Wuppo is a fun and creative platforming RPG created by Knuist & Perzik, an independent game studio based in the Netherlands. The company consists of two members, Lars Korendijk & Thomas de Waard, who are both self-taught game programming design. Thomas de Waard graduated in 2014 with a degree in Composing and Sound Design and went on to create the soundtrack for Wuppo. Sharing an aesthetic with classic games like A Boy and his Blob and Yoshi's Story, Wuppo is a great adventure that all ages can enjoy and get a laugh from. Available on Steam for $14.99
The protagonist is a lazy bum living in the WumHouse. He doesn't want to work or clean up after himself, I mean, what's the point? He's got his own room, endless pizza, ice cream, maid service. Everything is looking good for this Wum and he has no reason to leave his place until he is convinced to go downstairs to receive some messy ice cream. He cannot seem to keep his ice cream in check as he returns to his room and creates a mess that will take days to clean up. The service officer in the WumHouse finds his trail, which of course leads right to his room, and has the guards throw him out. The protagonist is not allowed to enter the WumHouse again and has to find a new home. He is scared, weak, and has no knowledge of the world. He soon finds an Old Wum who lives outside the house who starts showing him the history of Wuppo and the species that inhabit it. He shows the information on a projector that is made to play collectible Filmstrips. He explains the danger that will be presented to the hero and what is needed to create a new home. It's dark and dangerous, better hurry up and find some safety, where ever it is.
Wuppo has simple controls and a good story to accompany it. When starting out, the right click will make the Wum whistle with each click which is amusing and funny. The menu is easy to understand with only 4 options speeding up gameplay as the player doesn't have to spend too much time in the menus. The Wums are creatures that look like little balls of fluff who wouldn't seem to be able to do much at all. Double jumping, swimming, and climbing make up the action that is involved in each area and stage of this platforming adventure. The protagonist, through exploration, will discover several items and equipment that can be put on and physically change the appearance of the little puff ball. Although shape stays the same, armor and weapons are added to give the player some customization options along with new attacks and abilities. Some weapons spray water balloons randomly, while others shoot flame for a devastating attack. Partners such as birds and frogs can be found to give extra abilities, along with some dialogue that will give the player a laugh or two. As the Wum travels throughout each level, the player will notice him pick up whatever dirt and grime around, also causing his appearance to alter. Certain items that are equipped and held also will create a mess around the main Wum, like ice cream.
NPCs in Wuppo tend to have dialogue that is sad and depressing, in a humorous way. Most creatures you encounter, many of the Wum species, tend to share their story of how they were kicked out of their own homes and have been looking for a new one since. Some creatures will follow and help, others will just offer advice, and many will try to end the hero's life if he is not careful. Choices are made during some conversations that have repercussions in the later game if not answered correctly. Choice systems add good depth to gameplay in RPG's and adventure titles and adding it to Wuppo gave it the same type of depth. The dialogue from each character and from the history filmstrips is depressing but lighthearted. The creators took the approach of having the NPC's have this dialogue to play into the darker humor of gamers without overstepping to the point where it could be offensive. Conversations are funny and keep the plot progressing so the players get to encounter more amusing dialogue and characters.
The world of Wuppo is mainly filled with four different species, all of whom are different and similar in their own regard. Blussers, who have to ability to carry lots of water and tend to have a polite demeanor and are guardians to the Wums. SplenKhakkers, the most practical and intelligent are farmers of Splenk. Splenk is an important building material made of rock and wood used is WumHouse's and other surrounding structures. The Fnakker are the worst, they vomit rocks, which is gross, and are extremely aggressive. They started a war called the Fnakker war where they tried to exterminate all the other races. They lost the war and are a little salty about it. Finding the Filmstrips gives the player more information on what happened to the world and the history of its species and the Fnakker war.
A minor setback in Wuppo is the gameplay is simple enough where there may not be enough challenge for some players. The controls while intuitive, leave little to be added or improved. Double jumping and swimming are the two most important moves and are available right at the start. Not to say the gameplay isn't fun just didn't provide much of a challenge.
Graphics and Music
The art style that is used in Wuppo is interesting and inventive. The entire world and the creatures that live on it have an MS Paint feel to them with wide squiggle lines that seem to be constantly moving. The Wums and other creatures are drawn the same way. Although simple looking, the general aesthetic works quite well for Wuppo and makes the experience more enjoyable. Rich and vibrant colors are used in each scene that could have been made with water paint and pastels.
The music is somber and piano-heavy. Lots of simple melodies intertwine the gameplay and provide a pleasant experience for the gamer. The tempo and beat depend on what area of the world the character is in and the soundtrack for the game is quite enjoyable. Created by Thomas de Waard himself, players can see the developers soundtrack that he created for Wuppo.
Wuppo ended up being much more enjoyable than I had expected it to be. The gameplay was dark, yet lighthearted, and very humorous. Finding new NPC's to talk to and learn some more of the story from always got a laugh out of me as the Wums explained why they were kicked out of the WumHouse. I appreciate the RPG elements put into the game and how the player can change the appearance of Wum by equipping different weapons and armor. Finding new weapons was fun as different enemies became easier to kill with more powerful items. Collecting the Filmstrips was fun as every conversation with the Old Wum was funny and learning more of the lore of the world was exciting. The somber music was a great accompaniment to the title and the tastefulness of the artwork added depth to the characters and environments. The only real downside I found was that that game was so simple it didn't provide much challenge. Areas were easy to navigate and a map was never required. All in all, Wuppo is a fun and humorous experience that players will enjoy thoroughly.
|+ Funny and interesting story||– Simplicity takes away from challenge|
|+ Easy to understand controls and menu|
|+ Lots of simple customization options for your Wum and WumHouse|
|+ Graphics and Music are A+|