Ovivo is a beautifully artist monochrome platformer. Aimed at being a short and sweet 3-4 hour experience, the idea is that black and white are gravity polarities. As you shift between the polarities, your character is thrown around in reaction to the force. It’s a fun platforming mechanic I’ve seen elsewhere but not with such a stylised graphical frame.
Each level is a monochrome picture and when you complete it, the camera pans out to show you everything you’ve traversed. White areas pull you down, black pull you up. This means to get over jumps or gain momentum you might roll up one hill, jump off it and then flip the gravity to burst through the line and keep going. This can be to gain enough height or depth to clear spikey objects or empty gaps in the artwork. The way how each level looks changes but the concept remains the same. Later on light switches and timing based platforms come into play which increase the difficulty a little but Ovivo is generous with its checkpoints. You’ll rarely go too far backwards and lives are infinite.
Moving around feels like you are controlling a water drop at times, especially when rolling around intricate curves. It’s fun, responsive and doesn’t feel rigid like many cheap platformers. Ovivo gets the platforming largely spot on. Collectables are scattered throughout the game to collect but they rarely too far off the beaten path to cause much issue. On my first run through I grabbed about 80% of them without thinking much about it but they all involve a mini platforming excursion to complete. Most of the time you’ll be on a single path as you bumble and bounce around through the painting so the very moment you are offered two options, you know a collectable will be down one of them!
Outside of a few levels towards the end that introduce the moving platforms, timing based movement (like staying inside cones light that move) and a few moments where you fly in balloon like creatures, Ovivo doesn’t evolve much over its runtime. As it is short, it doesn’t outstay its welcome but some may find that the challenge doesn’t switch up very much. I personally didn’t find this a problem as I enjoyed Ovivo’s vibe and feel. For me, the art style and gravity mechanic kept me entertained and interested and the game ends at the right point before it gets stale.
Ovivo’s style and aura elevates some good platforming design. There is something engrossing about rolling around a painting and using gravity as a propulsion system to get around it. Definitely one of the top tier budget platformers out there in recent years.
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