When the Life Flower is stolen by a rotten wizard, it's up to our puzzle-solving, blob-spitting, adventure-having... uh... caterpillar... guy... to save the day! Like Oozy and the Tower of Wulu, Oddity Games and ESP Animation deliver a beautiful top-down mix of arcade-like action and puzzling daring-do in Oozy: Tale of the Life Flower. Use [WASD] or the [arrow] keys to move, and hit [spacebar] to spit out one of your limited numbers of bubbles. You can see how many you have left in the upper-left corner, but don't worry... once a bubble is destroyed, whether by an enemy or you chomping it down yourself, you'll gain it back to regurgitate again.
To get past most stages, you need to destroy the glowing orbs generating the barricade in front of the exit, which means laying down chains of bubbles that lead to them so you can activate an explosive chain to destroy each orb. Just avoid any and all enemies or you'll have to restart the level, so make sure you figure out how to trap them or make their own movement work against them... especially when it comes to boss battles! Largely, the game is gorgeous, with colourful character design, fluid animation, and lovely environments, with the exception the yellow blocks that perfectly match the ground they sit on in the first set of stages, which can make things hard even when you're not colour-blind. It doesn't help that the one-hit KO can be especially painful when it comes to boss battles and you're whittling something's enormous healthbar down only to be destroyed because its minion breathed on you.
Get around that, however, and Oozy: Tale of the Life Flower is an engaging mix of puzzles and action with a polished presentation. It does take it a while to offer any significant challenge or vary the levels beyond "now do it all again, but rearranged", but the gameplay is both smoother than its predecessor and actually more forgiving without the timer. For a game about a bug smothering its foes to death in gobs of its own spit, it's cute, fun, and a fine little addition to your roster of coffee-break games. Just make sure to catch all the optional squids if you want the true ending!