Octahedron isn’t your bog standard platformer, in fact, it’s far removed from the genre’s standard. I’ll start by saying that I absolutely welcome change, and it’s nice to see developers trying something new, rather than relying on the tried and tested formula that we see time and time again as of late. That being said, Octahedron isn’t as spectacular as it looks, and believe me, this game looks great, but we’ll get to that shortly. In terms of story, Octahedron doesn’t have an awful lot going for it. That’s forgivable, though, seeing as many platformer games can rest much of their weight on the gameplay alone, which is arguably where Octahedron’s strength sits at.
Platforming in Octahedron consists of the player creating their own platforms whilst ascending the environment, rather than travelling left and right. Precision is key, one step could be the difference between succession, and being sent way down to near where you started. The game takes place within the beating colorful world of Veetragoul, in which the player isn’t just treated to a fantastic soundtrack, but one that feeds directly into the experience. The only way is up, and if you want to escape this beautifully dangerous world, you’ll need to master everything that each scenario dishes out during your ascension. It may look simple at first glance, but the execution is anything but.
You’re able to create platforms at will, which will always appear directly beneath your feet, typically in midair. The added ability to surf your crafted platform allows for you to swiftly get from one static pre-set platform to the next, usually on opposite sides of the screen. You can indeed summon a number of consecutive platforms, should the level grant you that option, but for the most part you’ll rely on one or two at a time. It’s quite easy to get to grips with from the get go, but the floaty controls often undermine the otherwise decent functionality. Several times did I fail to successfully execute a simple jump because of this, which does derail the fun I was having with the game.
The same can be said about dodging enemies and environmental hazards, which will chip away at your health once touched. It’s not a major problem, granted, but for a game that relies so heavily on accuracy, it can at times feel as though the game is against you. One neat feature is that enemies will only move in sync with the soundtrack, which like I said, is wonderful. The soundtrack never becomes repetitive nor annoying, on the contrary, I found it stuck in my head long after putting down the pad. Sadly, the game itself falls victim to being repetitive a few hours in, which is something that it struggles to shift despite its solid design. You can indeed unlock new platforms and abilities, but for the most part, you’re still just doing the same thing, over and over.
I’ll credit the game for its unlocks, because in fairness there are some decent aspects at play here. Specific platforms will double up as a weapon, enabling you to destroy enemies that lay underneath. It makes matters even m ore interesting when you take into account that the enemies will often react to your behavior, too. Each level is home to obtainable flowers, some of which are hidden inside light bulbs that can be destroyed. You’re also scored at the conclusion of each level, which does indeed inject a light layer of replay value for those that see the need to run this game twice. On the topic of that, Octahedron will be a great game for streaming. It’s simple, it’s to the point, and it’s lush to observe. It’s just a shame that aforementioned issues drag it down.
Octahedron doesn’t take too long to complete. There’s roughly five hours of gameplay here to soak up, with a few hours on top for those that enjoy maxing out and achievement grabbing. Drawing back to my initial point about Octahedron looking better than it plays, I want to be clear, this isn’t a bad game. Though, with that being said, and even if this game came without fault, it would have benefited from added length and a more meaningful structure to the gameplay. If you can overlook that, and you’re on the market for a short and sweet affair, Octahedron has you covered. If, on the other hand, you seek depth and heaps of innovation, you may be disappointed.
Octahedron isn’t your average platformer. The solid design, wonderful soundtrack, and clever functionalities, go hand in hand to produce something fun and exciting. Though, with that being said, the floaty controls and repetitive gameplay often hinder this otherwise decent loop. Different it may well be, but it’s hardly groundbreaking.
This game was tested and reviewed on Xbox One. All of the opinions and insights here are subject to that version.