One of the most essential parts of making a video game is naming it. QV falls short on this with its two-letter name, which can make it horrendous when the time comes to search it up. Those who do cross paths with the title will find a sight to be seen and this review goes into more detail about that.
In a world where dimensions are connected, the Dimensional Core at the center kept the balance of the universe at bay. This core suddenly stopped working one day, throwing the balance off its course with the universe soon to follow. The protagonist, Quby, is the last descendant of the Chosen Ones and is the only being capable of accessing the gate to the Dimensional Core. She must now traverse the abandoned ruins of her ancestors to collect parts to restore the core.
The game’s story is a simple one that gives the gameplay purpose. It has its funny moments and is fully capable of maintaining interest for the type of game QV is. There is one missing event that wasn’t explained or shown at the end, but everything else has been properly explained. Even with the missing cutscene, it doesn’t detract from the primary story events of the game.
The premises of the game is simple; however, it slightly heightens in difficulty with the more levels conquered. As the last descendant of the Chosen Ones, you’ll find yourself exploring the forgotten ruins of your ancestors to restore the Dimensional Core. To do this, you must clear levels by opening portals, pushing blocks onto switches, creating doors, and getting past obstacles.
The game will guide you in a short DIY manner during a low number of levels. It properly touches up on most of the basics present in the game so that you’re able to jump straight into the gameplay. There are subjects that haven’t fully been given the rundown, but ignoring their purpose does not add or detract from the gameplay.
Puzzles and Gameplay Flow
QV is divided into several regions each with its own set of levels for Quby to explore. Each region introduces new mechanics to add to the already available puzzle elements. This builds on to the gameplay so that it never feels old. The levels have been cleverly thought out and they aren’t too difficult or easy; it’s perfectly balanced for casual players. While the game isn’t too difficult, you may have to sit down at times and carefully think up a solution to move forward.
The types of puzzles in QV are simplistic at most. You’ll occasionally find yourself pushing blocks onto switches to advance; it’s the foundation of what QV has been made up of, but it’s not the primary mechanic of the game. There’s always something new to expand the current mechanics offered and you must make efficient use of it to progress further. Down to coordinated teamwork will be required to bypass all of the obstacles in your way. It can even get tricky in the later region levels or highest difficulty mode, but some can be obvious.
Moving through the courses feels good. It can take some time to get used to some of the actions such as jumping and stepping on/off a moving platform. Jumping might be a rare sight in the game because it isn’t a necessary action, while you’re limited to a specific block type before you’re able to transfer to a moving platform. Even so, it wouldn’t be long until you’ve grown accustomed to these uncommon traits.
Not every corner is a safe spot for Quby. You can get trapped by a wrong turn; however, there are remedies for situations such as these. A button combo, which is taught to you at the start of the game, makes reloading to a previous save point a seamless process. Sometimes you may even have to restart from the beginning of a level after messing up and activating a save point, but it never becomes tedious with how short levels are.
One setback in QV is the 1-3 second delay before getting hit by an enemy. These little creatures will try to obstruct your goal and if they spot you, they will try their best to knock you out. Although not a major issue, the lag experienced before getting hit is noticeable and may hinder your impression of the game. A smoother experience here would have been much appreciated.
QV has four difficulty modes for each level—two of which are available at the beginning of each level. Clearing one of either of these difficulty levels will unlock the Easy mode, which can confuse most as to why this mode isn’t available straight from the start. Higher difficulty modes won’t add tougher obstacles to a stage; however, it will make some of the current elements even more challenging.
You’re able to clear a stage a total of three times on each of the highest difficulty modes. Completionists will have to wait until they’ve finished the game to revisit the last difficulty level, as it’s unlocked only after clearing all stages. This unlockable difficulty mode is known as the QV Mode. Most actions will count in this difficulty mode, otherwise, you’ll have to reset to a previous save point to get it right the next time.
You’re given the option to replay levels as much as you desire regardless of clearing them. The multiple difficulty modes expand the number of times completionists will want to try them out. These difficulty modes may not add more to the levels, but the game’s QV Mode heightens its difficulty in which some actions matter more than others.
Unfortunately, replaying some of the levels in QV might be discouraging. Some of the levels aim to guide you or include dialogue from characters in the game. There’s no skip button and QV Mode doesn’t exclude these events. Although it doesn’t prevent you from successfully solving the puzzles, it can obstruct the complete experience you should have from start to finish.
In addition to the game’s four difficulty modes and the ability to collect fairies, the game has a built-in Achievements system to boot. There are many achievements to obtain and completionists will find themselves replaying levels even after finishing all of the levels available. Obtaining an achievement is shown during playtime, which is a nice touch to the experience the game offers.
You won’t always go into the levels QV throws at you in the same style. You’re given the option of changing up your appearance as you clear levels and unlock QV Mode. The outfit you wear won’t change, but you’ll gain access to a range of different colors along the way, as well as different hairstyles—either it be the actual hairstyles or hair accessories.
The different looks given to you aren’t something to glimpse over, either. It’s an impressive amount of additional content offered to style Quby to get her to look different enough to make playing levels more entertaining. Each new level cleared unlocks a new hairstyle or dress color, so there’s always a new option to change your appearance before entering the latest level.
Graphics and Soundtrack
The game looks gorgeous. Each region has its own theme and it’s nothing short of impressive. The chibi character models maintain this quality and motion is almost always fluid throughout the game. Although not game-breaking, there is some minor gameplay lag. Besides the hit delay that’s already been mentioned, there’s a rare input lag when multiple operations are in the process queue. An example of this is when your character is preventing an object from closing when an enemy is nearby and you directly execute a motion command upon reloading the level.
The soundtrack keeps up with the quality of the game’s graphics. All of the tunes you’ll listen to are calming and set the mind at ease while you solve the short puzzles each level throws at you. It goes without saying that the composer did a fantastic job composing the music of this game. It perfectly blends in with the cute art style and simplistic puzzle stages.
QV is a hidden gem and its name certainly doesn’t do it justice considering the lengths you’ll have to go through just to return search results for it. But behind its unsearchable name lies a charming adventure puzzler game with cleverly-designed stages and astonishing music.
QV gets an 8/10.