Version Reviewed: 1.0
App Reviewed on: iPad mini Retina
Graphics / Sound Rating:
User Interface Rating:
Re-use / Replay Value Rating:
Oddworld seems to be having something of a resurgence lately, thanks to the recently remastered New n' Tasty and people feeling all nostalgic due to the Playstation celebrating its 20th birthday. This is hardly a bad thing, since gaming has surely missed these strange and humorous creatures. If the iOS port of the 2005 Xbox adventure game Oddworld: Stranger's Wrath is a culmination of that nostalgia then gamers should be very pleased, because it's a console-quality adventure that still holds up very well.
Roaming the Oddworld version of the Wild West is the Stranger: a gruff bounty hunter turning wanted criminals in for cash. There are a few gameplay styles on offer here, the first being the third-person platforming that allows for navigation of each area, as well as basic combat. The second is a first-person shooting mode that enables players to think more strategically by making use of a variety of critters that can be captured and used against enemies. Will they use a Bolamite to tie up their enemies, a Chippunk to draw them away from their buddies, or just electrocute them into submission with a Zapfly? Either way, the freedom of approach is an excellent touch.
Last of all is the stealth element, giving players the option to take out enemies one by one by setting off traps or creating them, all while hidden from view amidst tall grass. These different styles come together seamlessly to give players the ability to decide how they resolve the matter at hand, preventing Stranger's Wrath from feeling too linear and monotonous, and instead feeling fresh and exciting.
The on-screen controls are as good as they can be, with floating joysticks and static action buttons reacting responsively, even if they can't avoid the typical touchscreen pitfalls of the odd camera mishap or wrong button press. Unique to mobile devices, tilting the device will move the camera slightly so that players can quickly pan around. However, it's a feature that can often be slightly disorientating and problematic. The slightest hand movement can wobble the screen and mess up a shot, and as a result the feature feels slightly tacked-on and unnecessary. The tilt to reload function was a nice addition, though.
All in all, iOS gamers are getting a great adventure game that deserves to attract new players. The graphics might not completely hold up against the latest iOS releases, but the excellent old-school gameplay and genuinely humorous voice acting is what will keep gamers coming back for more.