Created by indie developer snowhydra games, Zarvot: A Game About Cubes is an odd little arcade shooter for the Nintendo Switch. I say odd because the overall premise of the story mode is so weird that it’s hard not to love it. You play as an adorable little cube named Charcoal who sets out on an adventure with his pal Mustard. Their destination, a friend’s birthday party. Along the way, they must discover the perfect way to cheer up their friend on their birthday.
The first thing you’ll probably notice about the game is the way it looks. While all the characters in the game consist of some pretty simple geometric shapes, the objects around them are made to look rather realistic. By that I mean items such as chairs, jars, desks, etc. all have a realistic look to them and aren’t designed to be simple shapes. Also the environment has realistic features like realistic looking trees, wood grain on the paths, etc. The game also makes use of a unique look similar to that of Tilt Shifting in photography. This gives the entire game a diorama type look to it where certain parts of it are in focus and other parts looked blurred out. It’s a really interesting look, especially for a game.
The other part to presentation is the audio and Zarvot does a really good job in this department too. The music is really catchy and changes depending on the mood of the level you’re on. The sound effects too are rather good as well. It really completes the whole package in the audio department.
On to the gameplay, at its core it’s an action shooter. You take control of Charcoal and move about the world with the left stick. With the face buttons, there seems to be two different attach buttons, a jump button, and a sprint/phase button. For the most part, the shooting aspect of the game seems fairly fluid, though aiming doesn’t seem quite as accurate as it should be. This might also be because you’re using the left stick to both move and aim which can sometimes be difficult. It might have been better if this were a twin stick shooter with the right stick allowing you to both aim and shoot and the left stick for just movement. But I can see why they couldn’t do this as there is a multiplayer portion to this game and if each person is using 1 Joy-Con, there’s only 1 stick to use.
Which brings me to the other part of Zarvot, the multiplayer stuff. Zarvot features five competitive multiplayer modes ranging from classic Deathmatch, to a sushi collecting scramble, to the Switch-exclusive Joy-Vot where you send enemies against your friends. Most of the modes are pretty fun and best played with more friends. However, you’ll probably end up completely skipping this portion of the game if you have no local friends to play with. It didn’t look like there was an online mode.
I’m actually really surprised by Zarvot: A Game about Cubes. I mean it looked neat from the trailers I saw but after playing it, I’m pretty impressed by it. The story mode is especially enjoyable as the story just seems to quirky and despite the characters being cubes, they’re full of personality. I’m also really enjoying the way the game looks overall with the tilt shift style really giving the game a unique look and feel.
In terms of gameplay, it’s a pretty fun. The shooting aspect is pretty solid for the controls they have set up and there’s no shortage of content to play. With that said, if you’re looking for a really quirky game that’s not only fun but also has a cool story mode, check out Zarvot: A Game About Cubes.
Received preview code from developer and/or publisher for coverage purposes.
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