We have the just released Widget’s Odyssey to review today, a brand new addition to Sony’s burgeoning PSP minis collections. PSP mini titles are essentially the XBLIG of the PSN, offering cheaper smaller titles which are playable on both the PSP and PS3 and are made by small independent developers. The usual genres for games in the PSP minis section are puzzle, adventure, and platforming and Widget’s Odyssey is an example of them all of those but unfortunately not a shining one.
To start off on a high note let’s talk about the good things represented in Widget’s Odyssey. An important facet of any game is the story and thankfully this is something that WO does fairly well. WO’s story is essentially that of a colourful group of robots trying to escape an evil (if not somewhat nondescript) empire in order to start a revolution to defeat said empire. All of this is done in a very comedic style with an ever present sense of parody running through the entire game. The dialog and art style is very reminiscent of European animation particularly that of the British cartoon “Captain Star” (Hooray for obscure references) in that it feels wacky but in a way that doesn’t draw attention to itself. Another good point in its favor is its price point which is that of a mere $1.99 while this may not seem like a huge deal as this is a series a low price point on its initial offering is great way to see if you’d be interested in the series without a high amount of risk. Unfortunately chances are the quirky presentation and low price probably won’t be enough to keep you interested in this series.
The gameplay of this title is sadly very dull and despite it trying to vary it up quite a bit with its mix of adventure, action, puzzles, and platforming the whole thing feels rather flat. The best way to describe this game’s problem is that its wearing too many hats none of them seem to fit properly. The puzzles are fairly simple with only a minor amount of effort needed to figure them out and even though they were timed I never felt that panic a good timed puzzle should provide. The adventure mechanics of rub object A against point of interest B are shallow and with no options but the right one you’ll figure out what you need to do quite quickly. The platforming is ho-hum and the action is rather middling with a the occasional enemy to attack and a tacked on ship escape mini game at the very end of the game. These faults could be ignored if the title was of a decent length but unfortunately the whole thing takes an hour at most to complete and there is very little want to replay puzzles you already know the answer to.
All in all this is a title that while it had a lot of promise with its colourful cast of characters and unique universe it fails to deliver an entertaining gaming experience. This is a title I can only really recommend if you have a couple of extra dollars kicking about in your PSN wallet and you have no clue what else to spend it on. That said when the inevitable pack comes out of this game and it’s sequel that might be worth looking at, assuming it’s well priced. For a cool universe but shallow gameplay I give this game a 2 out of 5, don’t lose hope on the PSP minis program though there is plenty up on it worth taking a look at.