Effectively, let that be a lesson to us. As has been stated by a lot of a parent, “do not judge a book by its cover” – but who knew that exact same adage applied to games, also? Right after all, Pode appears just like a very simple puzzle-platformer, exactly where a vibrant glowing raindrop with legs befriends a grumpy stone cube just before happily leaping their way via levels. It really is cute to a fault – and you’d count on the gameplay to be related. Nuh-uh. In reality, Pode is one particular of these games that appears to pride itself on getting frustrating, with a total lack of signposting like a lot of other “indie” style games – as although if you get stuck, you happen to be not the sort of particular person they’d want to be playing anyway.
OK. With that rant out of the way, let’s appear at what is essentially right here. Pode is a co-op puzzle game that revolves about two unnamed small blob-like characters, one particular of which appears to be a small sunbeam (named Glo), when the other is a grumpy rock (named Bulder). Whilst it can be played on your personal, switching among the characters employing Triangle, it really is a thousand instances less difficult if you rope one more player in to play with you, if only mainly because one particular player can give the other a leg up to support them attain greater ground in the trickier platforming sections.
Every single of the two playable characters has their personal particular powers. Glo appears to weigh subsequent to absolutely nothing, and as such he can float across gaps, when also getting the capability to efficiently set a glowing waypoint they can teleport themselves to at the touch of a button. This power’s a bit difficult to clarify, as on its personal, it does not genuinely do something. What it really is largely utilized for is having each players to the exact same point in the level. Visualize there is a higher platform – one thing higher sufficient that neither player can attain it on their personal. If Glo jumps on the other’s head for a leg up, they can then set up their waypoint, and jump back down, letting Bulder swallow them, just before pressing the button to return to their waypoint, teleporting them each on to the greater ground. As you have in all probability guessed, Bulder’s two key powers are, initially, his capability to swallow the yellow one particular like some sort of walking cooker, and second, his weight, letting him stroll below water against currents. On the other hand, each can interact with the levels by holding the ideal trigger, with Glo providing off a glow that brings plants to life, when Bulder seemingly magnetises itself, which causes rocks to develop and opens mussles (??).
Without having considerably, if something, in the way of a story, Pode is a game of basically producing your way from one particular space to the subsequent, solving the puzzles that lie inside in order to continue your journey. Nevertheless, one particular of the game’s greatest challenges is that these puzzles do not look to have something of a understanding curve, alternatively jumping from the thoughts-bogglingly-clear to the impossibly obscure in the space of a couple of minutes. Worse, in some cases even when you have managed to get to the finish of the level, it usually feels like you have type of glitched it, and you are not genuinely carrying out it how you happen to be meant to be carrying out it. You are under no circumstances positive if it really is just you who’s not having it, or just that there is not essentially all that considerably puzzling to most of the game’s puzzles.
That is not to say it really is all negative, although – there is at least some reward to be had from figuring out how to make your way via the level, while with so couple of factors you can do, most of the puzzles have a tendency to have really related options – and most revolve about having Glo to, nicely, glow. In addition to producing static plants develop, Glo can in some cases make leaves pop out that can be utilized as platforms – but if each characters have to get across, and the platform only seems when the yellow one’s glowing, how do they each make it to the other side? The answer revolves about his waypoint – set the glowing waypoint up, and the glow will keep behind, letting you jump across, just before holding a button to return the waypoint to you.
And there is one more trouble with Pode – the full lack of any sort of explanations or prompts. With Glo’s waypoints, pressing one particular button will return you to the waypoint, when one more mixture of buttons returns the waypoint to you. Nevertheless, the game only tells you this after, and there is essentially no way of double checking it if you have to have to recall later on – cue a lot of aggravation, and accidentally teleporting you to the waypoint rather than the other way about. It tends to make even much less sense when you essentially do verify the controls, only to realise that they look to be inexplicably incorrect, with the ideal trigger saying it activates some menu, and the left trigger saying it does one thing to do with levels/gallery, when in reality, neither does either.
And this is all so frustrating, mainly because it really is not like there are not any good puzzles in right here. Some of the sections are genuinely type of sweet – like exactly where Bulder has to get on a giant leaf to cross a lake, mainly because otherwise he’ll sink to the bottom mainly because he’s so heavy, when Glo (who floats on water, mainly because he weighs so small) has to use his light to push the leaf about. However for each and every genuinely good moment, there is at least a dozen frustrating ones that final a lot longer, and so, sadly, that is the feeling that Pode leaves you with.
Really should you ever get stuck, you will probably keep stuck for a extended time, as with some puzzles requiring extremely obscure and complicated options, and with there getting totally absolutely nothing by the way of a hint program – even an optional one particular – a minor set back can turn into a game breaking headache. Whilst the developers will in all probability paint it as some throwback to ye olde gaming days of yore, exactly where you had to wait for a magazine to print a tutorial just before getting capable to get any additional, it nonetheless does not clarify why there is not at least an optional hint program.
It really is sad, mainly because we genuinely had higher hopes for Pode. It looked (and sounded) like the sort of game we ought to delight in – even if at the back of our head, we have been a bit worried that it could be a bit also indie. At a frankly insane £22.99 ($24.99), seemingly, our hunch was ideal. In that regard, possibly you can judge a book by its cover. If it appears also indie, it in all probability is.
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