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Review: Avo!

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Get in the fucking Avo, Shinji

Avo! is a bizarre, interactive cinematic experience. It's kind of like watching television, but you control where the main character moves and what objects they interact with. Almost every aspect of its presentation is live action with the exception of one adorable fruit named Avo.

Avo is an avocado that's been brought to life by a young scientist with a propensity for science-based puns. For the record, her jokes are amazing, and I love them. However, your mileage may vary. The plot revolves around the machine that she created Avo with, which brings fruits to life, and the sneaky, corporate jerk who wants to steal her invention to claim it as his own. It's an incredibly basic premise that's reminiscent of a Saturday morning cartoon, but it's an absolute joy to watch events unfold over the course of the roughly one to two-hour playtime.

Avo review

Avo! (iOS)
Developer: Playdeo
Publisher: Playdeo
Released: February 28, 2019
MSRP: Free-to-play

Ryan North, the writer behind both The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl comics and the game Stick it to The Man, helped pen this script, and it really shows. All of his signature dad jokes and puns are here in full force. They almost always brought a smile to my face, and this brand of wholesome is probably only rivaled by Grace Bruxner's Frog Detective in recent years. It's child-safe and practically begging to be shared with all the tiny humans in your life.

The only real gameplay elements consist of dragging your finger across the screen in a line, which dictates where Avo will walk, and clicking on objects to interact with them. This alone won't be setting any hearts on fire, but moving this digital, sentient avocado throughout the real world setting is always adorable, and the relationship between Avo and the young scientist feels strangely believable and heartwarming.

Avo review

In fact, it's the exchanges between these two characters that truly brings out the joy in Avo! and makes it so recommendable. It's all so dang lighthearted and down to Earth that it's easy to forget that these dorks are dabbling with some pretty potent sciences, which likely have the potential to destroy life as we know it. If things ever get too intense, you can always back out to the main menu, click on the AR mode option, and force Avo to dance while you take pictures. It's such a dumb feature, and the initial thrill is painfully fleeting, but I like it. I love it. I want some more of it.

The first few episodes are free, so you can take it for a test spin if you're worried it might not quite gel with you. After that, you'll have to purchase the red, bean-like currency that's needed to progress with the story. There's currently an offer to purchase 4,000 of them for $5.99, which is exactly enough needed to unlock the remaining episodes. For me, that seems like an extremely fair price, but it's probably best to check it out for yourself before committing.

Avo review

Even outside of the realm of mobile gaming, Avo! is something of a curiosity. It's a very simple, linear, borderline passive experience, but it has enough unique ideas to make it feel quite special. The jokes largely landed for me, the narrative kept me glued to the screen throughout its duration, and I very much want this to become an ongoing series.

If you enjoy cute, wholesome, goofy stuff and are looking for something different on the mobile market, I'd highly recommend checking it out. The creators very clearly put a ton of love into this, and I found it almost impossible not to smile while hanging out with this googly-eyed avocado. There may not be much replay value, but the journey, despite its brevity, is one I'm very glad to have taken.

[This review is based on a retail build of the game purchased by the reviewer.]

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Avo! reviewed by Kevin Mersereau

8

GREAT

Impressive effort with a few noticeable problems holding it back. Won't astound everyone, but is worth your time and cash.
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Kevin Mersereau
Kevin MersereauContributor   gamer profile

I like video games, music, comics, and corgis a whole lot. Pretty much everything I do in my free time revolves around these four things... more + disclosures


 


 


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