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Avani Review

Official Score

Overall - 70%

70%

Avani takes liberal cues from other isometric hack-and-slashers, but still manages to nail the landing. Those who don’t mind a title that primarily focuses on battles should check out this short jaunt.

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An ancient sword is at your disposal with the release of DigiPen Europe-Bilbao’s action-adventure title Avani. Should players brave worlds of forests, fire, and ice on their quest to cleanse the evil of its world, or is it just too late?

Avani Review

Avani kicks off with a fox finding a mysterious sword in the woods. Taking a cue from The Sword and the Stone (or The Legend of Zelda series, if you’re so inclined), the sword is released – along with an evil that resided in it. Not one to take things sitting down, this fox creature sets to right this wrong, floating sword in tow.

The tricky part is the evil from the sword has made its home in a number of diverse areas. Players kick Avani off in the forest, but they’ll soon find themselves in an Eastern-inspired area filled to the brim with spicy lava pools, dark caverns illuminated by crystals, and frozen zones with plenty of chilly escapades. There’s plenty of variety in play, with NPCs and the light puzzles to match.

The art style in Avani is certainly charming as well, with lots of color that pops off the screen and the occasional cutscene. There is a bit of a lack of polish when it comes to area transitions and other elements, but the spirit is most certainly there.

Gameplay in Avani is fairly straightforward, with the sword doing a lot of the heavy lifting. A slash and a ranged attack that shoots projectiles are both at your disposal, along with a 360 degree spin attack that can help run interference. For fans of Supergiants’ titles (Bastion, Transistor, Hades), the system is similar here, right down to the isometric perspective. There’s even a dash that can help players traverse areas in a flash and cover distances – or can get players out of a sticky situation.

Just be warned that hit boxes could use some work; there were times where we clearly hit an enemy but it didn’t register, making battles drag on. This is doubly so in certain areas when it comes to crowd control or clearing an area of foes to progress to the next one. Nevertheless, the system still gets the job and is fairly intuitive.

It’s just a shame that there’s not too much to this package. Players can get themselves potions to heal up in a pinch, but there’s little to gather or do outside of fighting foes. Despite this, Avani doesn’t overstay its welcome – the title can be completed in a little more than a half an hour.

Avani takes liberal cues from other isometric hack-and-slashers, but still manages to nail the landing. Those who don’t mind a title that primarily focuses on battles should check out this short jaunt.

This review of Avani was done on the PC. The game was freely downloaded.
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Casey Scheld

Drawn to the underground side of gaming, Casey helps the lesser known heroes of video games. If you’ve never heard of it, he’s mastered it.
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