Developer: Fred Wood
Publisher: Screenwave Media
Genre(s): Platformer, Action, Arcade, Other
Platform: Nintendo Switch
Age Rating: PEGI 7
Release Date: 07/12/2021
A code was provided for review purposes
LOVE 3 is a minimalist precision platformer. I played as a white character navigating his way through a variety of different environments. Could such a simple premise be deserving of such a powerful title? Find out in this Rapid Review.
Right into the Action
As I booted up LOVE 3 for the first time, I was immediately thrown into the tutorial. I did not receive any story details, I had no idea who I was playing as, nor why he was exploring the world. Yet, I found this was the perfect way to begin my adventure. LOVE 3 is not a narrative-driven platformer, and it does not need to be. The game began by showing me how to navigate the world and then set me on my adventure.
This worked so well in part by the simplicity of the character. All I needed to learn was how to jump, move, and place checkpoints. I was immediately comfortable with the character. I never had to learn very much about the movement itself. While in a vacuum this seems underwhelming, I found it worked very well for LOVE 3.
Bobbing and Weaving
The simplicity of the character enabled the developers to make difficult interactions more manageable, as I always knew what my options were. Thus, the focus of each level was on the various intricate traps. Since my character had limited options, I simply evaded the obstacles. Once I began playing the game, I realized how rhythmic the gameplay was. Traps follow a set pattern and learning the tempo of each level is vital to success. Moreover, this concept is related to each asset throughout the level. It established a distinct vibe for each new level.
It seemed like playing a game revolving around this concept requires a lot of patience. Since each obstacle and trap moves to the feel of the level, it is only logical to require patience. However, unlike Tomb of the Mask, the levels never made me impatient. The traps moved quickly, and I was constantly thinking about my next move. LOVE 3 also keeps a consistent tempo throughout the levels, so once I learned it in one section, I was able to rapidly progress.
Plenty to Complete
However, the developers of LOVE 3 continually implemented new ideas and obstacles. As soon as I got comfortable with one idea, they implemented another one with a different pattern. Throughout the game, the developers include a host of interesting and novel ideas. LOVE 3 also comes with LOVE (2014) and LOVE 2: kuso. I was pleasantly surprised to see the inclusion of these titles. In total, I got to play around seventy-five unique levels. The third game was clearly the most polished, but it was still a lot of fun to play each game.
In addition to the various levels, the developers of LOVE 3 included achievements, secrets, and alternative game modes to keep me immersed. There is plenty of content here, especially for the price. Even though there are fewer levels than Pinkman+, I spent more time exploring the world of LOVE 3 and see more reasons to return. There was a surprisingly vast number of things to complete in this title.
Additionally, I really enjoyed the checkpoint system. In many platformers, the developers include checkpoints to keep the player sane after a death. This game forced me to place my own checkpoints. I have experienced this phenomenon in other titles before, and I think LOVE 3 did the best job implementing it. There were clear sections in each level. This made me feel comfortable placing my checkpoints in between the sections. Many times, I feel as though I am cheating by placing checkpoints. Yet, I never felt that way playing this game. Moreover, my checkpoints were destructible, and I needed to make sure I placed my checkpoint in a safe place. If my checkpoint got destroyed, I would need to restart the level. I was forced to act responsibly and consider the impact of my placement.
It is also worth noting that the game crashed on me once while in the level select screen. This only happened once but was still a bit frustrating. I also got soft-locked one time and needed to restart the game. Largely, there were no issues with the game though.
Ain’t got Rhythm?
Another place the game stood out was the sound design. The music was excellent. Each level had its own song, and the soundtrack helped my gameplay. (Mainly in LOVE 3) It helped give each stage its own identity, something that can easily be missing from minimalist platformers. The visual designs were also pretty good. I liked the vibrant colours and the different locales, but they were not standout elements. The visual design was not one of my primary reasons to play the game. To be honest, I was not expecting the sound design to be special either, but I was pleasantly surprised.
LOVE 3 is an excellent package of three great precision platformer games. The game provides a lot of value for the price point too. The sound design makes the game a soothing experience despite the inherent difficulty. I would suggest picking up this title.
Rapid Reviews Rating
You can purchase LOVE 3 from the Nintendo eShop here
You can find and read our reviews on OpenCritic.