Quadropus Rampage caught me off guard. I have had an Android tablet since this past December and I have struggled to find games that don’t bore me after a few minutes. The first time I played Quadropus Rampage, I played it for an hour straight. While that won’t impress people who regularly run their MMO dailies and those weekend warriors who cram their weekend with as much game time as possible…for me, spending that much time gaming on a mobile device was unheard of and serves as credit to what a standout job Butterscotch Shenanigans did with their addictive little game.
Available now for both Apple and Android devices, Quadropus Rampage is absolutely free. There are in-game items that players can buy to allow for extra lives or as a way to strengthen up faster, but none of the in-app purchases “break” the game, and are fair for players who choose not to make any purchases. Quadropus Rampage is an entirely single-player experience, so even if you choose to avoid making a purchase, you’ll never find yourself at a disadvantage against a player that chose to support Butterscotch Shenanigans.
Quadropus Rampage is a hack-and-slash roguelike where players control an octopus who has taken it upon himself to travel to the depths of the ocean to defeat the evil King Pete. Players progressively traverse deeper and deeper into the ocean, clearing an area entirely of enemies before a portal opens, allowing them to drop down to the next level below. Interestingly, it is possible to fall off the edge of the level, and land below on the bottom level, though your little octopus man takes a large amount of damage from such a fall and you miss out on the end-of-the-level loot opportunities.
The levels are full of sea creatures who want to kill you. The majority of the enemies you will encounter attempt to subdue the protagonist by shooting slow moving bubbles at him. These bubbles can be dodged Asteroids-style, but obviously you’ll eventually want to destroy the source of the dangerous bubbles. As the player gets deeper and deeper into the game, the enemies advance beyond the bubble-shooters and become much more tricky to deal with. That’s where Quadropus Rampage’s battle system comes into play.
On the right side of the screen, player’s right thumb will have access to buttons that allow the octopus to swing his currently equipped weapon, dash forward, creative a defensive bubble around himself for a limited window, and a initiate a big belly-flop slam attack. The basic attack can be charged into a full swing, akin to Link’s iconic attack in the Legend of Zelda games. It’s all very straightforward, and no one should have difficulty figuring out how the game works.
As enemies are dispatched they drop experience points that are collected and used to level up these handful of attacks, as well as a number of other stats to assist players in their quest to destroy Pete. Occasionally an enemy will drop a weapon (anything from a trident to a tennis racket) that players can equip to increase their stats by however much. The weapons all function the same…they simply look different and come with unique stat modifiers.
At the end of every level players are rewarded with a treasure chest that contains a load of experience points, healing orbs, and occasionally a special coin that players can collect (or buy) that can be traded in for the ability to instantly respawn, upon death. Periodically, a “store fish” will plop down into a level once the enemies are cleared out. This vendor will offer one item at a time, and it can only be bought with the same orbs players will use to level their skills up, thus facing the player with some strategic decision making. Does the weapon for sale offer enough of an immediate benefit to warrant the loss of progress towards the next skill upgrade? Or is it too much of a gamble to spend so much on an item you might lose in the level below? After all, Quadropus Rampage is a rougelike…you only have one life.
At first, Quadropus Rampage will be very difficult. Players will make little progress before they are killed and have to restart. Luckily, Butterscotch Shenanigans allows the upgradable skills to remain with the player even through death. So if you manage to upgrade to a tier three belly-flop attack and then you die, the next time you start a game, your belly-flop will remain at the same level. This allows the player to slowly make progress, though it won’t really seem like it at first, and I fear that will deter many unaware players.
Overall, Quadropus Rampage ran without issue on my Nexus 7 tablet, and looks and sounds great. I ran into no technical difficulties while playing. Butterscotch Shenanigans did an excellent job animating the environments and the characters, nailing the Saturday-morning -cartoon look. Quadropus Rampage is a very lively, very fun, and very addicting game that you don’t want to miss out on.
[review pros=”Addictive. Easy to play. Great visual style. In-app purchases are fair.” cons=”Very difficult at first. Weapons all function the same.” score=91]