Superior Squiddies: When you give a squid a gaming system…
Squids Odyssey is a game about squids. It’s about friends, fighting evil, and physics-based tactical strategy. With RPG mechanics. Yeah, this game is pretty unique. In fact, we got to do a full review of the Wii U version, so you’re welcome to read our thoughts on the matter there before we move forward. To give you the quick-and-easy, Squids Odyssey is fun, charming, and holds a surprising amount of challenge and depth, enough so to make it one of the most notable indie games of the year thus far, as well as an unexpectedly valid reason to buy a Wii U. But now, the ink has spread to the 3DS, and it’s time to amass an army of tentacled friends all over again. So, how does the portable version of this undersea adventure hold up?
Squids Odyssey Doesn’t need a lot of size at its disposal to do what it needs to do. Your squids come in multiple types with different abilities, and each one needs to be stretched back, aimed, and launched to move around. It’s a simple system, and although a joystick or circle pad is a valid option, the system lends itself bets to the touch screen, if only for the added precision of aiming your colorful cast of squids at foes. You can launch yourself at foes and treasure easily on either version, but the sheer size of the Wii U gamepad adds a little more to the precise angle of your shot. Besides that, gameplay is the same. Tap the touch screen or A button to use a squids special ability, like a gun or an extra speed boost, and push obstacles around to royally screw things up for any and all evil shellfish to cross your path. The gameplay is turn-based, and fits right at home with an on-the-go device.
Apparently insects can swim, because unfortunately, some bugs emerge in the 3DS version. The main way to damage an enemy is by colliding with them head-on, but sometimes the hit just won’t register. Usually this occurs when the path of the squid being launched is near more than one enemy, so it could just be a case of the game getting confused with itself. The other issue the 3DS version faces is a touch screen menu system that is frankly not well-designed. When you have two sideways-sliding lists, and trying to move the top one moves the bottom one instead, you have some problems.
Presentation in Squids Odyssey suffers no ill on the move to 3DS. Each level and cutscene, although now slightly more pixelated, is still a visual wonder. Vibrant colors and beautifully detailed art make the game a joy in the visual sense, matched by a catchy soundtrack that will slither and swim into your head before you can say “kraken.” The story is still endearing, boasting a cast of characters that don’t cease to amuse.
In the end, the Wii U version of Squids Odyssey still comes out on top. The system is a bit more polished, and doesn’t suffer from any notable bugs. The added precision of the gamepad really lends itself to the physics-based nature of the game. For those of you in Europe with both a 3DS and Wii U, you might as well get it on 3DS anyway, as doing so will score you a Wii U copy for free. Otherwise, stick to Nintendo’s giant DS of a console for the optimal Squids experience. While the Wii U version retains its 4.5, the 3DS version gets a slight bump down into the sea to a 4. Turn the tentacles to ten, and start slingin’ squids!
Final Verdict: 4/5
Available on: Wii U, 3DS (Reviewed); Publisher: The Game Bakers ; Developer: The Game Bakers; Players: 1; Released: May 22nd, 2014; ESRB: E; MSRP: $14.99
This review was based on review code provided by Squids Odyssey’s developer and publisher, The Game Bakers.