Ava’s Quest is a slick looking new game that recently jumped out on the scene, and the earthy colors can definitely lure you in. When you’ve dealt with a couple hours worth of gameplay you begin questioning whether or not Ava’s Quest was a decent buy. It’s not due to the lack of things to do as the heroine, but a lot of the levels blend in together which makes it rather dull after a certain amount of time.
Before you embark on the first level of Ava’s Quest, the player is treated to a cool comic book-style story on how her friends were captured by an evil being. Ava narrowly escaped the trap that took her dear friends, and now it’s up to her to trudge through various worlds and encounter strange creatures in order to save her friends. The first couple levels in the game are easy to maneuver as you get a firmer grasp of the controls and layouts that you will encounter in each world. Be sure to walk a little slower when you’re going through the first 2 levels, because there’s a number of tutorial signs that will inform you on what you need to do. As you progress through the levels, you’ll see another one or two of them pop up, giving you the information you need in order to help the bouncy Ava survive.
After a short while of gameplay it’s easy to get frustrated with the controller functions, especially when you’re playing this on an iPhone. While I do commend Ava’s Quest for giving the player familiar controls that one would have used on a controller, it can be difficult to really keep your character on the right track. The idea of tapping on a glass phone screen makes you more susceptible to possibly screwing up on a jump or movement. The last thing you want is for Ava to fall into a sudden pit, causing her to lose a life. The player automatically has to be a little more mindful as to where his or her fingers are on the screen, which could make you go a little slower.
If you go ahead and download the free version of Ava’s Quest, you’ll quickly find yourself being barraged by a number of questions from the game, asking whether or not you want to pitch in a couple bucks and get the full version. Now, you may be asking, why should you get the full version instead of the free one? You’ll be done with the free version within the span of 24 to 48 hours, if you play the game consistently in that time span. Then what will you do with your time? You only completed a certain amount of the game, but there’s still more to be played. Not everybody is keen on spending a couple bucks on getting another version of a game they already have, but there are a lot more things to do with the full version, especially worlds to explore, that you couldn’t with the free one. At the same time the full version is more challenging, putting Ava up against various bosses in order to get that much closer to saving her friends. Unfortunately a lot of the gameplay can get rather repetitive and can lose its attraction to the player after a certain point.
The graphics are colorful, bouncy, and two-dimensional. Ava’s Quest’s layout is very reminiscent of other games like Sonic the Hedgehog and Super Mario Bros. Hell, this game more or less took the same layout of those iconic games and implemented it in its own unique way. The skeletal structure of those games is apparent in Ava’s Quest but not enough to where it’s taking away from the thrill of the whole game. It’s just a shame that the music isn’t anything to write home about. The tune is one, maybe two minutes long, and again harkens back to the more memorable music in other 8 to 16-bit games a lot of us played when we were children. The bad thing is that each world’s main tunes for Ava’s Quest quickly turn from entertaining to annoying in a matter of minutes. You’re compelled to switch your phone to mute after a short while just so you can enjoy the time where you don’t have to listen to that irritating melody.
Now you may be asking yourself, then what about the difficulty level? It’s moderate, and naturally increases when you progress through the levels. If you’re a player who loves to get every little achievement and prize in each level, you may find yourself playing a lot more of Ava’s Quest than you originally anticipated. There are a number of unique items that your heroine needs to get her hand on in order to advance to the next level. While it’s not required to grab every single item in order to advance, those who love getting every little achievement possible will have fun digging through each level, looking for the little puzzle pieces or diamonds floating in various locations. If you’re a normal player like myself, one who is just more concerned about surviving to the next level, will be happy to know that getting all the items isn’t a requirement.
Ava’s Quest has a fair number of high and low points that could bring in some people to play the game, while others would stay away from it. After a fair amount of gameplay I found myself gradually liking the game more than expected, but the controller flaws will never go away. Ava’s Quest is a little rough around the edges, but it’s still lots of fun to play.
This review was completed using a purchased copy of Ava's Quest HD for iOS.