The word pivot is defined as a central point on which a related part rotates, revolves, or swings. The game Pivvot is described as “a thrilling game of strategic avoidance that will consistently test and challenge your ability to make quick, impulsive decisions”. Both share the idea of one object swinging around another, or in other words pivoting, and it’s amazing that an entire game can be built around this concept. Pivvot is a fast paced arcade game that offers a minimalistic style that focuses on simply testing your reflexes as you try to react to a wide variety of obstacles. In the game, a central dot rides along a spiraling line, and there’s another circle that can spin 360 degrees around that dot. You control the movement of the outer circle, and you simply spin it back and forth to make sure it doesn’t collide with anything.
From the very first sequence of the game, you can tell that the game was made for touch as you simply tap on the left or right side of the screen to rotate right or left/clockwise or counterclockwise. The motion takes a bit to get used to, but after a few failed attempts it becomes second nature as you immerse yourself in the flow of the game. The central line twists and turns at random, and various obstacles are attached to that line as it proceeds forward. There are different shapes that become more and more complex with differing areas to collide into depending on the angle that you’re spinning. The assortment of obstacles is meticulously crafted to provide plenty of challenge, a dash of frustration, and a large dose of unique enjoyment.
There are five different game modes in Pivvot with each one offering progressively more difficult challenges. The main game is voyage mode which offers levels comprised of specific obstacles for a stretch with a new one introduced at a regular pace. There are actual checkpoints in this mode, and you can make it all the way to the end to unlock an expert version of voyage mode. There’s also an endless option where the obstacles come at you randomly, and the speed continually increases. No matter which mode you choose, you’re in for quite a ride as you try to get a handle on maneuvering through some complex sequences that come at you without time to think, and instead just time to react. The progressive challenge keeps calling to you, so that the second you lose you’re ready to restart, and you keep wanting to head on to the next sequence of great difficulty. The checkpoint system and finish line really does a great job of enticing you to keep playing, and the gameplay is hard enough to put down as is.
The minimalism is applied to the entire app design, so that the usual clutter is stripped away allowing you to just focus on pivoting back and forth. You end up just tapping either side of the screen to spin around, and the only problem here is that the controls are very rigid compared to the overall game. Your moves are very truncated, so your circle comes to abrupt stops, which is at odds with the smooth flow of the rest of the game. The design work does show that flow and minimalism with contrasting color schemes, and just the track, your controllable circle, and the obstacles present on screen. The soundtrack is absolutely remarkable, and that’s definitely expected as the game comes from the maker of Polymer, who provides the soundtracks for Tilt To Live, Super Stickman Golf, Nimble Quest, and more great indie iOS games.
Pivvot ($2.99, Universal) is such a well crafted experience that is thoroughly engaging which offers a brilliant balance of fun and frustration making it a should buy.