Physics-based destruction has been all the rage ever since Angry Birds debuted back in 2009. But, is the formula better off on handheld devices? Maybe this weird rock with a massive tongue has the answer.
That's right; King Oddball plays a lot like Angry Birds. However, it's actually much simpler, believe it or not. Instead of aiming and shooting, all you do is tap a button to time when the oddball throws a boulder from his extraordinarily sticky tongue. It feels great once you time it perfectly and watch the onscreen destruction unfold. The good news is, anyone can pick up and play it with almost no instruction as it's one of the easiest and most intuitive games to understand. The silly premise obviously makes it a lot more enjoyable as it offers a level of off-the-wall fun that you don't often get in gaming nowadays. For example, they send armies to stop King Oddball and his boulder-throwing antics yet all they do is stand still only to meet their demise after taking a rock to the face. Overall, it may not be as charming as birds and pigs but what's here is easy to pick up and play with just enough silliness to satisfy all the goofballs out there.
King Oddball's visuals are quite unique with backgrounds and objects that look like they've been cut out of construction paper. There's a neat effect where the textures seem to dance as you play which gives an interesting vibe. Besides that, they're rather plain with mostly swapped colour palettes and various cityscapes in the background. Enemy forces come in a handful of varieties such as tanks, helicopters, and elite soldiers but they really don't differ all that much. The music is enjoyable albeit repetitive as you'll hear the same tunes over and over again. On the other hand, the sound effects are quite satisfying with explosions making the destruction feel more authentic.
You progress through King Oddball's campaign by completing short stages in order to unlock further areas. It's not all that long but the later stages will likely take many attempts so there's enough to keep anyone occupied for a while. Thankfully, there is tons of extra content that provides loads of replay value if you're up for it. There are 131 challenges to master in the Hall of Diamonds, 20 Boom Challenges where you can use grenades, 40 additional stages in The Extra Quest, and 16 brutally difficult One Rock Challenges. There's so much content to work through that it'll take many hours to complete it all. That is, if you really want to.
Considering King Oddball's gameplay is so undeniably basic, it gets tedious much sooner than you'd think. Timing when to tap a button relies more on trial and error than strategy so things start to fall apart quickly. Sure, there is plenty of extra content but the gameplay never changes throughout. Whether you're flinging rocks, grenades, or strange cone things; it all involves just timing when to throw an object. I wish there was more to it because the lack of variety gets extremely repetitive after playing for a little while.
King Oddball is a silly game that's fun for the short amount of time that it lasts. However, once the repetition starts to sink in, you'll gladly turn it off and play something more worthwhile.
- + Simple controls allow anyone to play
- + Goofy premise is quite silly and enjoyable
- + Extra content adds loads of replay value
- - Basic gameplay gets very boring as it doesn't offer enough variety
- - Music and backgrounds repeat too often
- - Success relies on trial and error