Bring your own platforms to this super-fun indie 2D platformer / neon infused dance party.
The psychedelic visuals of Octahedron are the first thing you'll notice when you boot it up for the first time. The pulsating and intense graphics sync up with the beat-laced electronic soundtrack to make an all-around intense aesthetic. It takes a little while to get used to and is a bit of a different choice for a precision platformer but overall, I really enjoyed the visuals although I understand that it may be too gaudy and excessive for some players.
The basic gameplay premise of Octahedron is that you can create temporary platforms underneath you as you jump then leap from them to climb higher and reach permanent platforms above you. You can also briefly run through the air with the temporary platforms to cross large horizontal spaces. Each level will assign you a specific amount of platforms that can be used at one time and it generally ranges from 2 to 10. Your platform counter resets every time you land on a permanent platform so you'll need to use your temporary platforms to access the next permanent one as you progress through each level.
Playing Octahedron isn't actually as complex as I make it sound and if you're confused by the core mechanics, I encourage you to watch my Octahedron gameplay video so you can see it in action. Although the concept is actually rather simple, it's the inventive level design, enemy variety, and constant evolution of mechanics that make Octahedron such a marvellously deep and nuanced platformer. It controls extremely smoothly, too, which is an essential feature for a game that requires precision. It does take a little while to get used to the controls, especially running across the screen using temporary platforms. However, you'll quickly get the hang of things and find yourself nailing precise and satisfying sequences of jumps that will make you feel like a platforming master.
Most levels challenge you to move up or down tall chambers that are filled with platforms, enemies, hazards, and collectibles. You'll want to burst all the light bulbs you see and collect the flowers that result from them as they award you with small shards that you need to unlock the next set of levels. There are also 8 colorful collectible tetrahedrons (pyramids) to grab as you journey up or down a level. Almost every single level in Octahedron introduces a new mechanic or enemy type which is fabulous. You're constantly learning what new items, platforms, and enemies do and it keeps the gameplay feeling fresh throughout. Even your platform-spawning ability evolves to fire bricks and lasers downward to kill enemies and activate switches.
Beating levels will test your platforming prowess but it's never infuriating because you're granted 4 lives with three hit points each. However, masochists need not fear because some of the end-game levels will have you expending all your lives thus forcing you to replay stages in order to conquer them. That being said, Octahedron does a good job of simply being challenging without forcing constant repetition. Those looking for a true challenge can work towards earning the 4 special completion medals on each level. One is awarded for "100%ing" a level, meaning you grabbed all the shards and tetrahedrons. Another medal is awarded for completing the level without dying. Finally, there are two that take into account how many platforms you used to complete the level. There are different platform thresholds for Any% level completion and 100% level completion, the latter frequently being rather difficult.
With almost 50 levels, multiple difficulties, and four medals to unlock in each stage, Octahedron has enough content to keep players busy for hours. Overall, it's a smart, fresh, and creative platformer that stands tall with modern indie classics like Super Meat Boy.
- + Tight controls and precise platforming
- + Constant evolution of mechanics
- + Tons of challenging content will keep platforming aficionados busy for hours
- - Art style takes a while to get used to and might be too gaudy for some