Game review: Ainevoltas 2
- Title: Ainevoltas 2
- Developer: Silvernova
- Platforms: Windows
- Price: Free
Developed by Silvernova, Ainevoltas 2 has been described as a platformer-RPG. In reality, it plays more like a platformer with stats and floaty damage numbers than a proper RPG. Imagine Castlevania: Symphony of the Night, but minus the puzzles, loot, cool abilities, tight controls, and most of the exploration.
In Ainevoltas 2, your character has four stats: Health, Strength, Recover, and Jump. Increasing Health raises your maximum hit points. Increasing Strength increases the damage you do with your sword swings. Recover increases the hit points you can potentially recover every few seconds while crouching. Jump increases your air time and maximum height while jumping.
That’s it. There is no defense stat. There are no magic points or spells. You get no new weapons or armor. In fact, you get no items of any kind. That includes keys. Guess how you open locked doors? That’s right: you grind. (Doors open based on your stats.) The only things you can collect in this game are stat points (which you get from leveling up anyway) and experience points (cutely packaged as little jumping blobs that burst out of slain enemies and try to bounce away from you, as if the slimes from Dragon Quest had watched Alien one time too many).
Combat is very straightforward. The controls aren’t always terribly responsive, however, and enemies like to walk onto the same space you’re occupying, dealing you damage while your swings go past them.
Ainevoltas 2 is minimalist to the point of being almost Zelda II-like. Of course, Zelda has all that cool exploration and puzzle-solving going for it. Ainevoltas 2? Not so much. Each area has multiple paths through, with high Jump stat characters able to reach more of them than characters with a low Jump stat. But beyond that, the levels are strictly linear: there is one entrance and exit to each room. There are no side quests, no optional areas (just optional portions of a few rooms), no collectable loot, and no puzzles to solve. Regardless of which way you go, getting where you’re going depends entirely upon jumping around and stabbing monsters. The existence of different paths through most rooms is nice, but the exploration aspect of the game still feels stunted.
The narrative, likewise, is very spare. What’s there is silly and generally at least somewhat amusing, but that’s all that can be said for it. You won’t come away from this remembering the characters or the storyline. On the visual side, Ainevoltas 2 has some nice animations (though some, like the sword swing, look strangely stiff). If you like cute pixel graphics, you’ll enjoy the route Silvernova took here. The music is pretty good too.
The Verdict: 2/5. Ainevoltas 2 is basically a low-rent Castlevania clone. At zero dollars a copy, it’s worth a try if you like side-scrolling RPGs, but by and large, this game is going to appeal more to platformer fans than RPG fans.