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Wvy and Keep: The Temple of the Lost Idol

Score: 90%
ESRB: Not Rated
Publisher: A Jolly Corpse
Developer: A Jolly Corpse
Media: Download/1
Players: 1 - 2
Genre: Puzzle

Graphics & Sound:

Iíve recently returned to PC gaming after a lengthy absence. One of the main reasons for my return is the opportunity to check out indie games like Wyv and Keep: The Temple of the Lost Idol, a devilishly tricky puzzle game.

Presentation is a high point for Wyv and Keep. The game goes for a late 80ís/ early 90ís pixel art presentation. I love how the developers are able to coax a whole lot of style and personality from simple clusters of pixels. Each area has its own feel and the characters manage to radiate a bit of personality. Although much of this is due to the (sometimes overly-verbose) dialogue, each has their own mannerisms as well.

Sound is absolutely stunning. I usually play PC games with the TV on or while listening to a podcast, so the sound is usually turned down. Wyv and Keep was a different case, prompting me to go so far as to pull out my old headphones to make sure I heard everything.


Gameplay:

Wyv and Keep: The Temple of the Lost Idol stars title characters Wyv and Keep, two explorers in search of legendary treasures. Their latest quest finds them in Amazonia, a temple-dotted jungle said to contain treasures beyond imagination.

Gameplay is incredibly straightforward. Playing as both Wyv and Keep, you navigate single-screen levels attempting to solve puzzles. The game is separated into several areas, each with a room you need to solve to pass to the next. Depending on how quickly you discover a solution, rooms usually donít take very long at all, though a few late-game puzzles require multiple restarts. Most puzzles involve pushing boxes, usually to either hold down buttons or create pathways. Some of the more complicated ones add a timing mechanism as well.

Every room offers two goals, lowering or upping the challenge level. Simply going for the exit is the easier of the two, though players who want a challenge can attempt to collect every treasure in the room. Doing so usually requires completely different approaches to each puzzle, most of which require extensive trial-and-error.

Collecting everything is a great goal, though it goes unrewarded. You are timed and scored on each puzzle, though the score doesnít mean much unless you want bragging rights or for personal satisfaction.

The game also ships with Cartographer, a level editor that lets you build you own levels.


Difficulty:

I knew by the third or fourth puzzle, Wyv and Keep: The Temple of the Lost Idol was a head-scratcher. How much, however, completely depends on how quickly you can figure out some of the puzzle solutions. Some are fairly obvious from the start, though a number require a lot of trial-and-error. Even some of the more obvious puzzles require a restart or two, primarily to figure out in which order boxes must be pushed.

Unless youíre a puzzle-solving phenom, expect multiple level restarts. Thankfully, restarts take no time at all, allowing you to quickly jump back into levels.


Game Mechanics:

Mechanically, Wyv and Keep: The Temple of the Lost Idol isnít incredibly complicated. Characters can move, jump, and push objects in order to solve puzzles. As you get deeper into the game items (keys, for example), enemies appear in levels, though these donít complicate gameplay much beyond adding another step to puzzles.

Wyv and Keep includes both single and co-op play, each offering a different experience. Single-player games are a bit slower due to the constant back-and-forth switching between characters. Co-op offers a faster game and is really the preferred way to play. Another player gives you someone to confer with on trickier puzzles and is almost required for some of the timing-based puzzles.

During single-player games, you only control one character at a time and can quickly switch between the two with a button press. The switch is instantaneous, though does require some extra thought since you have to remember what each character was doing. It doesnít sound hard, but trying to keep track of two character actions is a fun mental challenge. This is especially true when solutions require timing. Again, it is usually a good idea to have someone playing alongside during these situations. The downside is both need to play on the same keyboard, which can get a bit crowded.

Wyv and Keep is a fantastic puzzle game, and completely worth a play if youíre into challenging puzzle games in the vein of Lost Vikings. Itís a better time if you can find someone to go along on the adventure with you, but is still completely playable Ė if not a bit more challenging Ė as a solo adventure.


-Starscream, GameVortex Communications
AKA Ricky Tucker

Minimum System Requirements:



1Ghz Processor; 512MB RAM; 45MB free HDD space
 

Test System:



Windows Vista; 2 GHz Dual-Core processor; 2 Gig RAM; DVD drive; 120 GB HDD; GeForce Go7600

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