After corrupting our front lawns with the incredibly addictive Plants Vs Zombies, it looks like George Fan is thinking bigger. The latest title from his indie studio, All Yes Good, is out now and it is set to cause Octogeddon. This is our Octogeddon review.
It seems like the team behind Plants vs Zombies has a knack for distilling everything that goes bump in the night into bright, engaging games that destroy my social life. In this particular instance All Yes Good set out to obliterate more than just your spare time. Taking control of a giant angry octopus, players rampage their way through a variety of famous locations causing complete devastation across the globe.
Beginning in the depths of the ocean, Octogeddon initially feels like a side scrolling shoot em up of sorts. With just the left and right cursor keys, Octogeddon proves to be incredibly easy to just pick up and play. Players can rotate their monstrous appendages around the screen, swatting any puny human defenders down into a watery grave as they make their way through six stages. On its own this might feel like a fairly uninspired design but Octogeddon has far more depth than that. As players make their way through these inaugural levels, the game’s linear path takes the rampage ashore and things start to get interesting.
While the mid-1990’s Rampage reboot seemed to be missing something special, Octogeddon takes the fight to the human population and does it right. Hitting landfall allows players to roll into major cities, and continues to keep the same simple control system that is already established. Waves of new defenders flood in across the horizon, buildings seem to get in the way, and your goal is to smash absolutely everything in your path. Ultimately the end of each level culminates in a final boss battle and the destruction of a major landmark.
This might seem fairly straightforward, and on its own this repeating pattern of globetrotting destruction would be somewhat mundane. However, Yes All Good tackle this with some real flair and fantastic humor that is easily comparable to Plants vs Zombies. The bold aesthetic, chiptune soundtrack and overall presentation hits just the right tone. Little touches like fleeing citizens are accompanied by utterly outrageous boss designs that constantly surprise. There is something to be said for beating a giant kangaroo with a chicken, after all.
Octogeddon does not simply rely on cheap laughs to keep players entertained, however. All Yes Good manage to keep octopods actively engaged with a mix of randomly generated enemies and an unusually satisfying set of progressions systems. Players starting out with just two limbs will find that smashing subs and pulverizing planes provides a couple of different rewards. Gold and silver coins can be recovered from eliminated enemies. These are used to procure new tentacles, extra lives, and an array of eye-popping augmentations. Homing bees, venom spitting snakes, giant puffer fish, penguins, and crustation claws are some of the items that can be equipped with this gold. The random assortment of selections available between levels adds to the complexity, and while I initially adorned my octopus with no real precision, considered configurations or ranged and melee weapons quickly become crucial as things get hectic.
If the waves of jets, bombs, gunships, submarines, mechanical piranhas, and massive murderous meat grinders do manage to take you down then the game’s secondary progression system will get its hooks into you and reel you back in for another try. Players busily crushing all before them will score precious shells. This particular currency is generally spent in the Shell Shop after losing all your lives and grants persistent bonuses to players coming back to crush all humans. Restarting a game does reset any ambidextrous weapons and gold, putting players back to the start of their adventure, but by rewarding progression using this shell currency, it makes retreading the same content far more palatable and provides a palpable sense of progression.
Overall I find it difficult to find much wrong with Octogeddon. It is admittedly simple but still keeps catching me with a delightful tirade of destruction that draws inspiration from classic side-scrollers. It provides a sense of accomplishment through its progression system and is so constantly engaging I may have missed my train stop while reviewing this. If you are interested in losing yourself in the depths of a destructive rage, Octogeddon is out now.