*Note that LOVE is an Early Access title on Steam. However, the developer claims the game is at the “content complete” level. As such, we are reviewing LOVE as a finished product.

In the current market, 2D platformers with retro aesthetics are a dime a dozen. Developer Fred Wood was brave to try and release LOVE and hope it stood out amongst the crowd. Yet, his gamble didn’t pay off, very little differentiates LOVE from its contemporaries. Even if you are itching for a title in this vein, you would be better off reinstalling Super Meat Boy or VVVVV.

The game features no story, foregoing even a text screen to explain the proceedings. Normally, this would be fine in a title focusing exclusively on gameplay like LOVE, though the world here feels cohesive and detailed. It’s a lost opportunity to expound upon environments that seem like they feature a storied background. Why am I running through a giant dragon’s corpse, or nimbly dodging hazards in a factory producing something mysterious? I don’t know, though I genuinely wish I did.

Similarly, the fantastic soundtrack seems purposefully crafted, but merely seeps into the background. Clearly a lot of work went into creating diverse and atmospheric tracks, though why? Everything in the game moves at a consistently fast tempo, so why include a mixture of energetic tunes and stuff that would put you to sleep? It is stylistically jarring, not meshing well with the intense gameplay in most regards.

On the subject of gameplay, LOVE is solidly designed. Like any minimalistic platformer, you can only run and jump. Although LOVE’s particular gimmick is that the player can create a spawn point at any time while standing on a flat surface. This is helpful tool, though it can also add an extra sting of embarrassment if you are so caught up in making progress that you forget to lay one down. However, on the whole, it does feel a bit too much like cheating. No one level is long or hard enough to feel like the tool is justified, unless your platforming skills aren’t up to snuff. If you are veteran of 8-bit Mega Man or Mario, nothing here is surprising or insurmountable given enough trial and error.

Even at a single digit price, LOVE isn’t worth the investment. It isn’t exceedingly special, yet could have been if the developer spent more time making its elements work in conjunction. At lower difficulties, players can finish the game in roughly 20 minutes. There are speedrun and one-life modes, but LOVE isn’t appealing enough that users would feel obligated to subject themselves to that kind of masochism.

 

Review: LOVE
Even at a single digit price, LOVE isn't worth the investment. It isn't exceedingly special, yet could have been if the developer spent more time making its elements work in conjunction. At lower difficulties, players can finish the game in roughly 20 minutes. There are speedrun and one-life modes, but LOVE isn't appealing enough that users would feel obligated to subject themselves to that kind of masochism.
Pros:
  • Tight Platforming
  • Solid Level Design
  • Fantastic Soundtrack
Cons:
  • Hints of a story, but none to be found
  • Far too short
6Overall Score
Reader Rating: (2 Votes)
10.0