King Oddball PS4 review
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A stand-out physics puzzler very much in the Angry Birds mould, King Oddball has enough tweaks and accessibility of play to make it a worthwhile proposition for most, though folks adverse to the charms of Rovio's avian slinger will find little here to change their minds.
- Accessible, one-button gameplay.
- Well-judged, bite-sized levels and difficulty curve.
- Trophy support and Remote Play are expertly integrated.
- Leans a little too strongly on the established Angry Birds formula.
- Not a lot of variety.
- Overly simplistic visual aesthetics which don't really tax the PlayStation 4.
Elsewhere, King Oddball keeps attention spans healthy with the inclusion of a number of additional modes within its campaign. On one hand, there is the Hall of Diamonds mode whereby - of your three rocks - one is a diamond which you mustn’t fire (unless you're good enough to fire and retrieve it) in order to proceed. Whereas the appropriately titled 'Boom Challenge', has players employing just two grenades to clear each stage with an emphasis on the blast radius and newly found collateral damage possibilities of these bouncing green hurt lockers.
If that wasn't enough to keep players glued, developer 10 Tons have also fully integrated trophy support into the title, with a great many challenges being incentive-driven by the promise of shiny new PlayStation trophies to add to your burgeoning collection.
Another feather in King Oddball's cap is just how easy the game to play is from a control input standpoint. The game is quite literally driven by a single-button press and as such, lends itself brilliantly to not only one-handed play but also Remote Play through the PlayStation Vita handheld; something which is compounded by the easily consumed tiny nature of its scenarios in addition.
Where King Oddball stumbles, is that while it brings its own subtleties and nuances to the physics puzzler genre, it still can't help but feel too similar to the game which inspired it. As a result despite its accessibility, King Oddball shares the same lack of variety and simplistic visuals of its homage, effectively restricting the game's charms to those who liked or disliked Rovio's bird tossing franchise in the first place.
Ultimately, King Oddball doesn't represent a significant evolution of the Angry Birds formula, a fact which will do little to convert loathers of physics puzzlers, but peer beyond its off-kilter presentation and similarities to Rovio's opus and underneath lays a game which makes enough tweaks to the formula to keep players engaged for a good long while.----
one of PSU's indie review team and when he isn't hopelessly swamped in his
software testing day job, he's knee deep in the latest PlayStation
hopefuls. You can chase him down over on Twitter (@bitsnark) or in his
very own dark corner of the internet (www.bitsnark.com).
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