Organic Panic (Last Limb Games)
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Set in a topsy-turvy world where the fruits and vegetables are heroes fighting back against the evil forces of meat and cheese, Organic Panic is a puzzle platformer with a healthy dollop of physics thrown into the mix. This is definitely the first time that I’m rooting for the healthy food over the tasty stuff, but the whimsical art style from Last Limb makes it hard not to like the characters.
Platformers are a dime a dozen these days, but Organic Panic is no ordinary platformer. As you lead the organic rebellion you have to guide the good guys to the goal on each level while avoiding or taking down the gun totting baddies. While this might sound straightforward enough the fun really kicks in when you discover what the DAFT Engine (Destructible and Fluid Technology) can do. Go over, under or through enemies by blowing the levels to smithereens or watch the impressive liquid simulation in action as you drown the hapless meats and cheeses. Each of the characters has their own unique abilities which range from shooting water, lobbing fireballs, blasting through objects to manipulating gravity. Some levels allow you to swap between characters while others require you to accomplish your goals with only one. The fact that you can cause so much environmental damage to levels is not only fun, but ensures that there are multiple ways to complete each level.
The comic book style story and cute visuals might make it seem like this is a simple game, but it is definitely not afraid to ramp up the challenge. The way that the game mixes platforming with puzzles and shooting keeps things fresh, and often it is fun just messing around and seeing what mischief you can cause. Drowning enemies in water or crushing them under large chunks of the scenery are just some of the ways to get revenge, but your characters are not immune against getting squashed either. Levels are relatively short, but more than 100 of them are planned and only 50 or so were available in the Early Access version we played. An easy to use level editor places the power in your hands should you tire of the official levels that are available. The game also has a fun local co-op mode while a Versus mode is still in the works.
Organic Panic might be an Early Access title, but it already feels like a finished game. A recent update squashed a few bugs and also delivered impressive improvements to the frame rate making the whole experience much smoother. The water has also been improved, making it look and behave better than before. As I’ve mentioned earlier, a Versus mode is still coming along with the rest of the levels, more environments and all the extras such as achievements, leaderboards and trading cards.
This preview is based on the 31 May 2014 updated version of the game.