So here’s a number I’ve been having some fun with for a few days. As a quick introduction, Wuppo is a 2D narrative action-adventure platformer with RPG elements brought to you by the developers Knuist & Perzik. Here is a quick rundown of the game and it’s features:
After losing its home, one lonely Wum must travel the length and width of the world to find a new place to live. From the metropolitan haven Popocity to the cavernous Bliekopolis, our Wum will discover magical places and encounter strange creatures. But this Wum is no traditional hero and only by using wit and charm can it succeed in this massive journey.
Wuppo is a two-man passion project, with hand-drawn visuals, an extensive soundtrack and a huge world to explore.
I’ve done a intro run of that start of the game, which you can watch here below:
Wuppo presents to you a cute little story wrapped in some comical conversations with huge overtones of sarcasm. As mentioned on the intro, it concerns Wum who gets kicked out of the residence it is staying in, for messing ice cream all over the place. Once it is kicked out into the wild, Wum is suddenly surrounded by the dangerous wild and the quests along the way it needs to undertake.
What I really loved about the game were the interactive conversations. This could have so easily been set up like so many other 2d platformers out there. You meet someone, you press buttons to listen to conversations and you move on. Yet, for Wuppo the writers went for some interactive choices. You can decide how you want to respond to questions. This will determine how the NPC will respond to you and treat you in turn.
Even the puzzles and activities are both hilarious and fun at the same time. If for some reason you do not know what the sign means (as you can see in the video, I didn’t know what the first sign meant) someone will pop along and explain it to you in a way that makes you feel like you should have seen that coming. And does so in a way that does not give the secret or solution away, but simply hints at it.
Having said all this, the ‘story’ and dialogue all seems fillers for what is an epic RPG adventure. The story doesn’t really drive you forward. There is no compelling reason to want to return home other than the Wum wants to return home. The journey is more enjoyable than any sense of a compelling tale, and the conversations make for a good laugh. Yet, there is no sense of purpose to returning home. As the game evolves towards the end, more and more is added to the story in a way that feels disconnected, and the world opens up completely.
Wuppo follows most of the basic controls you would find for a 2d platformer. I can’t help but marvel at how Wum can smile with every single jump no matter how dangerous the area is, which just makes the character that much more adorable.
Having said that, Wuppo had one feature I did not expect from a platformer like this. A massive inventory that you can access like any AAA RPG game out there, like Assassins Creed Origins. Granted, I’m only speaking here of the inventory size. If you need to switch from your bubble thrower to your bird, you can access your inventory and change what is at hand. There are no nifty features like a quick switch button, but the addition of this awesome inventory feature really blew me away.
There is also no clear linear progression at times. Unlike most platformers, like Pankapu that we recently reviewed, there was no clear linear progression at times. Even at the beginning, as you saw in the video, when you are running through the woods, there was no clear indication of where the goal was. There were so many roads to take to find things, I was unsure if I was taking the main story path or if I had missed something in the area that I might need. Although this is a rather epic move for a platformer, it also became frustrating. It was like the whole area was a puzzle or labyrinth in itself and took away some of the enjoyment of the game.
What the graphics does well is contrast various colourful scenes with some great lighting. The scenes can be compared to some pastel and oil rough drawings with no polish transported straight into a game. It is not exactly crisp or exact masterpieces, but at least it is consistent throughout the game to give you that retro feel.
The various levels, character designs and enemies were giving some thought and a lot of work went into creating the variety you will find in the hours of gameplay. The designs are good enough to let you know what is going on, but nothing that really stands out or makes you go “Wow! That’s gorgeous.” More credit should be given to how much work went into the large world the developers had built and the variety provided.
There is also no voice-over acting for any of the dialogue, but with a two-man team behind this development with a low budget that is to be expected. Much of the work is done through reading conversations. What sound and background is provided per level does lend towards some great atmosphere, especially when fighting the bosses.
What made the experience so exciting for me was that I was provided with a full pack for review, including the soundtrack, some Avatars for my PS4 profile and also some cool themes. If I ever want to immerse myself in the Wuppo universe, the developers have provided the opportunity for me to do so. The cool sounds and music are now available for me to listen to while I am working or carrying on with any other activities that requires some great background music. It’s not often that developers provide so much content for an indie game like this, which just goes to show how much passion these developers had in making this game.
For indie developers, this is not a bad game. It’s hard to give Wuppo a bad score, when it has so many good qualities. In the core of the game, the love and work the developers went into making it and the additional content is very clear. Yes, the graphics and audio are not fantastic, and traversing this large open world can be immensely frustrating at times. Yet somehow the game pulls you back in for more, maybe not through an enticing story, but though the enjoyable RPG elements it has infused in this delightful 2d Platformer.
I do believe that if you give this game a chance, you will enjoy it more than you’d like to admit.