King Oddball (Nintendo Switch) Review

Wanton destruction with no motive or reasoning whatsoever. Not even knowing what or who the perpetrator is. The hallmarks of fear in a story. Then you have a floating volleyball with a zombie face throwing rocks around with his tongue. Suddenly it’s not so scary after all. Anyway, King Oddball, new puzzle indie for the Switch.

The above is half honest, incidentally; there is no plot to this game. Literally. You are the titular King Oddball, a floating alien head thing that swings objects like rocks, diamonds and grenades to destroy everything and everyone on screen for…some reason.  Aliens are jerks, I guess? Is he even an alien? Bah, who knows.

King Oddball is a physics based puzzle game. As described in the ‘plot’ summary, the object of the game is to destroy every enemy on screen, move on to the next level, rinse and repeat. Extremely simple. What’s not as simple is the physics. Unlike it’s obvious comparison in Angry Birds, the physics in King Oddball are deliberately nowhere near as precise, given that the titular oddball swings rocks like a pendulum. As such, timing is an essential part in clearing the area, especially with few throws. Prepare to replay levels a lot in order to find the perfect angle, timing and rock usage.

The physics notwithstanding, King Oddball is very much an Angry Birds clone. There’s stuff like random explosives lying around, different types of projectiles (that are restricted to secondary modes) and several different types of stationary targets, so it’s nothing you haven’t seen before assuming you’ve played a version of Angry Birds. That said, some levels can be a bit harder than your standard Angry Birds given the separate mechanics, but it’s nothing that can’t be beaten on repeat attempts, since the game does load and restart levels about as fast as the average Angry Birds game.

King Oddball‘s visuals are like staring at a very basic painting. You stare at it, you take it in, but there’s nothing really memorable about it. It’s not bad whatsoever, hell, the grainy aesthetic it has might be neat, but it’s nothing to write home about. The same can’t be said for the music that accompanies it, which consists of a couple melodies using the same base melody with different instrumentation. As you might imagine from that description, it gets repetitive fast. Again, like the visuals, the music isn’t necessarily bad, especially with short levels, but considering that those same levels are prone to being replayable 5-10 times, there’s only so much one can take before muting the music and playing the greatest background music ever put into a game.

But in the end, that’s King Oddball for you. It’s very easy to pick up and play, it has a rather decent amount of content with 160+ levels (including secrets), and has a good enough amount of challenge so as to not be mindless (challenge is perfectly fine, and this game certainly has it). The game’s also super cheap, so while it’s not the first thing one would buy with 5 dollars (or your regional equivalent), it’s not a hefty investment either. An okay time sink, in short…just like Angry Birds. And isn’t a ridiculously overpriced game like some console ports of the latter-NO GAMESTOP I AM NOT PAYING 15 DOLLARS FOR A CONSOLE PORT OF A 99 CENT GAME

 

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