Thursday, November 11, 2010

Video game three hundred and twenty one: Undergarden

Video game review number three hundred and twenty one in my 365 Games in 365 Days project is "Undergarden".

Have you ever wanted to be an underwater Teletubbie who floats around collecting musical monkeys, growing flowers beneath the ocean while looking for jewels? Well you're in luck, because now there's a perfect game for you.

This trippy title is the newest on Xbox Live Arcade and frankly, I don't know what to make of it. On the one hand, it's a simple yet challenging platformer, with many puzzles to unravel and a pretty good soundtrack. On the other hand, it's so weird and psychedelic that I frequently wondered what the hell I was doing playing it.

Your character has no weapons, and instead....gathers plant food and then spreads it on plants all around this underwater world. As soon as you touch a plant, it grows and turns all sorts of magical colors. There's nothing to kill you or hurt you, you just float along...trying to find your way through the maze of each level.

Along the way, you run into monkeys playing music. You can carry them along with you (they make certain flowers grow with their music). As you carry them, the background music changes, and when you pick up a few...their combined music is much more interesting. It reminds me a bit of Lumines in that respect, because the music changes based on what you're doing at any given time. Drop one musical monkey, and you might lose your bass line for example.

Overall Score: 7.25/10. Apparently...this game has 20 levels. I played the first two (each one took me about twenty minutes) and although the gameplay is very slow, it's also challenging enough that I could see myself continuing to be interested in this game. It's not like anything I've played before, and's familiar enough that it's like everything I've played before. Undergarden is a very hard game to summarize, so I'll just say that it's a fresh, new experience...even though it's basically a standard platformer at heart. With plants. And musical monkeys. And magic fruit that makes you float.

Honestly, I think the guys who made this one were on drugs. Lots and lots of drugs.

Achievements? Yeah...I got a few:

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