Ravenlok is an action role-playing game developed and published by Cococucumber, releasing in 2023. It was immediately added to the Xbox Game Pass subscription service upon release. The game follows a young girl named Ravenlok, who finds herself pulled away from reality and into a twisted, Alice in Wonderland-esque fantasy land cursed by an evil Caterpillar Queen.
Ravenlok is a fairy-tale reimagining about a young girl and her quest to fulfil a dangerous prophecy. The game follows Kira, whose family has moved into a new home in the countryside, after inheriting the estate from a missing relative. While investigating her new home, Kira falls through a mirror into a magical realm called Dunia, where she takes up the mantle of Ravenlok and embarks on a journey.
The game features a third-person perspective, in which player’s battle enemies using a sword and shield combo. Also, there’s arena-based boss fights, a levelling system where players can hunt for new weapons and items to level up their skills, and quests where players can interact with secondary characters and uncover their stories.
Ravenlok is a delightful throwback to games you’d randomly stumble across in previous generations and be glad that you did. It’s just a solid action-adventure-hack n slash that doesn’t overcomplicate things. I found it a breath of fresh air when compared to most modern games with massive open worlds, filled with endless markers.
While it’s simply a spin on the classic Alice in Wonderland tale it doesn’t make the experience feel any less imaginative. Anyway, I’d say it’s closer to Alice: Madness Returns than the original story. That’s, in terms of the world and its characters having a more twisted design to them.
The combat is super simple but in a good way. You’re given a few new abilities along the way that help add new elements to combat. The scale of the monstrous beasts you’ll encounter will make you think you’re playing the next Dark Souls game. There’s some strategy involved and you can struggle as much as you wish depending on the chosen difficulty. In general, I thought the enemy and character designs were wonderfully detailed. The voxel tech pixel art is really gorgeous in general throughout the experience.
The partially locked camera is one of the only negatives. I’m not sure why the option to spin the camera 360 isn’t an option but it makes looking around the environments frustrating at times. There are times when it can feel cumbersome during combat, like when an enemy gets behind you. Or when you’re checking every corner for collectibles. Still, the locations you traverse are very linear but to be honest sometimes that’s a good thing. Additionally, the soundtrack is really nice and has a number of catchy tunes that add to the dreamlike feel of proceedings.
The whole experience is so user friendly that almost anyone could give it a whirl and wouldn’t struggle.
Overall, Ravenlok ticks all the boxes.
The Final Score - 8/10