4cr Plays – Squids Odyssey
SQUIDS Odyssey is out now on the Wii U, and it brings a fun mix of RPG elements on top of an easy to learn game mechanic: pull, aim and release! This is how you control a group of Squid that must fight against other sea creatures that have been corrupted by a strange black ooze.
The first handful of levels in the game get you used to what each of your team members has to offer, which is very important considering there are four different classes with skills that are specific to them.
Scouts are fast and nimble. You’ll use them to cover a lot of ground in each level as you search for your objectives and scout the location to see where all the enemies and treasures are. Scouts also have a special dash skill that helps change direction on the go or speed further into a level. Troopers are the heavy class of the bunch. They can definitely take a beating as well as dish it back out, and you’ll use them to do the most damage as you cover your other teammates. They can also execute a powerful stomp that damages every enemy in its effect radius. Shooters provide ranged attacks and are great for when you need to damage enemies from far away. Once in range, you’ll be able to target enemies and send a powerful blast in their direction, dealing substantial damage in a single shot. Healers are the units you’ll use to heal all other units in order to survive. They’re a valuable member of the team and must be kept alive at all costs. Losing your healer will put you in serious trouble, so be careful!
Every unit in your team can damage the enemy by hitting them as they move, and the closer the unit is to an enemy as it takes its turn, and the farther away you pull a Squid, the larger the amount of damage dealt. This adds an extra element of strategy to the game since you must decide if using your last turn to attack an enemy is the way to go, or if you should instead escape to regroup and attack again during your next turn.
If this was all the game had to offer it would be a bit lacking and repetitive, but it goes the extra mile by adding a decent dose of RPG elements. When completing a level, or by hitting the closed clams that are found on each level, you will be rewarded with pearls that can be used as the in-game currency for purchasing equipment for your Squid, or you can use them to level up each unit individually, increasing their stats and improving their skills. This opens the door to a lot of customization options since you can tailor your experience to the particular objective of each level.
Customizing and leveling up your units is important in order to obtain all 3 stars in each level, since securing all 3 rewards you with even more pearls. One star is obtained by completing the level with all Squid still alive, the second one is for finishing a level before a set number of turns, and the final star is actually hidden in the level and must be collected directly.
Something else that you need to use in each level are the items found in bottles buried in the ground. These can reward you with a number of items or effects including healing, starfish that are instantly thrown at your enemies for some extra damage, a spiky shell that protects you until your next turn, and a few others.
There’s a lot of content in this game, and it kept me busy for over 10 hours before I obtained all the stars and completed every single level. Depending on your skills and on how many stars you manage to get during your first run of each level your game time may vary.
SQUIDS Odyssey is a very addictive game that provides a nice balance between all of its action, strategy and RPG elements to deliver a solid release that results in dozens of hours of gameplay. The easy mechanics, customization options, colorful graphics, and the large amount of content make this an easy recommendation for Wii U owners that like strategy games wrapped in a nice action-packed shell.
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