You know the old saying “You can’t herd cats”, right? Well, one of the ten deities in indie developer Titutitech’s somewhat amusing Oh My Godheads: Party Edition ($14.99) just so happens to be a rather irascible Bastet who will go from a silent stone head to a snarling meanie who messes with your direction as you try to carry her around. While the effect only lasts a scant few seconds, it’s more than enough time for an opponent to KO your character off the map and gain that hissy prize for their own. At least the version of Zeus here is more of a friendly presence, blasting the opposition with occasional bolts of lightning as he’s toted around.
The game is a simple one to pick up and play, but if you’re going in solo, it’s best to run through all the tutorial stages because there’s a bit of complexity to all the mayhem. Timing is crucial to some moves such as the stun that requires precise pressing of buttons, or throwing assorted objects such as pies and bombs where a split second of aim spells the difference between hitting a target or whiffing completely. While you can simply jam on the attack button if you like, you’ll want to at least play those tutorials to keep the game from getting stale because you only know one move. That and you’ll soon see that the game has a few tricks up its sleeve that can keep you from some victories if you play with other skilled players or on some of the trickier maps.
Then again, it’s those gods who must be crazy you’ll need to worry about here. In addition to the two mentioned above, there’s Kali and her 4th dimension twisting antics (which can be good or bad). Gaia’s a heavy mother earth and loves to be rolled around because she’s too big to carry safely. Don’t poke fun at her size, though, as should an opponent nab her, you’re the one getting pushed over. Kanaloa, who can turn transparent (which seems to benefit the carrier), Namazu, who can cause brief tsunamis (yipes!), Skaði, who will freeze you at will, Tezcatlipoca, whose cloud of darkness makes for both great cover and great trouble if you’re carrying him and can’t find your way around when you’re jumped. Toss in a mean Agyo and his explosive ways, A little Babd surprise and you’ve got a fun little party game all set for couch co-op fun.
While there’s no online play here, this can be seen as beneficial because any sort of lag or game drop out due to server issue would doom this to obscurity. Granted, with only 4 types of game modes outside the solo/co-op tutorials, things are limited unless the developer gets some DLC out in the future. But, playing the game with kids is pretty fun stuff and adding in a few adults (as in curious non-gamers one gets to pick up a controller) makes for a cool enough time. Capture the Head, King of the Head, Headhunters and Last Man Standing are the four modes here, but a map edit function would have been a welcome addition. Granted, you do unlock maps as you make progress by playing matches. But adding that little bit extra would have made this more of an essential in the long run.
I can’t quibble much with the character selection other than to note that they all play exactly the same no doubt because it would be quite imbalanced to have a character with better stats being everyone’s go-to guy, gal, or whatever. Granted, a character edit feature would have been a nice touch so players could trick out their chosen one as they like. But that would have had the negative side effect of adding more time to the simplicity of setting up a match quickly, so there’s that to consider. Overall, the gameplay is zippy enough to keep you grinning, but expect to lose a few lives thanks to hazards, falling off stages or getting wiped out otherwise if you take your eyes off your character while running. Eh, all in a days work for a game where the gods are both with and against you, right?
In the grand scheme of things, this is another decent winner from the Square Enix Collective and a good thing for gamers looking to add a bit of variety to their libraries . One of those fun indie sleepers that’s going to be a fine buy for party game fanatics or casual users more than it will be for those super-core gamers who want something packed to the gills with a wider variety of content. That said, I’d support some DLC if it added more maps, characters, gods and maybe that level editor I mentioned. It’s certainly not as huge as Super Mario Party, but if you’ve a fondness for oldies like Konami’s still wacky Poy Poy), this one will be right up your alley. And hey, don’t be surprised if you need to gently boot a guest from your home because they got good enough at the game to keep wanting to play just to keep that streak going.
Score: C (75%)
(Review code provided by the publisher)