Revita is challenging enough to make you want to start another run straight away and try and beat your previous best effort.
Revita is a roguelite action-adventure platformer developed by BenStar and published by Dear Villagers. It released on Steam early access on March 3, 2021 and plans to be in EA for 7-9 months. You play as a mystery child working their way up a sinister clocktower, in an attempt to recover their lost memories. You need to harvest and sacrifice souls to grow your power in order to challenge procedural encounter rooms and bosses.
On first impressions, the game is very dark and twisted with a hint of challenge. This game really reminds me of a cross over between Celeste and Scourgebringer which I reviewed last year. The movement and platforming aspect being very Celeste heavy, where as the glass-cannon style combat is very similar to Scourgebringer.
The control options are very customisable. You are able to play either with controller or mouse & keyboard and even then, remap the base keybinds how you want. I initially tried with a controller but did not like the feeling of the aiming which felt a tad clunky and slow, so ended up swapping to m&k and instantly felt more comfortable. Very simple gameplay to pick up, yet very difficult to master. Movement and dodging is king in any roguelike/roguelite game, this being no different. One nice addition with Revita is the ability to dash through enemies and bullets. This is just another way to avoid taking damage. You can even get an item that damages enemies when you dash through them, encouraging risk/reward gameplay.
There are challenges and secrets to unlock as you play through the game, which lead to unlocking more available items. You use the main currency of souls that you acquire throughout the game to purchase new items. Revita is very much speedrunner friendly too! There is an option to show in-game time along with very customisable options to make the game work how you want it to. There is even a section on the Revita Discord dedicated to speedrunners. More details on the discord below.
Throughout a run you are given the option of spending hearts at either sacrifice rooms, chest rooms or the merchant. I’m not a massive fan of having to use hearts as a form of currency to purchase items. Sacrifice rooms give you the option of how many hearts to sacrifice to gain a random item. Chest rooms cost one heart to open a chest for a random item, and the merchant is essentially a shop where you can buy items, shield and passive stat upgrades. Essentially it becomes a trade off of health for damage. Health is very hard to regenerate, which encourages dodge and avoid gameplay. The only way to regenerate health is by attacking/killing enemies and filling up a charge. At full charge you can use it to heal by half a heart. In any given room, if you aren’t careful enough, you can lose multiple hearts. The most hearts I had been able to heal on a single floor was two.
There are currently 3 floors to traverse, each with their own boss at the end. Denial is the first boss found at the end of the Gazing Grove. Anger is the second boss at the end of the Fungated Funnels. Finally, Bargaining is the third boss at the end of the Arid Athenaeum. I am yet to beat Bargaining but have gotten close multiple times. These bosses each have a predictable attack pattern, which once memorised, become easier to deal with. In between each run of the Clocktower, you are able to explore and meet NPCs in Memoria Station. This essentially functions as a hub and features The Caretaker (gives access to secrets), The Imprisoned (used to unlock new items) and a few other NPCs that are just there for flavor. One nice thing about unlocking items with the Imprisoned is that you start your next run of the Clocktower with any item you unlock in that visit to Memoria Station. So if you had saved up a lot of souls and unlocked lots of items in one go, you could essentially start a run very powerful.
When playing this game make sure you have the music turned on. I know of many people that play with their own music but the score for this game really suits the pixelated/retro art style. Each floor has it’s own audio which is a nice addition. The main character is designed to be gender neutral. The developers openly refer to the them as Revita Kid so that everybody can easily relate themselves to the character. Unfortunately the Revita Wiki is very limited at this point in time due to the game being relatively new. On the flip side there is a Revita Discord channel which currently houses close to 200 members including the developers. So if you have any questions, feedback or bug reports, they can be submitted here.
From never hearing of the term “roguelite” to now having my first foray into the simpler version of a roguelike game, I can honestly say I enjoyed playing Revita. So far I have put just under seven hours into the game and almost multiple times done a complete run. It is challenging enough to make you want to start another run straight away and try and beat your previous best effort. But at the same time it’s very easy to get in to. As the game is currently in Early Access, there will be a lot more content to come. It’s great to see the developers interacting with their community in the Discord taking in suggestions and advice on a regular basis. I’m very much looking forward to the full release later this year.
This review utilised a key provided by Future Friends Games and Revita is available now on Steam early access.
Written by: @Menthonso