What is it?
Mauv is an enjoyable time-waster, a jumper/shooter that alternates between a top-down third-person perspective and side-scroller in which you play the most underappreciated member of an insectoid army who gets the dirty job of defeating the enemy one foe at a time while collecting energy and health. It’s as comfortable as an old shoe, and mindlessly satisfying.
How does it work?
Mauv blends two classic gaming forms. Part of the time you’re traversing the land in a top-down third-person perspective, running and (once you acquire a weapon) fighting monsters while exploring areas, collecting trophies, and upgrading equipment. Think of this as the Zelda portion of the game.
This is interspersed with side-scrolling areas where you jump and fight in a 2D perspective. It’s more like Super Mario Bros., except you’re free to go back to any part of the screen to look for power ups and enemies you may have missed.
The big difference between the two sections is that in the top-down screens, Mauv can quickly move out of the way by doing a tuck and roll action; in the side-scrolling screens, he can jump to avoid enemies and traps. When side-scrolling, double-tapping and holding the jump button will cause Mauv to glide using his insect wings, letting him leap further. If Mauv jumps next to a cliff edge, he’ll automatically grab it (though the spacing of this can be tricky), and another tap will pull him up.
Once Mauv acquires a gun, he can shoot it, spending the energy pods that he acquires along the way (which are also used for money in the shops, so be careful how often you shoot). The energy pods also indicates which direction your character should be travelling, as does a compass that also functions as the game’s menu button.
Is it contagious?
Even though it’s a new game, Mauv has a familiar retro feel, with an underpowered character who slowly builds his abilities taking on multiple enemies and fighting level bosses. If you loved the games of the Nintendo Entertainment System, this one will be right up your alley.