It’s astonishing how far iOS gaming has come in the past couple of years. That CreaVures, a solid indie PC platformer, has been squeezed onto the iPhone’s screen with absolutely no loss in detail or clarity is quite something.
The premise is simple enough. Five different animals have been charged with restoring light to the dark forest (as per usual), and they must team up in pairs to traverse the game’s 14-or-so levels, collecting glowing balls of light and walking past luminescent trees.
The hook lies in the abilities each animal has. Bitey, the cat-like-thing, can bite onto hanging fruit and dangle his tail down. That’s useful on its own, but vital for a fella like Pokey, the porcupine-cum-dinosaur, who needs Bitey’s tail to swing across the bigger jumps.
On the flipside, old Bitey can’t make it up the sheer cliff faces that Pokey finds easy with his detachable spikes. Thankfully, those spikes stay in place and any other CreaVure can use them as a ladder.
It’s the kind of teamwork-based puzzle platforming we’ve seen before in the likes of Lost Vikings and Trine, and it’s nicely implemented and thoughtful throughout.
There are five CreaVures in total, unlocked as you progress. Each has a distinct ability that brings a clever new mechanic to the party. Like Glidey’s ability to, yes, glide.
CreaVures is a nice-looking game - especially on Retina display devices - but it’s also an odd one. It’s very dark, with only the neon-tinged glow of the forest illuminating the way, which makes it feel a bit gloomy and oppressive.
The CreaVures themselves, though, are uniformly superb - pin-sharp and animated with plenty of personality.
With only a handful of worlds to traverse, though, and on-screen joystick controls that can be a little fiddly on trickier platforming sections, CreaVures doesn’t quite live up to its lofty ambitions.
Also, while the tag-team gameplay is clever, in practice it can be laborious having to drag two characters through the levels independently. Some sort of partner AI would have sped things up and helped make the whole thing a bit snappier.
Still, CreaVures is a standout effort and a fine port that’s unlikely to disappoint.