King Oddball is a wacky game in which you have to clear out a wave of enemies in order to move from level to level. Now, imagine Angry Birds, except we are substituting birds with rocks, pigs with vehicles, and the catapult with a…tongue. Yes, that is the premise of King Oddball, to hurl giant rocks from high above the enemy, hoping they cannot withstand his almighty weapon.
It is a very interesting game, and I actually find myself very conflicted on how I feel towards it. On one hand, it’s surprisingly addictive, and I really wanted to progress further into it. There is tons of content too, besides the main missions, you’ve got a diamond mode, in which you replay levels, but with one less rock. Or there is the Explosive mode, in which you hurl frag grenades instead of rocks. And if that isn’t enough for you, you can find the secret moustaches to unlock an entire new section of map for the main missions.
In terms of gameplay, there are various ways to complete the same level. For example, say there is some TNT, and 3 tanks scattered. You could either shoot for the TNT and hope you hit the tanks with it, or elect to throw straight for the tanks and hope you can bounce the rock between them. The physics of the rock are consistent, and you’ll begin to learn exactly where to hit a tank so you can get the bounce you want.
On the other hand, King Oddball is somewhat repetitive, as most puzzle games are. There is very little change in the level design, so sometimes you’ll feel you’ve already played missions you’d never seen before. And the enemy design isn’t anything amazing either, as you find yourself against three basic enemies; tanks, helicopters, and mini soldiers. These enemy types do have small differences, but there really is no contrast in how you approach taking them out, as they all are very weak to rocks apparently.
Something else of note is that it can be very challenging at times, to the point where you will just want to take a break out of frustration. Some people like games to be difficult, and I do too, but the difficult nature of this game really makes it hard to just relax and play. Some of the later levels require you to be extremely focused and attentive, which makes it a lot less fun than if it were a bit more laid back. There is a slight learning curve though, and figuring out how to combo hits together with one rock does feel extremely rewarding at times.
Even though there is a ton to do to keep your interest, through its replayability and quest to earn trophies and diamonds, I think I really just lost interest during the last few areas of the game. It’s great to have more content, but like Angry Birds, and other puzzle games similar to this one it is easy to lose interest in a short period of time. Sometimes the in-game map seems a bit too big and towards the last area of the map, I wasn’t really enjoying myself as much. In fact, I just wanted to complete the game.
King Oddball does run smoothly, I had no crashes or errors. One complaint I have though is that there is no restart level button, meaning you have to back out to the world map and go back to the level if you start a level off poorly. Other than that, the menu is fairly user friendly and easy to navigate through. The audio can be repetitive at times, with only one song present as you play through the missions. The visuals are actually very nice, as the colors kind of pop on screen, which make the areas seem colorful and vibrant despite being a cartoony arcade game.
Overall, if you don’t really like puzzle titles, this is one I’d pass on. But, if you like games similar to Angry Birds, then this may actually be a game that interests you. Although I personally got a bit bored towards the conclusion of the game, I think some people will get a kick out of King Oddball, and it has a ton of content to keep completionists busy for quite a while.