By: Casey Curran
If there is one thing I will not knock Squids Odyssey for, it’s originality. What I initially conceived as a generic timewaster that could easily get lost on the iPhone proved to have much more depth by taking elements from turn-based strategy that surprisingly worked. While this was not quite enough to make the game stay compelling, it did make it fun far longer than I thought it would.
Squids Odyssey is based around pulling on each of your squids’ tentacles to fling them at enemies or towards treasures/power ups in a manner similar to Angry Birds. Both the touch screen on the gamepad and a combination of the analog stick and the A button can be used for this.
Each squid also has his or her own special power activated through a button or tapping a specific spot on the touch screen. This can be a little too tricky to activate the power on the touch screen, as some powers can only be used before your squid comes to a complete stop, which may not be enough time.
The game also makes it a little too difficult to tell how much power you are using for your squid. I knew exactly how far I would go at full blast, but when going as far as I could would knock me off, I always felt like my next movement pattern would either take me too far or not far enough.
Squids Odyssey will not impress anyone graphically. The game looks cheap and as though it could have easily come out nearly 20 years ago. Even for downloadable budget games, I have seen much better looking games than this. The art style meanwhile reminds me strangely of Shark Tale of all things, and not just because of the underwater setting. The attempts at humor also remind me much of Shark Tale, which, if you’re one of the five people who remember that movie, know is a bad thing.
Initially, Squids Odyssey seems very basic, as just flinging things into things like Angry Birds without the chaotic, unpredictable destruction that makes AB so addicting. However, as the levels go on the game’s turn-based strategy elements soon begin to creep in. You have a certain amount of power you can use on each squid, which varies from one squid to another. The goal is to fling them into enemies. Traps and hazards are also scattered around, which add a bit of depth as they can be used both in your favor and against you. You can also knock enemies over the edge, but you must also be careful to avoid falling off yourself.
These strategy elements do have their issues, however. You always have to use your squids in a certain order and cannot move onto the next one unless you either use all of your current squid’s power or choose to end their turn, for instance. This severely limits how much strategy the game offers, as it just becomes about hitting what you can and staying in a favorable position.
There is also a leveling system that gives the game an extra amount of depth and encourages exploration of the entire level to find the treasure to give more experience, which is definitely a plus. The game also offers a ridiculous amount of content, offering hundreds of levels to play. However, the gameplay was not quite compelling or addicting enough where I wanted to play all these levels and got bored well before I reached even the third world.
Squids Odyssey definitely packs more depth and content in its package than many other similar games similar. While the core gameplay is not quite as strong as say, Angry Birds, the inclusion of turn-based strategy may be enough to make up for this to some people. If you ever wanted Angry Birds or similar games to have some more depth to them, check it out.