Octogeddon PC Review with Stream
Cutesy but great art
Interesting take on shmups
Easy to play, hard to master
Higher price tag
Feels like a mobile game
Video games are an interesting media because while there are many very complex, well rendered, AAA made games with hundreds of millions of dollars behind them, they can still fail at the core concept of entertaining the player, and at the polar opposite of that is Octogeddon. This newest title from George Fan’s studio All Yes Good is a continuation of the style and approach that made his previous title Plants VS Zombies such a success.
You play as a gigantic angry mutant octopus who is mad at the world for eating its brethren. With only 2 buttons being used in the game, the simplistic controls make it very easy to pick up, and hard to use incorrectly. Its mostly a “shoot em up” type of game but with some interesting design elements to change things up. Instead of just having a single gun in front of you, you have multiple arms in a circle around your main body that turn with the motion of the character. You can change what “weapon” is on each arm, and as you progress you will attain more arms from which to deal your octo-justice. Because of the limitation of your arm movement, it’s an interesting challenge to maneuver yourself in such a fashion that you have the gun you need to kill the enemy you want, while not moving yourself into danger.
The art style of George Fan is well known, and it does not disappoint this time as well. The cartoony, simplistic, yet dark features he uses for both enemy and player are in delicate balance again and they really add to the appeal. He somehow makes both zombies and evil octopuses cuddly enough to be loved by young children when they probably closer to belonging in an HP Lovecraft novel. While you start off underwater as you escape the sea, it eventually leads in to the “meat” of the game where you are on land and must roll around destroying planes, tanks, and anything else the rest of humanity can throw at you. These city levels are very reminiscent of the arcade classic Rampage, as you need to destroy buildings to get by them, and to act like King Kong to swat planes out of the sky with your many different arms. There are bosses at the end of the levels, and they are interesting but maybe a bit simplistic and it seems that the basic levels are harder to beat then the bosses themselves due to the constant bullet-hell like onslaught.
George Fan knows how to make games that are simplistic yet addictive. They can be played by someone of any age, and have mass appeal and this is no different. It’s a lot of fun, and you always come back wanting more. That said, I’m still not sure as to why the price tag is so much more than his previous work. When you play Octogeddon you definitely get the feeling that you are playing a mobile game that happens to have a port for PC. This could easily have been made for the mobile market, which is fine, but when put to PC, you do expect more, whether that be graphics or gameplay, or amount of levels. It’s not a cash grab by any means, but I don’t think that the current price tag is earned by a game you might see on your phone for free.