Tuesday, May 21

Review: Octogeddon [Nintendo Switch eShop]


When you’re checking out new indie games you can never be sure what you’ll run into next. Certainly a game with an easily-angered octopus who is determined to destroy anyone or anything they’re insulted by while grafting all manner of creatures onto their tentacles isn’t something you run into every day. That’s precisely the core of Octogeddon though, and while you might assume this is a mobile port of some kind it actually isn’t, and even though its controls and core play may be simple the game has a crafty element of progression and sustained challenge that make it interesting.


Pretty much all you need to know is that you’re an angry cephalopod who starts out with a mere two plain tentacles but who progressively is able to add more and customize them as well. You’ll be attacked from all sides by all manner of weapons and craft ranging from conventional to sometimes silly, and to defend yourself the controls simply consist of you being able to rotate left and right with either the joystick or shoulder buttons. Staying alive is merely a matter of lining up with something attacking you and then letting your tentacle or whatever may be on the end of it deal with them.


Though for the first run or two there doesn’t tend to be too much to get excited about as you go and collect shells specifically you’ll gain the ability to unlock some much more potent animal attachments for your appendages. Whether these have powerful melee attacks, shoot poison, or even grab and fling enemies around you’ll need to carefully determine not only which to use but where to place them. Rather than thinking a bit randomly putting some skills near each other can be a very wise move and you’ll only know things like this for sure through experimentation. Adding to the challenge is the fact that once you’ve unlocked a few permanent choices you’ll still be subject to some randomness in which options you’ll have to add between rounds.


Aside from it feeling like it may take its sweet time to hit its stride Octogeddon works in a satisfying manner both in terms of being an action and a strategy game. Success isn’t only about execution or planning, you’ll really need a solid combination of both (and perhaps a little luck) to weather some of the scenarios and boss fights you’ll be put up against. Somehow feeling both complex and simple at the same time this budget title entertains with its sense of humor, some truly surprising weapons, and a smooth ramp up in difficulty that will challenge you without necessarily being overwhelming. Recommended for budget game lovers for sure.

Score: 8.5

Pros:
  • Simple but smart, challenging but fair
  • Deeper unlocks between runs that allow you to spend shells can provide some great options in weaponry
  • A generally light-hearted tone and sense of humor
  • The launch price of $8.88 is a great touch, and a fair deal

Cons:
  • Can feel a bit mobile-y
  • The overall challenge is likely a bit mild for experienced gamers