Twin-stick roguelite Revita is a lesson in balance
On the surface, Revita looks and plays like most other roguelite platformers available today. Start in a safe area, venture into a dangerous world filled with enemies, and fight your way either to the end or your end, whichever comes first. After that, you go again, only this time nothing is as it was in the first run, and it’s like playing a brand-new game for the first time. Lumping Revita in with the rest of the genre, however, would be doing it a great disservice, as there are a few defining features that give this game a unique edge.
Revita puts players in the role of an unnamed young boy who finds himself on the ground floor of a mysterious tower. With no memories of who he is or how he got there, the boy must fight his way through hordes of demons and monsters in an ever-changing series of rooms to climb the tower, restore his mind, and escape.
The game’s first and most obvious twist is the twin-stick format, which emphasizes simultaneous movement and combat. Twin-sticks aren’t usually associated with platformers, but here the scheme proves it has merit in this format. Enemies will always seem to know where you’re going when launching an attack, so keeping up movement during battle is essential to victory. You’ll need a few runs to get the timing down, but once you’ve got it, this battle system makes you feel unstoppable.
Second, and perhaps more importantly, is a novel offense vs. defense mechanic through which you can spend health to receive an attack boost. Now, when we say “spend health,” we don’t mean you can lose health to get more powerful and then find health power-ups later on; if you spend that health at the outset, you lose it for the entire run. Want to give up two of your hearts and become a powerhouse? Go for it. But if you get hit even once, back to the beginning you go.
This dynamic creates an interesting internal struggle at the start of every run: Are you more worried about taking hits, or do you want to obliterate enemies before they get the chance to attack? Do you trust your dodging capabilities enough to avoid what’s thrown your way, or should you keep a heart or two just in case? This is the beauty of Revita, and you can use each run to experiment with different ways to play until you find the one that’s right for you.
Revita is a game that thrives on balance. The balance between movement and attacks combined with the balance between health and power create a unique and memorable experience. The “trade health for power” mechanic puts an interesting spin on every new run, while the roguelite elements only add to the game’s unpredictability. As with other roguelites, Revita will offer a new experience every time you play, but thanks to a few interesting twists, the runs here offer more strategy—and more memorable moments—than other games in the genre