First Look: Wyv and Keep

Last month a jolly corpse rolled out their first demo for the PC version of Wyv and Keep: The Temple of the Lost Idol. Everything’s succinctly explained in the game’s title: two shady treasure hunters are out to plumb the depths of a temple for a priceless artifact, and they’re willing to brave any danger in their pursuit. Like the stars of Across Age, Wyv and Keep will have to rely on plenty of teamwork to get from Point A to Point B; and as in Cavorite, the player will experience their quest as a series of logic puzzles with plenty of platforming action stirred in. Sound intriguing yet? We think so too, so we snatched that demo right up once we learned iOS is one of many platforms a jolly corpse intends to tackle with Wyv and Keep!

The Wyv and Keep demo features eight levels that are mockups rather than final designs, but it still makes for an impressive glimpse of what we can expect down the road. For their own part, Wyv and Keep are no superheroes. Left to his or her own devices, each can sort of jump, slide crates over smooth surfaces, and just barely hold up heavy objects. Only when they act together do they become a formidable force, one helping the other to scale walls or plug holes in uneven ground as the player switches off between them. With very clever thinking on the player’s part, why, they’ll be damming water-filled pits and outsmarting trap doors that would otherwise swallow up the crates Wyv and Keep rely on so heavily. The name of the game is very simple – just reach each level’s exit, perhaps triggering a switch to unlock it first – but in most cases it’s far easier said than done.

There’s plenty of swift-footed platforming to go along with Wyv and Keep‘s cerebral exercises. The player can expect to make the characters hotfoot it over platforming staples like collapsing blocks and timed spikes, or, more interestingly, carry around time bombs and use them as stepping stones when crates are unavailable. Spikes and arrows that periodically spring from the temple walls immediately claim Wyv’s or Keep’s life, and may very well destroy crates needed for problem solving; in either case a level re-start is the player’s only viable option.

Wyv and Keep may sound pretty vanilla on paper, but a jolly corpse’s level design ties everything together just right — even from the demo build we can tell the developer is a force to be reckoned with in this area. The seventh sample level, especially, shows a jolly corpse’s ability to make the player think outside the box. Comparisons to Cavorite are sure to abound, but Wyv and Keep looks like it’s shaping up to be even harder: while Dr. Cavor bought some leeway with his anti-gravity dust, Wyv and Keep could be up the proverbial creek if they so much as let a crate slip in the wrong direction.

With the PC version evidently slated for release well before Wyv and Keep jump onto other platforms, it’s difficult to envision exactly how this concept will play out on iOS. However, a few things are clear even at this early stage. First, Wyv and Keep‘s mashup of logic puzzles and platforming should be a perfect fit for the App Store, benefiting from its noteworthy real-time character switching. Secondly, its pixelated aesthetic should find an excited audience on a platform that’s just as retro-friendly as it is cutting edge. Finally, we can venture a guess as to how the player’s performance rating at the end of each level will factor into the iOS experience, so rich with Accomplishments and leaderboards.

If you think iFanzine’s keeping a keen eye on how this one develops, you’re darn tootin’! We’ll check back once we’ve gleaned more info about the game’s planned iOS rendition; for now, check out the preview video above and the game’s official website!