You should never play with your food, but the fruits and vegetables here sure are fun. Organic Panic combines many gameplay mechanics to create one crazy formula so tuck in and get your thumbs ready for a feast.
Organic Panic is quite a difficult game to classify. Playing it made me think of Worms but it's much more action-packed. Basically, you play as a variety of fruits and vegetables who try to survive through each stage populated by dastardly meats and cheeses. You control them in 2D by running, jumping, and using magic that allows you to do such things as shoot fireballs and spray water. If you're playing a single player stage that involves more than one character then you can swap between them by the tap of a button. You'll also have to swim, sneak, swing on ropes, and push, pull, and throw objects. Each piece of produce behaves differently, so taking advantage of their distinct attributes is a must. The implemented physics work beautifully as you'll find yourself frantically swimming upstream and watching structures fall after exploding their foundation. Overall, there's a ton of gameplay packed into this food fight. The combination of puzzles, platforming, combat, and well done physics makes for one mayhem-filled game.
Visually, I wouldn't say that Organic Panic is particularly good looking. The cel-shaded aesthetic is nifty, but the 3D models don't come across as more than generic goofy characters. That being said, the cartoonish animated backgrounds are wonderful to look at as they're full of fun and provide a decent amount of depth. When it comes to audio, it's really a mess. It's hard to hear the music most of the time due to the booming sound effects that are much too loud. You can adjust the levels in the options menu but for some reason, the effects still clash with the music no matter how hard I tried to balance them. On top of this, the voices that react to almost every onscreen occurrence really stand out as they sound like they're being funneled through a tin can. It's quite the racket.
One thing that Organic Panic does exceptionally well is provide hours of content. The single player campaign contains a dozen stages that are broken up into multiple levels complete with comic book story sequences that I got a laugh out of. Not only will working through this campaign take a long time, you can also strive to achieve gold stars on every level and climb the leaderboards. After completing this adventure, you unlock a whole new bonus campaign with twisted gameplay. If you have a chum who digs these sorts of games then there's an entire cooperative campaign with a ton of levels made for two players and even some for three or four players. When you don't feel like cooperating, you can duke it out in an up to four player versus mode. In other words, if an impressive single player experience isn't enough then the bountiful multiplayer options will surely satisfy you and a few pals.
Organic Panic can be a blast but there are a few downsides that can make it a rather frustrating endeavor. I personally can't stand when you can easily get stuck in a level and are then forced to restart it. Not only does that happen often when playing through the campaign, it's also more often than not due to forces beyond your control. For example, an enemy shoots a structure down thus trapping a character with no way to get them out or sometimes massive holes form that are too wide to jump over. Another irritating aspect is when the controls don't work as expected. For the most part, you can play through with no problem. However, when you try to escape a small crevice or scale a wall with an uneven surface, your veggie will drive you bananas as he jerks around the screen.
Although it can be frustrating, I had a good time with Organic Panic. If you're looking for a 2D puzzle platformer that's almost as chaotic as an actual food fight then you won't be disappointed after adding more produce to your gaming diet.
- + Crazy physics-based 2D mayhem blends well with puzzle and platforming mechanics
- + Tons of rewarding content to master
- + Great local multiplayer modes
- - It's easy to get stuck and have to restart certain stages which gets annoying
- - Controls are sometimes awkward
- - Audio is a haphazard racket