Published on August 31st, 2012 | by octaneblue1
Review: World Gone Sour
Developer: Playbrains, Beefy Media
System(s): PC, PlayStation Network, Xbox LIVE Arcade
Release Date: December 20, 2011 (PC), April 20, 2012 (PSN), April 21, 2012 (XBLA)
World Gone Sour is a platformer that features Sour Patch Kids. Yes, that’s right: Sour Patch Kids, the mascots of the candy that you’ve probably seen in grocery stores and the like, are featured in their own video game. Licensed games have appeared many times throughout the years, such as Yo! Noid (Domino’s Pizza), McKids (McDonald’s), Big Bumpin’ (Burger King), and the cult-classic Cool Spot (7UP). But how does World Gone Sour fare? At only $5, is it worth a download, or is that money better spent on the Sour Patch Kids candies instead?
World Gone Sour features a peculiar storyline. In the game, the main goal of a Sour Patch Kid’s life is to be eaten. However, those that get lost (i.e., stuck under couches, dropped under seats, etc.) turn evil. As a green Sour Patch Kid (blue, if you’re Player 2), your goal is to defeat the evil counterparts, and eventually reach your main goal — to end up in someone’s stomach. The game is narrated by actor Creed Bratton (The Office). Whether intentional or not, his voice gives of a rather creepy vibe. Along the way, he’ll guide you through the game, mostly in the beginning. The game’s soundtrack consists mostly of instrumental rap beats. These seem oddly out-of-place, but for the most part, the music is pretty good. However, hearing the same song repeat over and over throughout some of the levels does get a bit annoying. You can edit any sounds in the options menu, so you can turn down the music or narrator if you’d like.
The graphics of World Gone Sour are mediocre at best; the game looks like it’s from the last generation of consoles. The environments, while creative, look rather dull graphically. But this is one of those games where the graphics really don’t matter that much. So how is the gameplay? It’s actually pretty fun, albeit with some issues.
The gameplay is mostly standard platforming. The main aspect that sets World Gone Sour apart from others in its genre is the Pikmin-like commands for fellow Sour Patch Kids. Scattered throughout the levels are 25 of them. You can combine with certain amounts of them to make your character larger. This enables you to defeat enemies easier and take an extra hit; as long as you have enough Sour Patch Kids, you can grow up to two extra sizes. And you can change your size at will, and you’ll need to, as certain sections of level need you to be in your smaller form to squeeze through. You can also toss the Sour Patch Kids at enemies, and the game includes a “Sacrifice” bonus in which you literally sacrifice your fellow companions in various ways throughout the levels, such as melting, impaling, and slicing them apart. But don’t worry, they’ll re-spawn after a certain amount of time.
The game features 9 levels of platforming, and 4 boss levels. The bosses are quite easy, as you get 25 Sour Patch Kids before confronting them, enabling you to get to your largest size and have extras to toss around. Most of the bosses, which are all evil Sour Patch Kids with powers, take just a few hits to defeat, and the fights simply involve dodging the bosses and counterattacking when they are open.
Scattered throughout the platforming levels are collectibles. The stars give you points, while the green jelly-like substances fill up a meter on the top-left corner of the screen. Once you collect enough of those, you’ll get an extra life. And more extra lives are found in the form of Sour Patch Kid faces. There are also golden Sour Patch Kid statues, five in all, to be found in each level. And as mentioned earlier, each level features eight ways to sacrifice your comrades, and accomplishing that gets you bonus points at the end of the level. The points tallied are placed onto an online leaderboard, but that is it for the game’s online functionality. The game has co-op, but it’s local only.
What is definitely the biggest flaw with the gameplay is the jumping; the characters feel too floaty when jumping. This will lead to inevitable deaths because your character jumped too high or didn’t jump far enough. It gets frustrating when the character doesn’t respond well to your jump commands. Also, the game features wall jumping, but the controls for it don’t always work. So you’ll be struggling to wall jump as, for example, a buzzsaw is coming after you, but since the wall jumping in the game is awkward, you character will simply flip in place and get killed. More work definitely could have been focused on this part of the game. But, intentional or not, it is easy to find extra lives, so trying over and over again hopefully won’t lead to a Game Over. Another flaw with the game is the absurdly long loading times between levels. A better loading screen at least would have made up for it; instead you get a black screen with a small animation of the main character and a tip about the game below it.
The game lasts between 3-4 hours. It’s a short title, and other than a couple of unlockables that you get throughout the game, there’s nothing extra obtained once you beat it. You can try to collect all the game’s Trophies/Achievements, but that is it.
World Gone Sour is actually pretty fun at times, but definitely has its frustrating moments and flaws. But for a mere $5, you get what you pay for, and there are far worse games out there to play.
+ Goofy humor
+ Easy-to-learn gameplay
+ Inexpensive price
– Odd jumping controls
– Short length
– Long load times
Final score: 3.25 out of 5