November 6th, 2011 | By James Attard
1999 was the year I first encountered the game Snake on my parent’s Nokia mobile. Since then I’ve found myself enjoying several variations of the classic arcade title but none have won me over as much as Octopede, developed by Orbital Games. Like any good game based on the Snake concept Octopede has the same gameplay mechanics you would expect. However what Orbital Games have done is expand on those very same mechanics to bring the game to, what some would consider, today’s standards.
Octopede sees the players controlling a lone computer program who is in a search for more megabytes. To obtain these megabytes the player must eat what is called ‘data’ which expands the program, similar to how in Snake upon eating something you become longer. The computer you occupy however does not appreciate you stealing this data an sends several variance types of enemies and obstacles out to eradicate you. To combat against these enemies the player can use a very simple gun, which really is limited in firing power. However in addition to consuming data the player can also consume different types of weapons, some which make quite the impact, to fight back against the enemies.
The way enemies and obstacles go appearing through out the game can really keep a player on their feet. I found that every type of obstacle put in place, and they change quite often, required me to put a different strategy in place. These strategies would decide how I would go about eating data, destroying enemies all while avoiding the obstacles themselves. What is even more better though is that instead of the common 4 way movements available, which is universal for a Snake game, Octopede goes the extra mile and offers 8 way movements.
Where I believe the game does fall down however is in its controls. Octopede offers players the choice of either keyboard or gamepad support. When playing with the keyboard I found that the game felt slower than it should have and it just did not feel as natural. Playing with my Xbox gamepad however I found the gameplay to be more fluid in how it responded.
Visually Octopede is quite the spectacular eyesight, in a similar vain to Geometry wars, heavily using neon graphics that gives it that type of inside a computer appeal quite successfully. The game also uses colors in way that allows the player to differentiate between what data, weapons, enemies and obstacles are on the field. In addition the game’s 8-bit style music also suits the tone set by the gameplay and graphics.
When it comes to the replay ability of the game the scoring system used, with scoring multipliers, will have the player wanting to be their top score every time they play. Costing only $2.99 I highly recommend you buy Octopede.