Otto Review

Game: Otto
System: Nintendo Switch
Developer & Publisher: 34BigThings
Price: £4.49/€4.99/$4.99
Overall Feeling: I don’t like it.

(Review copy kindly provided by 34BigThings)

Otto is a cute looking mobile style puzzle game for Nintendo Switch. Upon first appearance, the visuals and game description were appealing, but sadly the game (at least in its present state) is flawed in numerous areas, which is a great shame.

Storyline

Otto is a cute hungry lazy hamster with a huge appetite and the player is required to manoeuvre Otto around 90 stages which are divided up into three 3 sections overall.  Otto begins his adventure at home, but then moves onto Egypt and later Japan.  This hamster loves a good vacation!  It’s a simple storyline, and that’s fine.

Gameplay

Otto is guided around the screen by using a pulley system.  The lazy rodent simply sits on a platform, and using two ropes, moving both independently up or down, the aim is to guide Otto around numerous obstacles to reach the exit.  There’s also the extra challenge of eating seeds which are positioned throughout each stage to make things more challenging.

The game’s main idea is simple, and that’s fine too.

Visuals and Sound

The visuals are also simple but the kid in me really enjoys them.  The soundtrack is typical of a standard mobile game and the sound effects match the cute visual style.  So everything is likable so far.

Controls and Level Design

Sadly, this is where Otto doesn’t succeed.  The game supports both joy-con and touch screen controls, but at best, they’re both fiddly and imprecise.  Firstly, I spent a reasonable amount of time using motion controls (which require gamers to play as if they’re really using a pulley system), but they felt unresponsive and broken.  Hoping that the problem was with me and not the game, I handed both joy-cons to my wife, and after a while, she too came to the conclusion that they’re simply not good enough. I even decided to try playing in table top mode, so that the joy-cons were in close proximity to the console, but that still didn’t improve things.

Secondly, despite the touch screen being a massive improvement over motion controls, it still falls short due to Otto’s level design.

 

 

At times, there are so many obstacles onscreen that the game demands quick but precise movements.  Obstacles consist of both stationary and moving mines, homing paper airplanes, cannons, mini vortexes, scrolling screens, bubble machines etc.  What’s more, some obstacles respawn every few seconds so the player must be quick, but the overall lack of precision means continual frustration and annoyance.  Perhaps things could be improved if obstacles were slightly tweaked so that things didn’t feel so squished.

Overall

I really want to recommend Otto but I’m afraid I can’t in the current state.  I hate to write negative reviews, but Otto still needs work in both game controls and level design.  I’m hoping a patch will be issued at some point in order to address the issues stated above, and when or if that happens, I will be happy to revisit Otto.  Until then, I have no option but to give the game a big thumb down.

I don’t like it

 

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