Organic Panic – Early Access Review
By Nathaniel Liles
[dropcap]O[/dropcap]kay, so, Organic Panic. If you’re a regular to the site, you may have already seen our video review of this quirky action-puzzle-platformer, but as is the way of video reviews, there were a few things I didn’t quite get to. I have no idea what that was, exactly, so while this article will probably repeat itself a little bit, but rest assured that I’ll probably stumble onto some talking points that I originally missed, so here we go.
Organic Panic is made by Last Limb LLC, a team made up of best friends and industry veterans, and that level of experience and genuine care show through very well in the game’s content. The developers call this a hybrid mix of Worms and Little Big Planet, and the gameplay is very indicative of an effort to emulate those two styles without copying. The way your character controls is very similar to Little Big Planet. It’s a little slippery (as it was in LBP), and climbing up on ledges is as simple as trying to. Sometimes you make it, sometimes you don’t, and it feels very much like actually scampering up onto a ledge. Character weight is satisfying and the pace of the gameplay is really fun and engaging. The Worms influence show through in the goofy, brightly-colored asset design and quirky humor of the game. Alongside that, we have the characteristic level destruction seen in the Worms’s titles, and it’s implemented very well to provide an open-ended experience through level destruction.
Another big touch of Little Big Planet in Organic Panic is the fact that every level in the 100+ mission single-player campaign was made with the level editor available to all players. The tools required to recreate the game to the pixel are provided, and that allows creative gamers to fully explore their level-creating selves and share that expression with your friends. Alternatively, you can make a super hard unwinnable level and give your friends the finger. Anything goes, and that’s why Organic Panic, as a whole, is so great.
Speaking of why this game is so great, I’m not a big fan of the visual aspect. It’s goofy, and takes a lot of design cues from the Worms series, but the “every level is made in the level creator” accessibility is also what makes a lot of this feel like a collection of user-created levels. We don’t see the level of polish a game designer would normally put into each level, even though it’s very clear in the thoughtful puzzle design that the developers put their all into this one. Characters also have weird, creepy aspects like their big, wet eyes and off putting sound effects. It looks and sounds a little dated, but it’s a cheesy dated flair that appeal to a lot of people.
All in all, graphical gripes aside, I really enjoyed Organic Panic, and I highly recommend it to anyone looking for a good source of endless content. If you’re good with a level creator, please, for the benefit of the community, pick this up and play around with it. It’s only $9.99 on Steam (or $4.99 if you catch it during the Summer Steam Sale!), and that includes a campaign with over 100 levels of super fun platforming, dirt lasering goodness.
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[author image=”http://cliqist.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/01/nathaniel.jpg”]Nathaniel Liles is a freelance writer, writing major, and indie musician based in Southern Indiana. While procrastinating or avoiding real-world responsibility, Nathaniel enjoys playing rhythm games, action RPGs, and very colorful games with many bright, flashing lights. You can listen to Nathaniel sing songs or download his music for free on his BandCamp page. You can watch him play games on his Twitch channel. You can also follow him on twitter at @NathanielLiles. And finally, you can read more of his writing over at EliteGamingComputers.com. He’s a pretty connected guy.[/author]