Aug 17, 2017 Last Updated 10:50 PM, Aug 16, 2017
Published in Action
Read 1174 times
Rate this item
(0 votes)
Tagged under

Some of my favorite games are ones that remind me of my childhood, either in the way they feel, play, and are presented, or the themes and overarching stories they try to convey.

I think it’s because childhood was a simpler time, one before the constant connectivity of cell phones and the internet, before the responsibilities of having a job and needing to pay monthly bills, before the permeation of my modern day cynicism regarding anything potentially good in my life… And I know I’m not alone in this emotion. A common word many use to lovingly describe the feelings evoked from some of their favorite titles is nostalgic. Nostalgia is a powerful emotion, one that can lead us to overlook glaring flaws or turn offs that others may readily perceive and reject, but to us, it’s perfect as is. Having the opportunity to preview Wuppo before its release, I feel I’ve been entertained by a sensation of nostalgia, not through its imperfections, but through its aesthetic, attitudes and just plain enjoyability. If you loved such titles as Cave Story, Super Mario RPG/Paper Mario, or even Binding of Isaac, you’ll definitely enjoy or at least appreciate Wuppo. 

A passion project of Knuist & Perzik’s Lars Korendijk & Thomas de Waard, Wuppo tells the story of a young scallywag of a Wum who is unjustly ejected from its room in the Wumhouse for letting a little bit of ice cream spill on the floor. Now outside and far from safety, it is forced to fend for itself against unfamiliar environments, dangerous enemies, and unfair price gouging from independent salesmen. An Action RPG at its heart, Wuppo is a Metroidvania that shines with personality from the hand drawn animations and environments, to the personal and personable interactions of the game’s denizens. Most areas of Wuppo are full of life and verticality, with branching paths that cross over each other and provide plenty of secrets to uncover. Character movement is smooth and fluid, with double jumps helping the player reach higher ledges or distant platforms. Once you’ve gained your first gun, the gumgumgun, you’re able to aim and shoot at enemies and objects. Firing is responsive and playful with gum gum bullets taking exaggerated arcs through the air, limiting your range and forcing you to measure your shots to make them count. A variety of weapons, as well as headgear and other items, can be acquired through story progression and exploration, as well as the multiple shops throughout the world. Character progression, namely health increases, are gained by performing great deeds, either through combat or conversation. 

Social skills are a must, as almost all creatures can be interacted with for better or worse, depending on your choices.

Dialogue between characters is often times hilarious thanks to the quirkiness of each interaction and the uniqueness of each NPC. While playing the pre-release version I had a particularly amusing conversation with Denksnevel, your knowledgeable bird companion when he informed me that, just as heads up, my preview would end once we boarded the train. My character was then given the choice to agree and continue, or question his statement with, “What are you even talking about?” Naturally, I picked that, and was presented with more chances to frustrate Denksnevel’s attempts at explaining he was trying to talk to me, not my Wum. Such clever writing throughout Wuppo helps make every moment of gameplay constantly delightful and wonderfully surprising, keeping the player captivated throughout their journey.

Besides confabulation, the art of Wuppo is another engrossing element awaiting players.

As mentioned before, all characters and environments are hand-drawn, specifically by Lars Korendijk. His work is beautifully expressive, with a grand range of colors and linework. All menus, dialogue boxes, and sprites are lively and fun, superbly straddling the line of childish whimsy and professional design. Everything seems meticulously crafted to fit together, with carefully chosen color palettes and character design, but is loose enough to seem like a happy accident that just works perfectly. 

The sounds and music of Wuppo is yet another excelling segment of the whole, thanks to the work of Thomas de Waard. Youthful melodies and ludic beats are found in an overabundance as they warmly harmonize together to create an enthralling soundtrack that you can’t help but smile along with as you listen to it. Many of the tunes are related jingles that eagerly await your ears as you return to previous areas, be it the change of the happy chug of the Wumhouse theme during the day to its lazy lullaby sleepily playing at night, to the wistfulness of Burt Smulder’s story time theme, to the seemingly duplicitous theme of the Popocity promotion team’s creator. Each arrangement is carefully developed to convey the appropriate emotions the composer intended. 

9

The Verdict

Overall, Wuppo is an excellent example of how great a good game can be. Every piece found within has been fine-tuned and polished to shine in the eyes and ears of those fortunate enough to experience it. Gameplay is enjoyable, controls are tight and responsive, characters are alive and full of personality, and the soundtrack is more than a pleasure to listen to on a regular basis. Multiple difficulties, varying dialogue options, and a plethora of collectibles help encourage replayability. Wuppo is my future nostalgia.

Image Gallery

View the embedded image gallery online at:
http://opnoobs.com/reviews/indie/action/wuppo#sigProId8d130c9096
Charles Howington

Chuckowski fancies himself an artist, musician, avid gamer, medicine man, and now writer for the site you're currently viewing. He loves great games, enjoys good games, and can appreciate bad games (especially if they're so bad they're good). Everything is fine, nothing matters, and do the lives we live outweigh those of the people we scarred living them, or does none of that matter once we've returned to the hungry ground we spawned from? Just ignore that last sentence, let's enjoy some games!

Related items

  • Just In Time Incorporated Review

    Just in Time Incorporated is Just Okay. It’s a great concept, but the execution is lacking. As it stands, the puzzle solutions felt too stilted and left you craving more challenge, however, the brief title is still more enjoyable than not, with humor that consistently delivers. Though fairly polished, and with mechanics that plain work, we get the impression that there's a great game in Just in Time – just not this time.

  • Hello Neighbor: Pre-Purchase Ready with Alpha Access

    Hello Neighbor is a Stealth Horror game where you sneak into your creepy neighbor's house to figure out what he's hiding in his basement. You play against an advanced self-learning AI that counters your every move.

  • Playcrafting Spring Expo 2017

    “Jus’ watch me, you joyk,” New York might say. While the city doesn’t attract big name game studios yet, it has a growing and energetic indie game scene. The members of this scene are gaming devotees looking for communal support and wishing for New York to support small entrepreneurship and can-do attitudes. Programs to help start-ups exist, like NYU-Poly, Entrepreneurs Roundtable Accelerator, and NYC Seed. However, the landscape lacks initiatives which support video game developers, specifically.

More in this category: Madrobot X Review »

Latest Shows

Black the Fall I…

After decades of toil, an old machinist plots his escape from Communism, through manipulation and scheming. Along the road, he befriends the most unlikely creature, an abandoned ro...

Empathy: Path of…

Empathy: Path of Whispers is an atmospheric and story-driven adventure game where you explore a seemingly abandoned world through the emotions and memories of the people who once i...

Out Soon

PC Gaming Incoming

Total War: WARHA…

Sequel to the award-winning Total War: WARHAMMER, Total War: WARHAMMER II introduces a breathtaking ...

The Inner World …

The flute nose dynasty has been watching over Asposia for centuries on end. In secret, they fill the...

Halcyon 6: Light…

Right now, Halcyon 6: Lightspeed Edition is very much (if not only) a sum of its parts; luckily, Massive Damage made sure that each of those parts is well-executed. Hopefully, the ...

The Long Dark Re…

The Long Dark is imperfect, but it could be one of the best experiences in the survival genre. For the impatient, single-player gamer, The Long Dark holds little promise. However, ...

Children of Zodi…

Children of Zodiarcs pleases to no end and has you coming back for more, as you work to hone your deck, dice, and tactical style to best synergize your party. A must-have for tacti...

Pyre Review

Gamers will talk about Pyre for a good while. Vivid visuals pair well with energizing audio, and both complement the subtle, mechanical gameplay; Pyre, a stunning package,provides ...