Oozy and the Tower of Wulu
Oozy and the Tower of Wulu is a new action adventure and puzzle game from Oddity Games. Oozy is a cute lil' alien mollusk. Oozy has a dream. Oozy wants to slime the whole world. To do this, Oozy needs a magical shard; one currently held at the top floor of the Tower of Wulu. All Oozy needs to do is climb through fifty levels of a top-down maze, sliming baddies, exploding ooze, collecting lime jellies, and battling bosses all the while. Won't you help poor Oozy to realize his vision?
The [arrow] keys move Oozy around, and the [space] bar shoots some of your (generous) supply of slime. Slime has a number of uses in the game: it's useful for immobilizing baddies, chomping on it combusts ooze containing the jellies needed to reach the next level, and setting off chain reactions leads to various effects. New elements are introduced as time goes on. Running through the tutorial is probably a necessity, but the mechanics are easy to understand once demonstrated. (Also, please note that the game has no mouse support, even for clicking menu buttons. You'll need the [arrow] keys and the [space] bar to navigate the title screen.)
Analysis: There is a lot of Oozy that is familiar. The gameplay is quite reminiscent of Bomberman... and Sokoban... and Chip's Challenge... and ChuChu Rocket!... and Pengo... and Deadly Rooms of Death... and Legend of Zelda.... and The Tower of Druaga... and the Trapped series... and... Well, let's just say that there are quite a few games out there that involve the kind of grid-action that Oozy presents. (Note to Self: If I ever build an artifact-protecting-puzzle-temple, I'm going to make darn sure the guards I hire aren't limited to moving just at right angles... Those blasted player-characters will never expect it.)
This isn't necessarily a bad thing: It's not a problem for something to be formulaic if it's a formula that works, and the exploding slime is an interesting enough twist on the basic premise to make the experience worthwhile. Though Oozy is far from innovative, the controls are solid, the learning curve is appropriate and every time things seem to be getting a little tedious, a new twist is introduced. There will likely be times when you'll want to click away for a little bit (games like this with so many levels are best in small doses), but I think Oozy will grab you until the end.
Where Oozy really shines is its graphics and sound. It has an aesthetic manages to be both classically arcade and distinctly futuristic. The protagonist has a lot of personality in his movements, and the baddies he faces are just the right mix of odd, threatening, and adorable. Likewise, the music is something you will want to leave on: never before has the soundtrack for a mollusk been so appropriately chirpy and heroic.
All in all, Oozy and the Tower of Wulu is a fun romp. The fact that it seems so familiar is to its detriment, but, taken on its own merits, there's a lot to enjoy. Ooze away!