Knuist & Perzik have not worked on anything previously to this charming title, making it even more impressive. Wuppo has been in development for about Two years, with the makers of the game announcing in late July that it would drop in September 2016. There is currently no price for Wuppo on its Steam Page, however, it is likely to be around $15. Read our review to know more about this charming game!
When you enter the world of Wuppo the ambient music will instantly captivate you, and the hand drawn style will make you curious. I can see why someone may be deterred by Wuppo in a way. The character design is simple but at the same time adds a unique layer to the game. There are certain things about that game that can feel a little minimalist; but this does not extend to the world, as the attention to detail is fantastic. With funny dialogue options and over the top characters, it really helps you to overlook primitive character design. The player takes control of a lowly Wum living in Wumhouse, an institution created to house many Wums (as the name implies). A certain bird companion you get names the protagonist Scallywag, so that's what we'll call him/her from now on. The platforming can be frustrating at times and the pacing is a little slow towards the middle of the beta, but as soon as things pick up the game is very fun to play. The boss fights also provide a pretty nice challenge, so don't be deceived by its adorable art style.
Splendidly enough, K&P immerse you into the world of their creation: The music plays a big role in this immersion factor, along with the innovative dialogue and an atmosphere that feels unique to Wuppo and only Wuppo. The game at times has trouble splitting up sections of the game, puzzle sections, and platforming can last for a long time with no sign of battle, making some parts of the game boring. It can be argued that this is for atmospheric purposes, but we'll get on to that later.
When you boot up the game you begin inside a room and are surrounded by Pizza boxes. You are a messy Wum and don't even care. You hear the phone ring, who could it be? It's Carl. Carl is very angry at you. You go to see Carl where he hits you, after this, he gives you some apology ice cream. As Scallywag ascends the stairs, you spill ice cream everywhere; Carl told you not to do that. And so, you are thrown off of the roof of Wumhouse. Adventure awaits.
After you venture through a forest and do some platforming, you meet Alewester; this character is pretty important as he will be most of your exposition dump. The lore of the world you are in does seem a little forced, as Alewester mostly just explains it all through films you find throughout the game. This can be forgiven, as it's not the full build, and preview players need to have some context, but it seems it will be this way in the final product too. It would be better without the films, or the films just adding extra info, but what they tell you is pretty damn important. Speaking of important, a massive part of the plot revolves around a war that happened between the four main races of the world. To put it simply one race was banished into a pit by the other three, using Wum technology and the natural affinities of the other races. All in all the plot is solid, and the bulk of the preview version revolves around reaching Popocity, which is where the main game will take place.
Gameplay and Mechanics
In an RPG type of fashion, this colourful creation focuses mostly on the items you obtain. All puzzles in the game so far revolve around the use of items and understanding their context in the world. One puzzle that particularly interested me was one where you have to place items of each race on pedestals. It made me feel really part of the game world and tests the player's knowledge of history within the games scope. Basic 2D platform sections fill the void between puzzles and boss fights. Honestly, these sections are quite lackluster, as they make up the bulk of the experience but provide no invigorating stimuli. By this, I mean that no enemies or any real obstacles come between bosses, which is a shame as some common baddies to spice up the mix would be fun. Gumgumgum is the name of the weapon you start out with; it's a basic blaster that fires different coloured liquid! The blaster is similar to the Buster Cannon from the MegaMan series, in the way that it fires basic shots and later can be charged up for more damage. The charges shot is gained close to the end of the beta but is very fun to use, as it also has a splash damage effect with paint flying everywhere!
The item system is quite efficient although it definitely could be improved; whilst you can hot-key items and use the mouse wheel to select them, the mouse wheel system is too sensitive, and you'll end up skipping your items a lot. This makes getting a healing item out during an intense bought all the more confusing, as projectiles will be flying everywhere, and you're trying to eat some cherries like a furry pleb! Let's get on to the best thing about this game – the boss fights, whilst the move sets are quite simplistic, they add a good challenge to this otherwise chilled out experience. Hell, they are not nearly at the same depth; I might even compare them to Dark Soul's bosses. To elaborate, the bosses always have a story behind them and will be built up before you battle them. Take for example the rectangular stone boss: This boss uses its massive body to slam down on you and duplicates itself with magical abilities. This clash was rather intense in places, and it definitely forced me to know rectangles attack pattern.
Whilst armors are sold in this game, you can only equip one item at a time; I was really hoping for some customizability, but there really isn't any. This isn't necessarily a bad thing, but it makes the RPG side of the game very bare-bones. A map would also be appreciated, as the world is pretty damn big. I want to be able to set my own markers and get back to shops easily. Hopefully, this will be implemented in the final product.
The soft paints and unique character design really add a flavour to Wuppo that has never been seen before. Without making it sound too primitive, Wuppo's whole design looks and feels like a child drawing, giving a sense of nostalgia and feeling like a child again. This atmosphere is made up by both the pastel display and the soft high-spirited music that plays from the get go. The attention to detail is astounding: The physics is decent with objects. Characters have real weight. The colours mix perfectly. Some of the backdrops in the game can be quite confusing, as being able to tell what is physical and what is the background can be difficult. Another unfortunate detail is that some of the pastel work in the forest area is quite shoddy, sometimes looking a little disfigured, however, this is hardly noticeable.
The inventory and HUD look good and fit with the theme nicely. Boss health reduces in circles and is like a liquid draining. The inventory screen is a simple square system that works. The game has lovely and detailed art, despite it all looking basic at first glance. The music is a big selling point for this title, as it is quite similar and works very well, and I imagine there will be some even more brilliant tracks in the final build.
Final Thoughts and Opinions
I personally really enjoyed Wuppo: it's the most charming game I've played in a while. Whilst I was hoping for a deeper combat system and more customization options, I was satisfied and impressed from the start. The game's story is nothing too special, but I think it is enjoyable enough to captivate the player and make the games world feel more authentic. Not to mention the wonderful sense of humour the game has; it clearly has the right attitude towards itself. Steam games are far too serious nowadays. Wuppo is easily the most colourful this year, and I'll probably even pick up the full version when it comes out in September (if I have time). There wasn't as much to say in this preview as I'd want to, but I hope you have a good taste of what the game is going to be like. If you want something unique, that you can relax and play, this is it. I hope you enjoy this game when it drops!