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Ava's Quest HD

For: iPhone   Also on: iPad

A fruitful quest

Product: Ava's Quest HD | Developer: Nemo Games | Publisher: Nemo Games | Format: iPhone | Genre: Action, Platform | Players: 1 | Version: US | App version: 1.0
Ava's Quest HD iPhone, thumbnail 1
The words 'mobile-based platforming game' are enough to make any hardcore action game fan blanch. For good reason, too.

Despite all the miracles our phones and tablets can perform these days, they're still incapable of truly emulating the tactile feel of a button-based controller.

As a consequence, the razor-sharp response times we depend on in order to succeed at the likes of Super Mario Bros aren't present in most mobile platformers. 

And yet, the mobile platforming scene isn't entirely about cursing and hair-ripping. Ava's Quest HD by Nemo Games demonstrates that virtual D-pads and buttons can be responsive enough to offer you a good time across several worlds - even if the final product is still well outside Mario's pantheon of near-perfect platformers.

IAPs Explained
You're allowed to try the first four levels of Ava's Quest for free. After that, you must purchase the full game for £1.49 / $1.99 if you wish to keep playing.

You can also buy Ava's gun for £1.49 / $1.99, and unlock all the game's secret levels for £1.99 / $2.99. Both the gun and the secret levels can be unlocked in-game when you collect enough hidden puzzle pieces.
Vengeful toys

Do you remember that tear-jerking scene in Toy Story 2 where Jessie the cowgirl doll is abandoned by her owner (who, according to popular fan theory, may be Andy's mom?)

The story in Ava's Quest follows a similar motif. However, instead of feeling sad about being abandoned, Ava's discarded toys get angry, kidnap Ava's friends, and turn them into hideous cloth-covered monsters.

Yikes. It's enough to make you want to check whether your Atari VCS has been glaring at you while you've been playing your PlayStation 4.

Ava, not one to let her toys boss her around, sets out on a quest to rescue her friends. She runs and jumps through several levels, from breezy plains to smouldering magma chambers. Each world is capped by a fight with a monster that houses the soul of one of her friends.

Secret garden

There's more to Ava's Quest than just kicking around enemies, however. Many of the levels you work through are surprisingly deep, and carry a number of secrets.

There are collectable items galore, for instance, including diamonds and puzzle pieces. Puzzle pieces are particularly valuable, as they open up secret levels and weapons (though you can buy both through the magic of in-app purchasing).

There are also certain challenges you can meet if you like, such as completing a level within a certain amount of time, or getting through it all without receiving a single hit.

Ava adore

Playing Ava's Quest is a curiously calming experience, even though it's engineered for a generation weaned on NES platformers (warning: When Ava is hit by an enemy, she flies backwards in the style of Simon Belmont from old school Castlevania games. Pits are especially deadly as a result).

The controls are responsive, which is a big plus. That said, it would be lovely if the game allowed you to adjust the controller button size, or simply opted for free-floating controls.

If you're the type of person who splashes holy water on yourself and makes the sign of the cross at the sight of mobile platformers, you still might want to give Ava's Quest a try. It's not perfect, but it's a damn sight better than most.
Ava's Quest HD
Reviewer photo
Nadia Oxford | 3 March 2014
Ava's Quest HD is an enjoyable platforming game that boasts decent controls and lots of stuff to collect.
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