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Raven review - "Might be a treat for fans of the card game Rook"

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Raven review - "Might be a treat for fans of the card game Rook"

Lovely visuals, a gorgeous soundtrack and a minimalist UI - Raven certainly wants to make you feel like you're on top of the world with each new playthrough, and while you'll still have to furrow your brow and think long and hard about how to trump your opponents, it certainly can't hurt to do so with relaxing melodies serenading you in the background.

This scenic card game takes inspiration from titles like Alto's Odyssey and Rook, but does it stand well on its own to merit your time and effort?

Table of contents:

RAVEN VISUALS

While you might end up staring at your screen for the longest time trying to think of the best strategy to outwit your enemies, your eyes get a bit of a treat thanks to the breathtaking visuals. Raven features gorgeous scenic landscapes that change with every new match, accompanied by low-key background music that might just make you want to take your sweet time with your turn on purpose.

Thankfully, you really can dilly-dally as there are no timers here - the game doesn't pressure you to perform an action, because you are, after all, playing with AI and not real people. The cards are also designed with very minimalistic features, as well as the overall vibe of the UI. All these aesthetics contribute to the totally chill feel of the game.

THE GAMEPLAY OF RAVEN

Developed by a one-man team, this eye candy of an indie title tasks you with putting on your thinking cap to outwit your AI opponents. While it's a single-player game, you do have your own "team" that you can play with to help you win each match.

The mechanics of the game are very similar to the Rook card game, wherein you conceal your deck from all players (even from your own teammate) and play to get the highest score. You initially bid to pick the trump colour, then take turns placing cards in the middle to see which one has the highest value or has the most points.

When push comes to shove, you can also play the Raven card which trumps everything else. The team that reaches 300 points first (you can set the score in the Settings) wins the game.

WHAT'S THE APPEAL?

Obviously, the game is meant to appeal to fans of Rook, and sadly, I wasn't even aware of the popular card game until now. While the mechanics really are engaging - opening me up to different kinds of strategies floating around in my brain while I played - it just doesn't feel like it's my cup of tea, likely because I was looking for something deeper.

Of course, that's entirely not the dev's fault, but I just didn't feel like there was enough in the game to keep me going after a few matches. The soundtrack and visuals truly are lovely, and there were even matches where I felt like I wanted to think outside of the box to trick my AI opponents into using their cards or taking my baits. Those were certainly fun, but there just weren't enough moments like that to get me hooked.

In the end, Raven is a very engaging title for fans of the card game it's based on, and one that truly tries to switch things up with its aesthetics more than any innovations on the core gameplay. There's not much to say but to commend the game for its style, but only if you're exactly the type of target consumer for this kind of demographic. In that sense, if you're looking for a different take on a classic card game, Raven is definitely worth the $0.99 investment.

Raven review - "Might be a treat for fans of the card game Rook"

Raven is a minimalist and relaxing take on the card game Rook that offers low-key vibes and eye-candy imagery. Give it a go if you're a fan of Rook and looking for a meditative way to pass the time.
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