“The floor is lava” is an odd phrase. It stems from an old children’s game, Hot Lava Monster, in which players stay off the ground. That schoolyard game has seen a recent resurgence in pop culture. Kids, teens, and even adults are partaking in the imagination-fueled fun. All you have to do is avoid touching the floor. Why? Because it’s made of lava!
During the past few months, lava-centric games have started to appear on the Internet. One of the newest fiery entries is Laaaava.io. Unlike other .io games, this one doesn’t pit dozens of players against each other. In Laaaava.io, the competition is more personal: you and four others will compete to stay alive.
Battling Above Waves
The action in Laaaava.io/Laaaava io/Laaaavaio game is fast and hectic. Some rounds last no longer than a few seconds—literally. The longest matchups might take upwards of 20 seconds. This is due to several factors. Firstly, it’s hard to survive the environment. The safe zone is small, even without any other players. Plus, the lava rises during each round. If your character hits the ceiling or a wall, it will bounce away rapidly. If it bounces into the lava, it’s game over.
Secondly, everyone tries to knock each other into the magma. When competing against aggressive players, avoiding or countering their attacks can be very difficult. Thirdly, your moves are limited to one per second. Thus, you can’t just go anywhere at any time. If you accidentally move in the wrong direction, you can’t move again for one whole second. This might seem like a short amount of time, but in the context of Laaaava.io, it’s often the difference between winning and losing.
Laaaava.io isn’t a flashy game. Its graphics are 2D, flat, and basic. The lava is nothing more than a flowing, orange blob. Each character is represented by a randomly colored circle. These hues are usually dark shades of green, blue, or purple. No two players will be the exact same color, so it’s easy to see who’s who, even without names.
There’s no need for cutting-edge visuals in such a fast-paced casual game. But, there is one bit of flair that gives Laaaava.io a hint of modern sensibilities. Each character leaves a confetti-like, fading trail. Without those trails, Laaaava.io could easily fit in with Web games from the early 2000s.
A lot can happen in a few seconds. Despite the short length of each round, there are plenty of strategies to employ in Laaaava.io. The safest bet is to avoid conflicts as much as possible. This is akin to certain Mario Party mini-games, in which staying out of trouble keeps you alive. Eventually, you might have to face an opponent. Until then, don’t buy into other players’ battles.
Another strategy is to maximize each move. It can be easy to forget about the one-second timer between bounces. If you always account for the delay, you will never get stuck. The final recommended strategy: spend a few rounds going all-out. Each game is so short, it’s fun to just be wild. After all, the floor is lava!