By Richard Jewell
Reviewed on PC
Released on September 29th, 2016 on PC
Developer: Knuist & Perzik Publisher: SOEDESCO Publishing
I have a bit of a confession to make. When I was first offered up Wuppo for review I was thinking about passing it up, but I had nothing else to work on at the time, so I figured why not give it a shot. Now that I have completed it, I must admit, I’m really happy that I had gotten the opportunity to play and review such a well crafted indie title. Wuppo is easily the most charming game that I have played in quite a while! It was developed over the course of many years as a labor of love by the two-man team of Lars Korendijk and Thomas de Waard, also known as Knuist & Perzik. The end result is a humorous, light-hearted adventure taking place in an enchanting world full of bright, colorful visuals, a whimsical soundtrack, and a cast of wonderfully eccentric characters.
The world is mostly made up of four different races of creatures. Wums are very intelligent and inventive, and they are able to use all sorts of equipment. Despite having zero special abilities, they are quite industrious. Blussers are a water-based species that are able to carry a huge amount of water, they are also known as the friendliest race of all. Splenkhakkers are a race of rock-like creatures best known for their ability to harvest splenk, which is a very powerful material used in building great structures. The final race is the most problematic. Fnakkers are an aggressive race of monsters that can throw up rocks. They didn’t want to share the world with anybody else, and this caused a huge war, later referred to as the Fnakker Wars. After the Wums came up with a strategy utilizing the special abilities of the Blussers and Splenkhakkers, they managed to push the entire race of Fnakkers into a giant sinkhole, wiping out their existence entirely. The Wums built a big place to live, known as the Wumhouse, to celebrate their victory. The Blussers moved into the gardens next door to them, and the Splenkhakkers went on to create a huge amusement park. The game begins when the player, taking on the role of a lazy Wum who spends his days watching tv and eating ice cream, makes one mess to many and gets thrown out by the building’s superintendent. Now the poor Wum must go on a journey to find a new place to live.
As a 2D sidescroller, Wuppo’s gameplay focuses on combat and puzzle solving, with a heavier emphasis on exploring. Your Wum’s health is indicated by a happiness meter, which can be refilled by using the save-pots that you can find all around, or by eating food items. It starts at 100 but can be increased by completing sidequests, engaging in certain dialogues, and finding specific filmstrips. Filmstrips are a collectible that when found, can be brought to a certain character to be watched, usually learning a little bit more about the history of the world around you in the process. Since Wums do not actually have arms, everything must be equipped on top of their heads. There are a variety of different hats to find and equip. Some give you useful abilities, while others are needed to complete puzzles. There are also hats that are just put in there for cosmetic purposes only. Not everyone that you will encounter will be friendly, so sometimes a Wum have the need to defend his self. This is where the gumgum gun comes in handy. The gumgum gun is your main weapon against the less savory denizens that you’ll run into in your travels. It shoots a colorful variety of gumgum balls that can deal damage to enemies or be used to interact with certain aspects of the environment. There are a few other weapons in the game but most of the time I found myself using the same gumgum gun you start off with. As the game progresses, however, you will be able to customize and upgrade your weapons with a variety of useful modifiers once you find Betty’s Gum Store. For example; you can equip a rapid-fire mod to boost your rate of fire, or you can change the color of the gumgum balls your weapon fires. On normal difficulty, the combat isn’t that hard except for a few of the boss encounters. If you want a tougher challenge there are two other difficulty options to choose from, hard and insane. The puzzles that you find in Wuppo aren’t that difficult either, with the exception of a couple really hard ones towards the end of the game. My first playthrough of Wuppo ran around 10 hours long, but I only had about 70% of the game complete when I beat the final boss so it should take longer for anyone looking to complete it 100%.
The graphical style of Wuppo is truly a pleasure to behold. Lovingly hand-drawn and full of bright, vivid colors gives it the look of a children’s storybook come to life. It’s very easy on the eyes as well. Moving from screen to screen contains no loading whatsoever, helping to keep the player immersed in the vibrant world without having to wait on annoying load screens. The music soundtrack is fully orchestrated and the light, happy tunes are the perfect accompaniment to the little Wum’s adventure. There isn’t really anything negative I have to say about this game. The only gripe I have that in the heat of some of the more intense battles, I find myself losing track of my little Wum. With a lot of enemies running around and colorful gumgum balls splattering everywhere can make it hard to see where you are. It doesn’t happen often, thankfully. Once I beat the game and the end credits started rolling, I started to feel a little sad that it was over. It’s not often that a game can do that to me. I highly recommend Wuppo, it offers a fantastic adventure in a colorful world full of unique creatures and detailed lore, proving that good things DO come in small packages!
*Note: A copy of the game was provided for the purposes of the review
Final Score: 9/10
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