Abe’s Od­dysee: New ‘n’ Tasty

Ev­ery­one wants to eat you

Mac|Life - - CONTENTS - Ian Evenden

$7.99 From Od­dworld In­hab­i­tants Inc, od­dworld.com Made for iPhone, iPad Needs iOS 8.0 or later An iOS port of the PlayS­ta­tion 4 up­date of the 1997 PlayS­ta­tion orig­i­nal Abe’s Od­dysee, New ‘n’ Tasty is the third Od­dworld game to ap­pear on the App Store de­spite be­ing canon­i­cally the first in the se­ries. It was al­ways one of the best, too.

Abe is a Mu­dokon, a green slave crea­ture who mops floors at the splen­didly named Rup­ture Farms, owned by Mol­luck the Glukkon. Far from be­ing a farm, it’s a meat pro­cess­ing plant that drives species to ex­tinc­tion through glut­tony. When Abe dis­cov­ers that his species is the next to go into the grinder, he or­ga­nizes a mass escape, sum­mon­ing por­tals.

As a 2D puz­zle-plat­former, New ‘n’ Tasty ben­e­fits from the imag­i­na­tion that’s gone into its darkly comic set­ting. Abe is weak, so avoid­ing guards or pulling levers to make them fall through floors al­low him to progress. The Mu­dokons will fol­low him, even if this means be­ing led into elec­tric bar­ri­ers or blown into chunks on land­mines. It’s a game full of charm and per­son­al­ity.

The prob­lem is the con­trols. Abe’s Od­dysee was de­signed with Sony’s eight-but­ton, twin-stick DualShock controller in mind, and the move to a plat­form with no but­tons has in­evitably led to com­pro­mise. There are both on-screen taps and swipes and vir­tual but­tons, the lat­ter clus­tered around the right thumb po­si­tion just per­fectly to ob­scure en­e­mies en­ter­ing the screen from that side.

It’s a flaw com­pounded by the fact the mag­ni­fy­ing glass icon doesn’t seem to do any­thing. In­creas­ing the but­tons’ size would make it eas­ier to hit them ac­cu­rately with a thumb, but would do nothing to al­le­vi­ate the mem­ory test that is us­ing them. And while most move­ments are car­ried out with a ges­ture, a sim­ple jump for­ward uses a but­ton.

It’s awk­ward things like this that take some­thing away from an oth­er­wise ex­cel­lent game. If you’ve got an MFI controller, then you’re in luck, be­cause there’s full sup­port, but iPhone gamers may strug­gle.

the bot­tom line. A great puz­zle gamer, but the con­trols in­fu­ri­ate.

The Slig guard will shoot Abe on sight, so they must be dealt with im­me­di­ately.

Abe’s abil­ity to in­ter­act with the en­vi­ron­ment is his sin­gle great­est weapon, es­pe­cially early on in the game.

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