Critically acclaimed Indie darling Wuppo makes its console debut, serving up hours of inventive puzzles and eclectic characters in a surreal yet cogent world.
You control a wum, a blob-like delinquent that gets kicked out of a hotel after a series of incidents, including a messy and memorable encounter with an ice-cream cone. On your journey to relocating, you encounter a myriad of strange characters, pick up various items and discover the lore of the world.
Part RPG, part puzzler/ platformer and part twin-stick shooter, Wuppo often struggles to define its niche. The RPG narrative elements are too quirky and the platforming feels a little loose and imprecise. This was particularly evident when I played some Super Meat Boy as a palette cleanser. The puzzles, while immersive, were sometimes difficult to figure out and I used a walkthrough more times than I would admit. The shooting, while serviceable got old, especially in the trudge in the middle. Part of this is due to respawning enemies who offer hindrance more than challenge.
Wuppo drags in places and the 11-hour playthrough (It took me longer than the average) could have been trimmed without losing any of the flavour. The boss fights offered some reprieve and I savoured the majority of them. The film clips they offer up acts as narrative devices that frame the lore. I also enjoyed how the game rewards curiosity. Early on, a character stole my television (after my Wum was unceremoniously thrown out of the hotel) and while I won’t spoil it here, it sometimes pays to do something unorthodox.
The art-style is almost romanticised, like the image of a tailor or someone who crafts things with their hands. The soundtrack is whimsical and joyful at the same time. The version I downloaded came with a free album. Unfortunately, I couldn’t play it (something to do with it being saved on my extended storage I think). I’ll keep tinkering until I get it to work as its great background music.
The inventory system is clumsy and doesn’t translate well when using a controller. You have to constantly fiddle and fumble with it, and it took me ages to get the hang of it. Luckily, the shooting is better, with your bubble gum machine gun mowing down all manner of baddies with satisfying gravitas and splash damage.
Wuppo is a mixed-bag, offering some thrills and fun gameplay, but never manages to leave an emotional mark or sense of deep satisfaction, like its peers. I find it hard to recommend at its current price point (R329 for the base version), but think it’s worth a go at half that amount.
Last Updated: November 28, 2017