GAME NAME: SQUIDS Odyssey
DEVELOPER(S): The Game Bakers
PUBLISHER(S): The Game Bakers
PLATFORM(S): Nintendo Wii U
GENRE(S): Tactical RPG
RELEASE DATE(S): May 22nd, 2014
Squids Odyssey is a combo pack from The Game Bakers that encompasses both of their previous SQUID titles (originally released for mobile and PC) in to one nice shiny downloadable package and also includes new story content as well has new characters and helmets. I’ve played a handful of ports from mobile games and some make the jump and some suffer for the move to console. So how does SQUIDS hold up?
SQUIDS is a huge undertaking from an independent studio. The Game Bakers have done a good job with establishing some unique characters and marketing them well. In the pipeline they plan to release plush toys as well as a TV series based on the characters you meet in Squids Odyssey. Squids Odyssey begins with a few underwater heroes at your disposal. Steev, Vahine and the rest of the Squids are in danger from an infectious black ooze that is corrupting their aquatic world and you must set off to destroy the evil creatures that have been exposed to the ooze.
The game guides you through a tutorial like opening holding your hand through the first few levels showing you the ins and outs of combat. You can feel the mobile game aesthetic from how the game is designed to have stars based on how fast you complete a level, how many heroes died and if you found the secret starfish. Also the menus have a mobile feel to them and are quite clunky and hard to navigate. All this is kind of second seat though because the game has some surprisingly good combat.
Combat is done in a turned based manner and feels similar to that of a game like Angry Birds and has the physics of marbles or pool when you bump enemies. Depending on your class you can do different attack moves or even heal. The four classes are Trooper, Healer, Shooters and Scouts. Shooters have ranged attacks, while healers heal, scouts can move quicker and further and Troopers do some hardcore damage and can take some damage too. The controls pull back on your character and send them full speed toward your enemies or clam shells to get pearls. Pearls are the in-game currency and do everything from buying new helmets to leveling up your characters. Pulling back on your character can be done by either using the analog stick of the touch screen. Both work great and I can’t recommend one method over the other. Shooting into enemies or allies is how you attack or heal and by using the environment you can knock enemies off ledges, into spikes or off walls to get multiple hit bonuses.
As you level your character up there stats get boosted up and becomes more expensive the higher the level you get too. Also purchasing helmets for each character lets you transfer stat boosts to the character that are permanent, which is a weird design because who doesn’t want a stat boost and then the purpose of wearing a hat only becomes a visual difference and not an attribute or strategy to the game. Also it feel like the pearls were the micro transactions from the mobile versions but since they are readily available in the Wii U version it isn’t a big deal.
Graphically, SQUIDS Odyssey looks good on the Wii U. The HD graphics give it a nice cartoon-like feel and when playing off-screen on the GamePad the visual hold up as well. The sound track has an island feel and does a good job making it feel like an underwater adventure.
With more than 15 hours of gameplay, 90+ levels and 15 Squids, and even a new game + called Pro Mode, any Wii U owner that enjoys a light-hearted cartoon adventure with good combat and tactical RPG elements should not pass this up. It’s easy enough for a novice gamer but has enough strategy and depth for an experience gamer to find some challenge to it. I can’t wait to play The Game Bakers next title as this was a good first entry into the Wii U downloadable library.