The Squids series first debuted back in 2011 as an iOS exclusive under the name Squids, with the follow-up Squids Wild West on iOS. Coming from French developer The Game Bakers, the games were met with much praise. Just a couple months ago the Wii U joined the ranks with the most complete collection so far, known as Squids Odyssey. This compilation took the previously released Squids content and put it into one game, along with some extra features as well. Now, The Game Bakers have worked to bring us another portable game in the series with Squids Odyssey on the Nintendo 3DS.
When you first hear the name Squids Odyssey and find out that it began on the iOS platform, the last thing you would probably think is that it would be an RPG, but that is exactly what it is. Taking gameplay you might expect in something like Angry Birds and combining it with an RPG style, Squids Odyssey is certainly a different kind of mashup.
The aforementioned Angry Birds gameplay games from the method of movement and battling. By either using the touchscreen or analog pad, you can pull your squid in any way you wish and then fire in the opposite direction. The squid will then be launched in that direction towards whatever is in your way. It may move as far as it can and then stop, it may run into a wall or stage hazard, or it may run into an enemy. By running into an enemy, you will damage said enemy as well as push them backwards.
There are a lot of strategic elements to the game, as you can quickly take down the largest enemies by pushing them right off the edge of the map for an instant death. However, you must be careful as the same fate can befall your squid by getting to close to the edge of any level. This becomes extremely important on levels such as when you are riding on the back of a tortoise and do not have too much margin for error.
Battles are conducted in a turn-based manner, with all of your team getting a go at attacking, followed by the opponents. There are also times where you can turn into spikes and wait for opponents to run into you in battle. The turn-based battles can get a little long when you get to the levels with tons of enemies, but for the most part they run rather smoothly. As you get into the groove of things, Squids Odyssey can get incredibly addicting.
To start the game, you get control of a few different squids, each with different abilities and characteristics. At the very start, you will only have a couple squids at your disposal, with Steev and Vahine, both of which have pretty basic movesets. Steev provides provides speed with a higher move count, while Vahine is more of a defender.
A few missions into the game, you will gain the ability to recruit fellow squids you come across, each of which come with unique mechanics you must learn to utilize. The perfectly named Clint provides shooting based gameplay, beyond the usual movement, where you can target enemies and shoot them with your gun. Sammo shows up at the same time as Clint and is the big bruiser of your team almost immediately, with a giant stomping attack that deals damage and forces enemies away from himself.
As you get into the groove of things, Squids Odyssey can get incredibly addicting.
As you play through the game, you will come across nine other squids that can help you on your team, but I’ll let you discover them for yourselves. The ability to recruit and as a result swap in and out characters at will is a really neat aspect of the game, especially if you are struggling on one particular level.
Squids Odyssey features a leveling up system akin to an RPG, but seems like more could have been done to it overall. First of all, there is no way to automatically level up outside of going to your Base and doing so manually. There is a cost to level up each character, but it would be nice if there was some option to do it a little quicker. I personally didn’t even realize you were supposed to level them up manually until I started to struggle badly awhile into the game and realized everyone I had was only level one.
On top of leveling up, the game also has an equipment system, which you can also purchase with the pearls you find. Unlike leveling up, which chooses to raise specific stats on its own, you have a little more customization abilities with the equipment. From within the store, you can buy random hats or helmets, such as the Snowball Helmet and the Cupidon Helmet.
Once you purchase a hat or helmet, you can infuse the power for that item to your specific squid, and then choose to equip whichever one you like best design wise. Rather than being stuck using the equipment that has the highest levels, you can have your cake and eat it too, by getting the power upgrade and the aesthetic look that you wish for your squid.
Squids Odyssey has a ton of content for you to play through in this one download, but the price does still seem a little high at $14.99. While it combines a couple of iOS games and adds new content, the two Squids games on iOS can be bought for $1.99 a piece. The option for cross-buy in Europe definitely helps, but the price still seems a little high elsewhere as you just get one copy of the game. A price point around $9.99 or less would have fit this type of game a little better. The saving grace on the cost is that the game is incredibly addicting, especially once you really dive in, so you could arguably get your money’s worth.
While the Wii U version of course will look a little better, the Nintendo 3DS version isn’t too shabby. The game features colorful characters, backgrounds, and even the 3D enhances the depth of the water. The music is absolutely perfect for the game, with a sounds that seem familar, but I still couldn’t quite pick them out. The soundtrack definitely had a nautical tone, which fit the game like a glove.
The Squids series is absolutely built for pick up and go gameplay and Squids Odyssey is no different. Returning to a handheld platform is exactly what the series needed to do as it certainly is better on-the-go. All the distractions of home may detract from your Wii U experience with the game, but the 3DS is a perfect platform for the game.
Squids Odyssey is incredibly addicting and will likely keep you coming back for more after each hard fought defeat. The leveling up system could use a little work, but the ability to customize through equippable hats and helmets is a nice touch. Squids Odyssey may be a hard sell at full price, but it certainly is a very fun game that you should not miss on the Nintendo 3DS.
- Available On: 3DS, Wii U
- Published By: The Game Bakers
- Developed By: The Game Bakers
- Genre: RPG, Strategy
- US Release Date: July 3rd, 2014
- Reviewed On: Nintendo 3DS
- Quote: "Squids Odyssey is a very addicting turn-based RPG with a dash of Angry Birds mixed in for added fun."