Imagine yourself as a floating ball wearing a rock helmet. Using your tongue to launch rocks initiates a campaign against tanks, helicopters, and soldiers with the prime objective of ending the world! This is exactly the role you play in King Oddball. Originally introduced on mobile platforms, it has since made its debut on consoles like the PlayStation 4.
King Oddball offers simple and charming graphics with addicting gameplay that uses a combination of simple controls and repetitive tasks. The main goal is to use King’s tongue to throw rocks into tanks, helicopters, and other obstructions in order to end the world. What makes the game stand out from the others in its genre is the ability to bounce one of your rocks off multiple objects and potentially earn a combo streak. Hitting three enemies in a row will reward you an extra gold rock. Another way to earn gold rocks is to bounce a regular rock off an object or enemy and then have it bounce up and hit King Oddball. Only having to use two buttons makes the game seem simple but that was definitely not the case. Success and high scores are all about timing with how soon or too late you release the rock. I found myself restarting levels because I released the rock a second late or early, but as time progressed I started to get the swing of things. Pun intended.
In every game there are a handful of important things, one being the graphics. The graphics in King Oddball really stood out as they bring in beautiful hues of purple, blue, yellow, and some green giving the game a really colorful shine on the PS4. Delivering a very relaxing vibe makes King Oddball all the more enjoyable and enough to keep keep my interest while playing through its seemingly repetitive levels. The developers did a great job of keeping flat and simple colors look extremely vibrant. King Oddball is an extreme pleasure to look at as you play through.
Another important thing to consider, especially with games like this, is the amount replay value. The levels may have a fair amount of repetitiveness but still manages to keep the player challenged, if only to see what the next level has in store. The game motivates the the player to do better in each level, all of which keep the replay value moderately high. Adding to this value are trophies for those PlayStation trophy hunters like myself. A few notable ones are “All Birds With One Stone” where you need to complete an entire level using only one rock and others like “Headache,” earned by hitting the King with a rock three times during a level. Each trophy adds more enjoyment and longevity to the game as players strive to earn them. I would replay levels several times to improve my previous playthrough or to earn a specific trophy. In addition to trophies, the game also offers diamonds as a reward for replaying and completing each level without using all of your stones.
While the game does a great job of keeping your interest by making through its replayability and quest to earn trophies and diamonds, I eventually lost interest during the game’s final home stretch. That game map is big in size, which is great to have more content, but like Angry Birds, it is easy to lose interest in a short period of time.
Overall, King Oddball is a great game to turn on one in a while, perhaps after a rough game of Battlefied 4 or Titalfall, as it offers a fun, relaxing, and laid back experience. It brings gorgeous graphics that really utilizes the PS4 hardware, making the screens “pop” with color. Its moderately high replay value can be found strictly through its diamond and trophy collection. It brings new elements and mechanics to the genre to help it stand apart from similar puzzle games like Angry Birds. All in all, I enjoyed most of my time spent with King Oddball. Although he wanted to end the world, I still found myself happy to join his cause.