Some amazing indie games have caught me by surprise already this year: I had the fishing-horror game Dredge blow me out of the water, and Little Nightmares-esque indie game Bramble: The Mountain King creep me out. Now Cococucumber’s Ravenlok has delighted me in a short but sweet adventure reminiscent of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. So just how much did I enjoy Ravenlok? Find out in my Ravenlok review below.
Heavily inspired by Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, a young girl who has just moved to the countryside with her parents discovers a magical mirror that transports her to a troubled kingdom where she is known as Ravenlok. As Ravenlok, she is tasked to end the Caterpillar Queen’s reign of terror who has made life miserable for inhabitants of the kingdom.
Cococucumber has managed to draw inspiration from a very iconic novel all while making it their own narrative. The journey in Ravenlok is only about three hours long but tells the story quite well for such a short length. The biggest winner here is the art style though. It is absolutely gorgeous and compliments the setting extraordinarily well. I think this is the factor that will assist in drawing people into Ravenlok.
The game is primarily quests from the kingdom’s residents which ask you to obtain certain items or defeat certain enemies. Your reward for each quest is an item that would help you gain access to another part of the story or just unlock another quest. Even though the quests were quite basic, there was rarely a time where I was forced to backtrack to somewhere I’d been before, which is generally the case with games like these.
Being a 3-hour game, the combat isn’t that dynamic and is very simple. It’s basically a hack-and-slash game with successful enemy encounters only requiring some dodging and heavy mashing of the attack button. You learn new abilities over the course of the game, which were really helpful in dealing with swarms of enemies. I think if the game had been any longer, I would have been repulsed by the simple combat, but I was happy with that tradeoff. The boss fights were easy for the most part, but were different enough to not feel repetitive.
Puzzles appear regularly throughout the game which involves observation of the environment around you. Although fairly straightforward, they were fun to do. Hare plushies and equippable hats are the sole collectibles, with the former rewarding you with items and the latter just for cosmetic purposes only.
The music is phenomenal. It pays homage to the whimsical, nonsensical world of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland very well and was my favourite part of the game. As mentioned earlier, the game graphically is a marvel. I loved every detail and every area had its own identity and unique flair to it.
Ravenlok is a game that will not please everyone with its shallow gameplay mechanics, but nevertheless offers a short and sweet adventure worthy of a playthrough. Cococucumber has piqued my interest and I am eager to see what they do next.
We reviewed Ravenlok using the Xbox Series X version of the game.
Ravenlok is now available on Game Pass, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, and PC.