Widgets Odyssey is a puzzle platform game from Frima Studio, creators of the excellent Zombie Tycoon. On paper the game sounds like a blast from the past that has been brought up to date and would appeal to the retro gamer within us all. Puzzle-platforming action that pays lip service to such classics as A Boy and his Blob, or Abe’s Exodus. Really, who could resist?
The game revolves around a group of five mismatched robots who are doing their utmost to keep from being captured by the evil Yagor and his minions. The five robots; Bruce, Cosmo, Helmut, Monk and Spad each have their own skills that must be used in order to negotiate the various puzzle laden levels of the game.
So, the basics are there. Puzzle platforming action with a group of likable, often humorous characters. The whole package is wrapped up within an incredibly well polished package. The levels are interspersed with some amazing animation, especially given the games pocket money price point, and the levels themselves are all very well thought out and finished to a high level. The characters are all well animated and offer up some laugh out loud moments.
Control wise, the game functions very well. The different robots offer different abilities that can all be operated with relative ease. There are some points where precision may be an issue, but this largely comes down to the timing of the player rather than any issue with the games controls.
Sadly, it is at this point that I must point out the games failings. Widgets Odyssey is targeted at the younger gamers out there and, as such, will offer very little challenge to the seasoned player. Whilst this is no big deal, the game is for kids after all, I feel that maybe the developers have underestimated the abilities of the younger gamers. The levels really are very easy.
Couple this fact with the length of the game and it becomes difficult to actually see the gaming value of this title. Widgets Odyssey offers only four levels of gameplay, and a rather lacklustre mini game. The entire game can be completed in around an hour and there is very little replay value, enticing the player to come back for more.
Given the high production values and the amount of effort that has gone into building the story and characters, it is probably preferable to view this as more of an interactive cartoon, rather than a game in it’s own right. Widgets Odyssey has entertainment value and, given the PSP Mini price, will offer more value for money than your average kids movie. But as a game, it leaves the player disappointed. The sequel is due out this coming week and, although disappointed in the game itself, I am interested to see what the little team of robots get up to next.