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Divo Review: Run Hamster Run
Once there was a happy family of hamsters who were enjoying a lovely stroll down the road. Then, to their misfortune, a spaceship came by and kidnapped them. The robots that controlled the ship demanded that the father hamster climb into a cyber-wheel and run around in a world made of circular pillars and play a game for the amusement of his robot masters. In Divo, you are that hamster.
Divo is a fun game requiring a little strategy and a love of jumping. The cyber-wheel has two modes of transportation. The first is the normal rolling mode, where you can hop the cyber-wheel over obstacles and climb up the various levels on the tower. The second is the magnetic wheel, which allows our hamster to stick to metal surfaces and reach power ups and other objects that would normally be out of reach. You can also use the magnet if you misjudge the momentum on a ledge and go over the side, as long as it’s a metal one. Since this can happen easily, it’s good to get used to pressing the key for magnetic wheel every time you go over an edge.
Divo’s playing field isn’t a normal flat plane that you climb from left to right, it’s a circular construction that might require you to travel up on one side but to drop down lower on the other. The bright colors and the spinning motion can also make you sort of seasick if you turn the tower too fast. Divo’s hamster doesn’t so much jump over obstacles as make little hops. Momentum on the wheel can be tricky to control. It’s easy to overshoot ledges and miss your jumps over enemies, such as ramps. You’d think you could use those to speed up your momentum, and you can, sort of, though it’ll cost you a bit of your life force. While it takes a few knocks from enemies to take him out, the hamster’s only got one life to live, so you don’t want to waste it.
There are colored keys on certain levels that you need to find; each one opens a door of the same color. The levels can be fiendishly designed, sometimes with only a small ledge given for the hamster and his cyber-wheel to balance as they go between obstacles. There are elevators and portals to move you to different parts of the board
Divo is an addictive game, and that’s due to a number of factors. One is that it’s a bright, interesting world to roam around in. The objects that you need to capture often spin or move in some way that adds to the world’s feeling of constant motion. I just wuish I knew a little more about what they did besides give me points. Second is that each level presents a different kind of challenge, even if it’s just a change in enemies that requires a different hop to get away from them. For example, ramps are jumpable without any extra height, but other moving hazards aren’t quite so easy and require careful timing and a little strategy to get over them.
That being said, there’s only one way to defeat enemies in Divo, and that’s to hop over them. I really, really, wanted a destruction mode so that I could use the wheel to smash up the nasty little ramps and other assorted creeping things standing between me and my goal of total level domination.
Divo is a casual game, one you can enjoy for a little while and come back to without any real degeneration in the skills needed to play it. You do end up getting drawn into Divo’s world when you play. The soundtrack is an upbeat techno music that fits the game perfectly.