Feeling Alive Again

Reviewed On
Available For
Mac, PC

‘Ello again my Time Waster friends!

This week I stumbled across a puzzle platformer called [REVIVE], a sequel game to one titled [RESPAWN]. In [REVIVE] you take on the role as a little red guy who was kidnapped off the streets and brought into some unknown facility. Here your dude is forced into going through a series of trials in order to test a product called Life Syrup, which is supposed to give the person who uses it a form of eternal life. No surprise then that the whole point of each level is to kill yourself in some way to prove that the syrup stuff works.

[REVIVE] reminded me a lot of Portal as soon as I started to play, and even more the further I got into it (including how you’re a test subject who has no real background or voice, just like Chell). You even have a GLaDOS type character named GOV who is just a disembodied voice that watches you while you test to collect the results. But that’s about as far as the Portal comparisons go (except for one turn in the story that I’m leaving to you guys to find out). The rest of the game is its own thing.

So let’s talk about the actual game elements of [REVIVE]. The key element of play is controlling where, when and how you die in order to progress through the levels. Certain options and paths only open up to you when you’re flying around as a ghost while other things you have to manipulate while living (like moving boxes and switches). The where, when and hows of dying become even more important during the second half of the game when your control while being dead is suddenly taken away from you. But that just makes the puzzles a little more challenging.

Speaking of puzzles, the puzzles in [REVIVE] are well done; all of them making you have to think about how exactly you need to do things (the beginning tutorial levels don’t count since they’re straight forward). Something that I liked about some of the puzzles was that a couple of them were there just to show you new game mechanics without having to put a wall of text up for you to read. This was great for not breaking the storyline and managed to explain things perfectly while still providing a challenge, so good on the developer for pulling it off.

The only things I haven’t talked about now are the graphics and music. Well as far as graphics go they get a thumbs-up from me; the sprite work is appealing and you don’t have to worry about not knowing what elements you can interact with and what ones you can’t (which I’m sure a lot of you know can be really annoying). The music also does its job of setting the mood and being ear pleasing to boot, so I can’t ask for more than that.

My final verdict of [REVIVE] is this: it’s a great little game that easily entertained me enough to play it all the way through. I suggest it to anyone who enjoys playing a couple of platformy-puzzles every now and then.

[REVIVE] earns 4.5 GiN Gems out of 5!

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