Mad scientists have all the luck. Dr. Cavor spent the first Cavorite scouring the moon for parts of his busted space ship, and while he did a right good job of that, there’s just one problem: he forgot the gas can! Not that traditional fuel is easily found on the moon, but the next best thing are power crystals the natives have thankfully left scattered throughout the lunar cave network. Guess what you’ll be helping Dr. Cavor with in Cavorite 2 (Out Now, $1.99)!
Cavorite 2 hews so closely to the action puzzle tradition set in the prequel, it could very well be considered a 63-level extension to the original. That’s great news for anyone who loved the first, and not-so-great news if the prequel happened to rub you the wrong way; there’s little here that’s going to change your mind.
What the Cavorite fan will find in part two are some delicious new challenges. The conveyors, laser beams and lava pits of old have been traded in for exploding boxes, spike-filled swimming levels and slippery ice platforms. These add up to much the same feel that the first Cavorite had: some levels feel tightly timed and push the player into action, while others let you sit back and study the switches, enemies, and traps you’ll have to turn to Dr. Cavor’s advantage. Levels can be skipped just as in the original, but I found that this option popped up much less frequently here than in the first.
Cavorite 2 starts out on a pitch-perfect note as far as difficulty is concerned, so veterans should find the introductory Gilded Forge levels immediately pleasing. Players new to the franchise would be well advised to begin with the first because Cavorite 2’s exploding boxes are a real doozie! It’s curious, then, that challenge dips quite a bit in Cavorite 2’s second world — the removal of said exploding boxes has a lot to do with that. They’re re-introduced in the third level set, making things satisfyingly dicey again. The first and second worlds almost beg to be swapped on account of this. If things had turned out that way Cavorite 2 would enjoy the advantage of being more welcoming to new players, and the fact that swimming is introduced in the easier levels still provides a novelty hook for veterans.
The first Cavorite released with a movement button issue that cropped up in faster-paced sections, but the sequel proves much more robust here. There’s just one UI issue to clean up, and that’s the fact that Dr. Cavor hops like a caffeinated kangaroo if you happen to keep your thumb planted on the jump button. As things stand, the player has to be very careful to tap it quickly and release. There are certainly a few areas where the player could put a semi-automatic jump to good use, but I’d love an option to switch it on and off. Collision detection issues occasionally crop up right now – Dr. Cavor can cling to the side edges of floating platforms here and there – but this is a simple polish issue that doesn’t get in the way of level solutions.
Cascadia Games put plenty of effort into making Cavorite 2 crystal clear on Retina displays, and boy, was it worth it! Each world’s chiptune also came out beautifully; I daresay the soundtrack has much improved over the first with its smoother melodies. That’s especially important because you’ll have just a single track pouring through your earbuds during the hour or two it takes to clear one of Cavorite 2’s level sets. Check out the series soundtrack in order here and judge for yourself!
iFanzine Verdict: Let your feelings on the first Cavorite guide your decision on whether to plunk down the purchase price of Cavorite 2. Players may find the sequel’s difficulty curve peculiarly structured and it still has some polish to gain in updates, but series veterans can look forward to the same tests of logic and platforming skills that made the first so magical.