Wharr: The Colossus Age Review
- Publisher: Forge 11
- Interesting paper-craft visual style.
- Unique setting and ideas.
- Poor gameplay controls; floaty jumping with stiff momentum.
- Game breaking bugs; possible to complete a level and get no bonus.
- Confused visuals; conflicting 'pixel-art' and 'neon' overlays/effects.
No-one is asking for yet another Doodle Jump, but poor concepts like floaty jumping and a lack of variety were prototyped out a long time ago; Wharr: The Colossus Age seemingly ignores these points and as a result it feels dated and out of touch.
- Full Review
Translating genres that have existed for a long time outside of the realm of touch-based gaming has had its problems, but ultimately it's a forgivable thing because established ideas had to be reconsidered. However, the endless-jumping genre has been with us for a very long time and with so many tried, true and tested gameplay features it seems odd to dramatically mess around with these conventions without adding anything new.
Wharr: The Colossus Age by Gaetano Leonardi and Forge 11 is a confused title that tries to combine platform jumping with combat, but instead of a challenging, fast-paced action title, players are given a sluggish, unresponsive platformer that quite literally waves a finger in your face.
Wharr is a female Orc and the protagonist sent to destroy marauding colossi that have taken it upon themselves to 'cleanse' the world. She's also a Valkyrie, but not so much of the Norse variety and instead more of a 'we named ourselves this' variety. Where armies have failed, she will apparently succeed, but then again those invading armies probably didn't have floating platforms, a giant pitch-black sword and their own personal gravitational field.
The last point is important as Wharr is seemingly subject to physics unknown to almost any reality as small tilts in either direction will immediately push you off in to that direction, albeit with a very small amount of acceleration that's offset by a personal-mass akin to trying to stop an elephant sliding on ice. Practice and patience can negate the problem, but the 'defense' of each colossi consists of waving a giant hand in front of Wharr and the platforms, making accurate jumps all but impossible without the kind of luck that's reserved for survivors of lightning strikes.
All of this is bolstered by a confusing visual style that tries to combine a unique (though admittedly appealing) asymmetrical/paper-craft style of 2D art with pixel-art inspired sprites and special effects that result in a fairly gaudy, complicated appearance. Power-ups can only be gained by falling on them (counter-intuitive, I know) and cash can be spent on skills, though these aren't required to finish the game and there's no incentive to play again once you do.
Despite it's gaudy appearance, Wharr: The Colossus Age fails to remain captivating beyond the initial shock and failures that punctuate the first few failures, making it a hard game to recommend at all.