Ever since we were younguns, rushing through the Peppermint Forest, meeting up with Gramma Nut, and slogging our way through the Molasses Swamp just to shake hands with King Kandy, we’ve always had a soft spot for playing with our sugary confections. No matter if you were pretending to be royalty with your fingers full of Ring Pops, or decimating entire populations of gummy bears by the handful, candy has been just as much about fun as it has been about pleasing our tastebuds. Naturally, this desire to play with our food has bled over into our favorite pastime, with the latest brand to go digital, Sour Patch Kids, allowing us to embody the mouth-puckering chewy delights.
You could almost slap any candy logo on the box art and see it fit in just fine with what World Gone Sour has to offer. It’s a platformer at its most basic (and generic) level. Players can run through solo or cooperative (local only), jumping, double jumping, swinging, and ground pounding their way across nine stages, set in three different areas. In terms of gameplay, it is as unremarkable as they come. Even the least seasoned gamer should have no trouble blowing through it in three or four hours. The control mechanics themselves provide the only potential stumbling block, as at times I found them to be unresponsive or laggy; a surprise given how narrow the move selection is.
"World Gone Sour is a classic example of ‘you get what you pay for’. It’s a short, inexpensive adventure that will appeal more to the kiddies than it will the adults."
Flat as it is, it was obvious from the outset that the gameplay is not the centerpiece here. The hook comes in the setting, putting players in the roles of the green and blue sour gummies as they journey to consumption (being the consumed, not the consumer). This is where the one true high point of World Gone Sour comes to light: The narrator. Incredibly underutilized, the narrator sets the stage, letting us know that all of these candies have a singular desire to be eaten, and due to a clumsy mishap, one such kid falls out of the package and is left behind. Now, to fulfil his calling, he sets out on an adventure, making his way past all sorts of cranky foodstuffs, from a rather viscous batch of nachos to other ticked off Sour Patch Kids. Environmental hazards are plentiful as well, including spilled toxic soda pop, electric stovetop coils, and boiling hot cooking oil, to name a few. Players will even have to face off in a few boss battles, though those are just as thin and uninspired as the gameplay.
Seeing all these everyday item brought to life is somewhat cool, and as I said, the narrator steals the show. His deadpan, tongue-in-cheek delivery is easily the most entertaining aspect of the entire experience. It’s sad that once the tutorial lessons have been learned, he disappears, only to reemerge to push the threadbare story along. It would have been nice to have more of his matter-of-fact quips pointing out the obvious throughout each stage, and it surely would have made the journey a lot more interesting.
For all the tediousness World Gone Sour delivers, I still can’t completely pan it. The visuals may be just as unremarkable as the gameplay, but they aren’t bad. And the little ones are sure to be a lot more fascinated with the experience, you know, in that “Honey I Shrunk the Kids” sort of way. Then when you take into account the wallet-friendly $5 price point, it makes it tough to really slam the game. It isn’t broken, and there is some novelty to be found in venturing (briefly) through our world from the perspective of lost candies.
World Gone Sour is a classic example of ‘you get what you pay for’. It’s a short, inexpensive adventure that will appeal more to the kiddies than it will the adults. However, given the subject matter, I’m not sure that it would have been fair to expect anything else, especially considering the cost of admission. If you are looking for top tier family fun...this isn’t it. It’s a dull, generic 3D sidescroller whose only redeeming quality - beyond the price point - was painfully underused. But if you have an extra $5 and want to sit for a couple hours with your child for some light-hearted co-op action, then World Gone Sour will fill that void just fine.
Release date : 2012-04-15
Publisher : Capcom
Developer : Playbrains
Gameplay : Platformer
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