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Review: Wuppo

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Wum is the loneliest number

The story of Wuppo revolves around a little, ball-shaped creature known as a Wum who gets kicked out of their home after making a huge mess while eating some ice cream. There’s a bit of lore drip fed through collectible film strips, but it’s still pretty damn bare-bones. The majority of your time will be spent traversing the land and solving various puzzles, while visiting different towns and speaking to goofy characters. 

I started this game without any real idea of exactly what the hell I was getting into. I assumed it was just some cutesy hand-drawn platformer that wouldn’t provide any serious challenge, but I was wrong. Holy crap was I ever wrong. 

Wuppo (PC, PS4 [reviewed], Xbox One)
Developer: Knuist & Perzik
Publisher: SOEDESCO Publishing
Released: November 10, 2017
MSRP: $19.99 (PS4/Xbox One), $14.99 (PC)

Don’t let the adorable, blob-like characters fool you. Wuppo may start out easy enough, but the difficulty quickly revs up once you encounter your first boss battle. Fights require a decent amount of precision movement alongside the memorization of enemy patterns. Your attacks consist of firing guns in a setup very similar to your average twin-stick shooter. 

Unfortunately, the game has a number of technical issues which make these scuffles much less enjoyable than they, otherwise, could be. For instance, the jump button has a tendency of not registering when hit in quick succession. The double jump is a major part of your available skills, and it simply doesn’t work sometimes. This, combined with slight instances of freezing and stuttering prevalent throughout, resulted in me dying a lot of needlessly cheap deaths.

Seriously, this is probably the closest I’ve come to throwing a controller in years. I love challenging games, but Wuppo is hard for all the wrong reasons. It doesn’t have much in the way of a tutorial, which is fine, but it also fails to effectively prepare you for new obstacles as well. The evolution of gameplay has a tendency to feel downright unnatural, and a few puzzle solutions are pointlessly obtuse. 

For example: About midway through, you must sneak past some NPCs who are surrounded by stacks of dirty plates and dishes. If you bump into any of these, you’re thrown out of the room, and you must start all the way from the beginning. This was the first instance of stealth introduced during the game at all, and it was necessary to progress the story. It took me hours of attempts before I realized that I had the ability to nudge the character past these dishes without knocking them over. A totally mundane task was made needlessly difficult due to the lack of any prior basic context clues. This is not the only situation I ran into like this, and I can’t help but feel it just comes down to sloppy game design. 

The boss encounters, however, were my favorite part of the experience. Enemies towered over me and set an intimidating sense of scale. They did an excellent job of keeping things interesting too and offered a decent amount of variety in their attack patterns and solutions. Although, there were a few that had some really intense difficulty spikes. Out of all of them, the last fight in the game was the guiltiest of this. Fuck that guy. 

Despite some very serious flaws, there was a whole lot to love here too. The dialogue was fun, and some of the characters were downright hilarious. The story beats were a bit generic, but there were genuinely thrilling segments that made me smile like an idiot near the second half of the game. 

I really tried to enjoy Wuppo, but the technical issues and frustrating game design made it feel like such a chore. It’s a shame too because this could have been a great game otherwise. As it stands right now, however, the problems vastly outweigh the things that Wuppo does right. 

[This review is based on a retail build of the game provided by the publisher.]


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Wuppo reviewed by Kevin MerserHoHoHo

5

MEDIOCRE

An exercise in apathy, neither solid nor liquid. Not exactly bad, but not very good either. Just a bit "meh," really.
How we score:  The destructoid reviews guide

 
 
 

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Kevin MerserHoHoHo
Kevin MerserHoHoHoContributor   gamer profile

I'll always be DeadMoon in my heart of hearts, but you can call me Kevin now. I like comics, corgis, video games, and music a lot. Almost everything I do in my free time revolves around these fou... more + disclosures


 



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