I have to admit, whenever I come across a game that has a corporate tie in (Burger King, Yaris, Doritos, etc.) I have decidedly low expectations for it. Knowing that going in, I decided to take on the challenge of World Gone Sour
, which is essentially one big advertisement for the Sour Patch Kids candy. The game was developed by Playbrains (and published by Capcom) and is a side-scrolling platformer that features both co-op and a campaign mode. Now that I have bored you with the details, here is the plot. You basically take on the role of an abandoned green Sour Patch Kid that wants nothing more than to be eaten. Twice he is thwarted, so he starts an epic journey to find women to eat him and assist other orphaned sour patch kids he finds along the way.
As you get into the game, it may take some time to get used to the controls and thought process needed to work your way through the levels. I think I picked it finally after about 10 minutes of trying to figure out how and what I was to do on a couple of challenges. However, once you get an understanding of what is expected, you can make quick work of the levels. I do like that you have to think outside the box to accomplish some goals and clear some levels, as the game adds a hint of a physics puzzler scattered throughout. Overall, despite some repetition in the levels, it was still fun to work your way through each one as you try to figure out where and what you are supposed to do.
Although the game doesn’t break any new ground in the controls or gameplay areas, it does keep you focused on all of the “little things” going on around you while playing. The art direction and the warped sense of humor that conjured up the finished product are on full display as you navigate the levels trying to figure out how to make things work or avoid any of the bosses or “sour” enemies. You go through so many different “worlds’ such as the theater and back yard that it’s hard not to think the devs weren’t channeling a little “Toy Story” or “Honey I Shrunk the Kids” perspective while creating each world.
Add to that the unexpected treat of the game being narrated by Creed Bratton of “The Office” fame, and you realize that this isn’t just another game, but a fun little adventure worth the $5. As an added bonus, you are not inundated with Sour Patch Kid advertisement in the game. Obviously the main character and all of the support guys are Sour Patch Kids, but there aren’t bags or billboards or ads around every street corner that you might expect from a product tie in game. I wanted to give kudos to the development team for designing the advertising around the playable character, and not force feeding us anything else.
I went in expecting that World Gone Sour was going to suck (pun intended), but it wasn’t nearly as bad as I expected. It had several bright spots with some funny commentary, excellent world design, lots of hidden humor and fun gameplay. While there is a bit of a learning curve with some of the controls and it is relatively short at 12 levels, I have spent more than $5 on less over the years. The game does a good job of tying in the product placement without beating you over the head with it every second. So if you are looking for a fun little adventure game that is on the inexpensive side, then you can do a lot worse than World Gone Sour.
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