When it comes to odd and different games, you can certainly count on an indie developer to deliver. They aren’t afraid to take risks with crazy storylines, gameplay mechanics, and even art style. For me, indie games leave a lasting impression whether it be good or bad. Regardless of the outcome, I appreciate the fact that they do try something different from the norm and aren’t afraid of taking risks. Indie developers make games knowing that not everyone will like them, but hope that there will be those who enjoy playing what they’ve created.
One such game that we can put in the strange category is that of 10tons’ King Oddball. King Oddball is a physics based puzzler similar to games like Angry Birds, but with a rather strange mechanism for completing levels. You see, King Oddball must swing boulders with his giant tongue and then release them to destroy his enemies. You didn’t read that wrong, a giant tongue. It’s by far the strangest thing about the game, but also one of the most unique.
King Oddball might possibly be one of the easiest games to pick up and play on the PS Vita and PS4. If you’ve played any of the Angry Bird games before, King Oddball is even easier to learn how to play. Basically, it’s a one button game. Simply, when the King swings his tongue around, you just tap X to let go of the rock to have it go flying in whatever direction the in-game physics determines. There’s no real aiming involved. You just have to let go at the correct moment in order for the rock to go in a certain direction. Of course just because the mechanics are simple, doesn’t mean it’s a simple game. Far from it. It’s actually very challenging and does require a bit of skill and strategy.
You only get three rocks per round to use and must destroy all the enemies military vehicles and or soldiers in order to win the round. There is a way to get more rocks during play, I believe you have to hit 3 vehicles on one turn to get an extra golden rock. It also seems like if you hit the King himself with his own rock, you’ll also get an extra rock to use. For the most part though, you’ll want to try and use as very little rocks as possible to end a round. It’s easier said than done and you’ll probably find yourself playing a few of the levels over and over again like I did.
On top of the regular game, there are bonuses scattered throughout that you must unlock as you play. Some of these bonuses include extra levels of play with specific objectives. This helps break up the regular game and give you something else to do. These are even some rather challenging trophies you can try to unlock.
For the most part, the PS4 and PS Vita versions are exactly the same except for the fact that the PS Vita one allows you to touch the screen to release the rocks. I do however find it interesting that the game does not support Cross-saving, so you’ll have to play each game individually. Not only that, you can actual game the same exact trophies for both and they’ll be counted twice. This would be good for those looking to boost their PSN trophy levels.
- Single tap gameplay. How hard can it be?
- Unique skill based physics puzzle
- More than 120 levels + secrets!
- Eccentric art style
- Original music by Jonathan Geer
Graphically, King Oddball is a simple game. It uses hand drawn backgrounds, which look pretty nice and have a unique look to them. They’ve also added a layer on top that gives everything a bit of a “static” look, making things seem gritty which is neat looking especially for the theme. Other elements like the set pieces and the enemies also have a hand drawn look to them.
On the PS Vita, the game looks right at home and looks great for an indie game. On the PS4 however, they still look good but you’re definitely not going to mistake this for a AAA title. This is a title that could have been done on a PS3, but I’m not complaining. The more games we have on the PS4, the better. It still looks good in 1080p resolution and you can really see the crispness of the art elements. Sure it’s not “next gen” as some would say, but it’s a fun looking title doesn’t take itself too seriously.
I’ve seen a few comments around the web about people complaining that this isn’t the type of game that should be on a “next gen” console like the PlayStation 4. I disagree. There are all types of games out there and King Oddball is one type. It might not appeal to all, but there are some who will really like this game and the oddness of it. That is the nature of indie developed games, they aren’t for everyone. I personally think King Oddball works really well as a portable game on the PS Vita and it’s a bonus that I’m able to play it on my PS4 as well.
It’s a fun title if you’re up for something weird with solid gameplay. This is the type of game that works really well as a quick fix if you want to play for a few minutes or as a marathon. Plus, the game itself isn’t that expensive at all which is what makes many of these indie games appealing. It’s only $6.99 which includes both the version for both PS Vita and PS4. That’s more affordable and easier to stomach than Angry Birds Star Wars which was a full $49.99. If you own a PS Vita, it worth a look as it does make for a good travel game. You can even download a demo of it to check it out first before buying. If you also own a PS4, then yay, a bonus game that your family can enjoy.
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