Gaming History 101

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Woah Dave! Review

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wd_logoI first experienced Woah Dave! At EGX 2014. It was being demoed on the 3DS at the time and it was one of the few games that didn’t have a crazy long que. I enjoyed what I played but like a lot of the smaller indie games at the show I just forgot about it. Fast forward to today and we are given the game for free through Playstation plus. It’s surprising that this has released on the Playstaion Network before the Nintendo eshop. [Woah Dave! was released on the eshop in the US back in October 2014 – ed.]

Woah Dave! takes its inspiration from the original arcade classics like Mario Bros and Joust. You play a small pixel man and your objective is to collect as many pennies as you can, which then act as your overall score. To find the pennies you have to defeat enemies that start out as little eggs but soon hatch into alien looking baddies. To kill these enemies you have to pick up eggs or skulls and throw them at the target. But you have to be quick as the skulls explode after a short time and the eggs hatch. If this happens while your holding it you will loose a life. If the enemy manages to reach the lava below it will evolve into a stronger enemy. Each time the enemies reach the bottom they change into a faster and more difficult enemy until they become a flying eye ball which will literally pursue your character unless you defeat it. There is a lot of risk reward with the game. You can play it safe and destroy the eggs as soon as they drop but you will receive a minimum score. But, if you wait for the enemies to get stronger, they will drop more coins. You have to collect the coins to bank them into your score, so unless you play carefully your coins could end up in the lava and be useless. There is a single powerup which resembles the power block from Mario Bros (except it says Woah on it) that occasionally falls from the heavens. Picking this up and flinging it will destroy everything on the screen in a satisfying shower of coins.

wd_1

There is absolutely no tutorial in the game and you are expected to pick it up right from the get go. I thought this was quite a nice touch as you will learn the best way to play the game is through persistence and trial and error. Your average game will only last around 5 minutes at most (if that). When you loose all 3 of your lives, which can never be increased, you start right back from the beginning. It’s a fun addictive gameplay style that will be familiar to fans of Pac Man (or games similar to this) but will not sit well with gamers looking for a deeper experience.

The pixelated graphics are colourful and well suited to the old arcade feel of the game. You really could see this game being in its own old age arcade cabinet from the eighties.

wd_2Woah Dave! starts off slow on normal difficulty but soon becomes fast and frantic with more enemies increasingly dropping, lava rising and even alien saucers appearing instantly. Should normal mode be too slow for you – and it really isn’t easy – you can play the game on “bonkers” difficulty where the game is instantly fast and frantic from the beginning. There are separate leaderboards for both difficulties should you want to boast about your score to your friends.

Overall, Woah Dave! Is a fun game for that quick gaming burst. It’s ideal for handheld consoles but I really can’t see this having a lot of interest on consoles. This game is free for plus right which makes it a no brainer to not at least add to your download list. Outside of that the game is sold for a reasonable budget price. The game lacks depth and could have done with more than one map variant, as well as adding more gameplay variants to keep people coming back. It doesn’t change the fact that it is still incredibly addictive and fun to play. This style of gameplay is what will appeal to fans of the old classic arcade games. For most of us its the game you will pull out when your waiting for that doctors appointment or bus ride to work. Something to fill that pixelated void in your life.

Final Score: 3 out of 5 (review policy)

Woah Dave! was provided free via the Playstation Plus promotion in both the US and Europe but will no longer be available as of the Playstation Store update today (so hurry if you want to take advantage).  Woah Dave! is cross buy and purchasing this game on Vita or PS4 unlocks both versions.  It is additionally available on the Nintendo eShop for 3DS, Steam, iOS, and Android for the price of $4.99 across all platforms.  

Written by jamalais

February 3, 2015 at 11:00 am

Posted in PC/Mac, PS4, Reviews, Vita, Wii U

Tagged with ,

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