I admit it. I do enjoy the occasional simple puzzle platformer every now and then ever since the popularity of Angry Birds on smartphones and tablets. Of course there have been classics like Soloman’s Key, but there has been a great resurgence with titles like Limbo, Unravel, and Never Alone to name a few. With the exception of the Angry Birds franchise, there hasn’t been too many smaller, physics based platformer to release, and Organic Panic is looking to fill that void.
There is war happening in Organic Panic; a dietary war between fruits & vegetables, and meats & cheese…literally. You play as the fruits and vegetables that have their individual powers; “Cherry controls EARTH, Kiwi controls WATER, Carrot controls FIRE, and Coconut controls GRAVITY”, and you will be pitted against the mechanically inclined meats and cheeses in over 200 levels.
It would be a treat to be able explain the plot of Organic Panic, but that’s not feasible as there isn’t one, or at least a cohesive one. Instead, there are short slideshows that explanation the next “mission” and why you are doing it. These are fine, but ultimately unnecessary as some of them don’t make much sense with its dialogue, or paint a grander picture into the world. Then again, it’s a game where food groups are battling each other, so there probably doesn’t need to be any real plot anyways.
As stated before, each character has their own set of powers and the first few chapters of the game are essentially tutorials on how to use each of them. Be prepared to discover how to use them on your own for the most part as the directions are very vague, or not there at all. It took some time to understand how to use the Kiwi’s water powers until I just went to town on some enemies and discovered I could drown them and the water physics in the game are fantastic.
To raise your power meter, you will have to collect blue orbs to fill it. These orbs are not many as the challenge of the game is to use your powers in the best possible way to clear the level. Sometimes it’s as easy as shooting the earth above you to make it collapse on top of others and sometimes it’s more about timing your attacks to help reserve your power.
The physics of the game are great as you will use them to your advantage to gain the gold star in each level by flooding areas, igniting the ground on fire, and shooting the ground to cause a crescendo of destruction. Using your powers to gain the upper hand is awesome and that is what will keep people coming back until they get to later areas in the game where the challenge to the game starts to show.
In fact, some levels are more challenging than they really should be. The difficulty with each area seems very inconsistent; one moment you are clearing a board easily and the next you are pulling your hair out just to get to the end and the majority of the difficulty I had was due to the shooting in the game.
The aiming in Organic Panic just did not control well at all. You have the ability to direct your aim, but it is not responsive enough for anyone to have luck shooting a target slightly above or below them. This is the Achilles heel of the game and it could almost be forgivable if you had unlimited power, but it drains just like any other in the game and that is a complete waste of resources. If the aiming wasn’t so hard, more fun would have been had.
There is a three-star system that tends to be standard in these types of games, but instead of one to three stars, you can get a bronze, silver, or gold. To get the gold, you will have to destroy all the enemies on the map and obtain a purple diamond. There probably won’t be too much issue the first three chapters of the game, but Organic Panics difficulty rises afterwards with the option of switching between characters instead of relying on one particular power.
On the plus side of Organic Panic is its cooperative mode; “Co-op players can work together as a team to solve and battle their way through levels.” While single player mode has its challenges to be sure, the team cooperative play is great for families and friends that stop by for a while. The best mode by far is the versus mode as you can have up to four players fight it out Super Smash Brothers style. You can even choose to have teams, how many matches, how long they last ,and if you want any NPC enemies in the battle.
Organic Panic is a fine physics based platformer overall. Water and earth flow and crumble as you expect in these type of games and when you are using your powers to manipulate the land, the game is very fun and the bright colors of the game will keep you interested. However, what will take the audience’s attention away from the game is when they reach the harder levels and find there shooting is terrible bad to a hard to control aiming reticle. The lack of story is never an issue as most people won’t lose sleep over what started the war between the veggies and the proteins, but the bad shooting will. Fortunately, the co-op mode can make up for some of it as it does make for a good party game.
*A copy was Organic Panic was provided to nuGame Network for review purposes