Squids Odyssey

A game that flings squids around and looks like a cartoon is a perfect fit for the quirky Wii U. But from depths of this colorful cartoon ocean, rises a deep strategy RPG that has hours of gameplay for the more experienced gamer.

Squids Odyssey is diffidently a game of tactics with tentacles. The game tasks the player to recruit the best squids for the group in order to save the world of cephalopods from the invasion of crabs. You fling your squids around with the use of the analog stick or by pulling them back on the Wii U controller. The game is a top-down RPG, so this is a game you could play while someone else is using the TV, or when you have some time to burn. I found myself liking the game far more on the Wii U gamepad rather than the TV, because it was more intuitive to look at the Wii U screen to control your squids in each level.

Speaking of levels, Squids Odyssey has more than 90 of them. Some can be swum through in mere minutes, while others will be really challenging to complete. Strategy comes into play when you have to decide whether to try knocking a crab off the level, fling him into spikes for extra damage, or just go for the power-up? Each level can be taken in a different direction, but one miss-step and your whole squid-party could be drowned by the unrelenting AI opponents.

The party does have variety between the four classes – scout, healer, shooter and stomper.  The scout can really get any place in a jiffy and hits hard, with the ability to dash. The healer, as you would think, is excellent at healing if you bump into your allies. The shooter gives you distanced against your foes, while the stomper can get up close and personal with an area attack. Not only can you level your squids up to increase their abilities, but you can also deck them out in helmets that can add more to your character’s capabilities.

Giving the game variety with classes and upgrades, really helps give this lengthy experience complexity that helps in the long run. While you feel very rewarded when you get through a level, it honestly matters how many times it takes to replay the level to completion. Miss flings that throw your squids off the stage, enemies that are always on the offensive, and ambushes around every corner make this game frustrating at times. However this is a game that rewards precision and experimentation, especially if you want all three stars for a level.

Squids Odyssey may have the cartoon style and simple story, but it is anything but shallow. Classes, upgrades, strategy and RPG elements all lead this game in a more hardcore direction despite the art and character design. The levels are easy to jump in and out of during short sittings, but long play sessions will lead to frustration and headaches. Squids Odyssey is very lengthy and may get repetitive, but for the times in between games or while watching TV it is the perfect fit.