Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Review King Oddball

Exceeding similar in concept to Tennis in the Face, 10 Tons' King Oddball is a physics puzzler spread over many hundreds of levels. Invading our world, King Oddball has to defeat troops and tanks by lobbing rocks at them, with his Anteater-like tongue. It swings like a pendulum and you have to time the launch perfectly to fling the rock into as many defenders as possible.

There are platforms, bounce pads, slopes, crumbling scenery and other obstacles as the levels get tougher. If you manage to splat three or more enemies in one go, then you get an extra rock, and if you can bounce one back to King Oddball, he catches it, all key tricks in the route to success.

In the background, the music sounds like it should be running alongside a silent movie, and there's almost that early-cinematic feel to the art-style and animation. Backgrounds are suitably tinged with doom and portentous skies, a shame there aren't a few cut scenes to add to the sense of theatre!

In later levels, some enemies are shielded, requiring multiple hits and there's nothing quite so satisfying as a perfect vertical bounce that hits the same tank or helicopter several times. Explosives can also wreak havoc on a level, pinging your already-used rocks around to inflict more damage.

A set of mini-games are unlocked as your progress with diamonds, grenades and other weapons to use, but it all sticks firmly to a very familiar format. A shame that's there's no greater experimentation. For example in the Secret Mustache World, repeat and mirror levels become painfully obvious. It would be cool if you completed a level with one hit, then some of the levels cleared instantly to reward you for being great!

King Oddball lives up to its name as a neat idea, somewhat overstretched, like his tongue. Still, its a fun puzzler with the One Rock Challenge the stand out in a title begging for a little more variety and creativity.

Score: 6/10
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Price: £3.99 (PSN) Free on PS+ in May
Developer/publisher 10 Tons
File size 23MB
Progress: Completed

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