A group of squids out raiding treasures in undersea ruins come across a terror that plagued the ocean many years ago. Mysterious black ooze is covering the aquatic creatures and turning them evil. It’s up to the squids to escape and recruit an army to fight this menace. SQUIDS Odyssey is a downloadable WII U title with a unique mix of turn based strategy combined with…the classic game of marbles?!?
In each stage you have one or several objectives. Sometimes it’s to make it to a certain point, or survive a number of turns. But more often than not, you’ll be tasked with defeating hordes of ooze covered crabs, shrimp, and other underwater foes. To defeat them, you must pull back the tentacles of your squid and launch them like a slingshot toward enemies. When they bump into them, they’ll knock off some hit points. You can even use the stylus and Wii U gamepad to do this. After you’ve taken your turn, the enemy will have a go at bumping you around. Complete the stage by defeating all the enemies.
Bump into multiple enemies to do more hits, and you can also knock them into spiny urchins for even more damage. Knock them off ledges to defeat enemies entirely, but be careful because they can do the same to you! Each squid also has special skills. Some can do extra dashes, some can shoot long distance enemies, and some can even heal your party by bumping into them. Later on in the game you’ll even come across sea horses you can mount to give you even more attacking power!
As you play levels, you may come across clam shells with pearls inside, or even hidden starfish, worth even more pearls! Spend your pearls in the shop to buy consumable items for your squids. These include food items to heal you and boost your stats, helmets you can equip to give you more protection and other abilities, and even level up your squids themselves. You can replay previous levels to earn more pearls if you need to.
The only problems I had with this game is that, one, they don’t explain certain gameplay aspects and goals very well as you play. Luckily the in-game instruction manual does a little better job at this, so make sure to consult that as well. Sometimes I also had to switch TV mode off because it was easier to drag and drop team members into your party by using the Wii U controller instead. And finally, the difficulty level sharply rises very quickly, so only get this one if you feel up to the challenge.
SQUIDS Odyssey is rated E for Everyone with an ESRB descriptor of Mild Fantasy Violence. All you do is bump into enemies who disappear when defeated. Reading skill is helpful for the text, and younger gamers may get frustrated by the high difficulty.