It seems that development studio 10tons has decided to port everything it has over to the mobile game-friendly new console from Nintendo. GameGrin only recently reviewed another of the developers’ games, SpellSpire, and now sees puzzler King Oddball appear on the Switch.
Released on Xbox One and PS4 earlier in the year, King Oddball is a game in the Crush the Castle and Angry Birds mould. You play as the titular King Oddball, a giant head in the sky, whose sole ambition is to destroy the world of men. Luckily, the world of men has built numerous rickety towers just waiting to be knocked down. Oddball, who looks a little bit like an orc, has an exceptionally long purple tongue which he uses to throw rocks at people. That’s really about as complex as the story goes.
Objectives in this title are fairly simple - defeat all enemies on screen using as few throws of your missiles as possible. Players can select their stage from a group of 4x4 squares, and have a chance to throw three rocks at enemies and structures. Momentum is built up by swinging King Oddball from side to side before releasing the missile into your hapless enemies. If you hit more than three targets in one throw, you get a bonus rock. Some bonus levels allow you to experiment with different weapon types - including grenades - but falling masonry is always your prime weapon.
Timing is everything in this game, and later levels (of which there are hundreds) will require the player to prioritise their targets for maximum damage.The results can be impressive and satisfying, especially when an effective combo comes off well. Unfortunately, there’s not much interaction with the game further than pressing one button. This is something of a shame, especially when you consider one of the Switch’s key draws is its motion controls. It feels like an opportunity missed, and makes it seem like the developers simply wanted to chuck the game onto a new platform without consideration.
10tons returns with a characteristic cartoony style for King Oddball, and most stages are set within pastel-coloured skylines with muted - yet not dull - palettes. In contrast, the explosions and enemies are well animated and really pop when compared to the background. The soundtrack is lighthearted in its attempt to be sombre, like a clown with sad face makeup.
At the end of the day, King Oddball is a mobile title ported to a console that thrives on mobility, and that will always swing in its favour. If you can look past the missed opportunity that is the lack of motion controls, and the fairly simplistic gameplay, you’ll probably find a title that is entertaining in short bursts. Don’t expect it to light your world on fire, though.
King Oddball (Reviewed on Nintendo Switch)
Game is enjoyable, outweighing the issues there may be.
If you can look past the missed opportunity that is the lack of motion controls, and the fairly simplistic gameplay, you’ll probably find a title that is entertaining in short bursts. Don’t expect it to light your world on fire, though.