fast and jump high, giving the player some leeway when it comes to navigating glowing mushrooms that kindly provide platforms. His real claim to fame, however, is sinking his teeth into berries and swinging through rows of them to cross wide gaps. Bitey’s super-long tail might not seem that consequential to the player, right up until Pokey joins the team: he uses Bitey’s tail as a rope swing to clear gaps his own meager jumps would never cover! We’ve seen character cooperation in videogames before, but it’s really amazing to see one character become a gameplay object for another so directly.
Not that Pokey is a freeloader by any means. When it comes to enemies, Bitey’s bark is really worse than his bite; far better to let Pokey turn around and unleash his spines as enemy-stunning projectiles. Pokey can also scale walls by literally plucking spines from his back and leaving them for Bitey to climb when there’s no other foothold!
That’s not even half the characters on tap in CreaVures; you’ll have to wait until Thursday for our take on how the others play, and how effectively the game manages the resulting possibilities. In the meantime, check out Chillingo’s info sheet as well as Muse Games’ CreaVures site. Here’s a gameplay preview to tide you over: