Ava the Firefly – XBLIG Review

A WDesm review for XBoxHornet

“Fly around as a butterfly and collect the colourful-yet-lost-fireflies.  Enchanting and enjoyable!”

Dreamwagon Games has exploded onto the XBLIG scene in 2010 with two XBLIG offerings, and the first one that we’re lucky enough to review is Ava The Firefly, a casual game about rescuing confused fireflies, and guiding them towards the light.  With no offense power or abilities to speak of, it’s a very different beast from the usual action games we see.

Ava, your butterfly/firefly (you can choose which creature you are on the options menu, although the choice is entirely aesthetic), is tasked with collecting lost fireflies, and bringing them back to the safe and inviting glow of the streetlamp (or the …moon?) .  Bats fly around, and while they merely scare off the fireflies, they can injure you, and a limited amount of ‘vita’ (life) is all you have to go on; If you run out of life, it’s game over.  Fortunately, you have a few tricks up your sleeve to help you out – a simple dash function allows you to quickly move in bursts for a short duration, a ‘rally’ function bundles all of your currently-following fireflies close together to keep tabs on them, and a ‘glow’ function, the closest thing you have to an offensive ability, that temporarily scares bats away.  Points are gained by safely escorting fireflies back to the lamp, and after a set number of points, you clear the ‘stage’ – your three bars (vita, glow, dash) are recharged, more fireflies and bats spawn, and the cycle begins anew.

Ava the Firefly isn’t an in-depth game, and you’ll quickly master the basics of gameplay – the emphasis here is on a quick ‘pick-up-and-play’ just for fun.  Ava the Firefly is a casual game – no flashing time bars scream at you, the music is serene and casual, and the fireflies you collect are all soft pastel colours.  Points are tabulated, based on a table (shown above in the screen) of how many fireflies you have in tow, and at the end of a game, there is both a local and online leaderboard for you to showcase your bragging rights.  I’m really happy to see the leaderboard – even in ‘casual’ games like this, if you get in a little bit of a comfy trance and zone out playing for a few hours, then you should be able to hold bragging rights over the rest of the digital community (as of writing this, my score is ~24,000 – try to beat me!)

Ava the Firefly probably isn’t going to win any awards for ingenuity, and could benefit from small boons like merits/badges (I’ll admit that I tried to collect single-coloured fireflies just to see if the game would reward me), more backdrops, or even a ‘no-die’ mode for the extremely casual, but at the cheapest pricepoint available, you have a colourful and relaxing game with the chance to brag on online leaderboards.  That’s something I can appreciate.

Game Score 7/10

Download the demo here.

Watch a gameplay vid here.

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