Organic Panic Review: The Quest Against Meat and Mediocrity

Organic Panic introduces a well-designed war between Meat & Cheese and Fruit & Vegetables. Deceivingly difficult, this game is as time consuming and entertaining as it is frustrating to advance.

Organic Panic, an action-packed physics based platformer, is heading to Steam and it's making quite a wave while doing so.

In this puzzle game, you are hurled into the ongoing war between the fruits and vegetables and the meat and cheese.

While controlling the healthy side of warfare, players will engage in surprisingly challenging levels complete with explosions, teamwork, and attempts to outsmart your beefy and dairy produced opponents. 

Introduction

As I embarked on my journey to rid the Organic Panic realm of the meat and cheese bullies, I wasn't sure what to expect. The lore seemed entertaining to say the least, but with a limited background in puzzle platformers I was admittedly hesitant.

Keeping in mind that this appetite-inducing game is also on Steam early access, meaning the finishing touches are still being developed, this review is a preview of greater things to come. 

Graphics and Design

Impressed by the overall interface, I explored the main menu in-depth to discover all of my options as a player, as well as being personally curious to the overall design.

I discovered that while the user interface is aesthetically appealing, and generally straightforward to understand, the controls were slightly confusing. 

User Interface 

The user interface is very simple. The buttons are large, point you in the direction you need to go, and are decently difficult to miss. All in all, you won't get lost. 

Understanding that time is precious, Last Limb definitely hit the nail on the head. I was grateful for such strong accessibility, the easier the interface is to figure out the more inclined I was to play further into the game.

This is the internet afterall, and patience is a scarce resource.

The Only Thing I'd Change... 

What gave me a bit of trouble, however, was the inability to go back via one of these conveniently sizable buttons. After a brief amount of fiddling I realized that right clicking will send you backwards, but if the overall interface concept is simplicity, I wish that was kept uniform. 

This is a feature I'm expecting to be improved on once Organic Panic is officially released. 

Framerate and Smoothness

Despite how difficult the game becomes, the graphics always remain flawless. 

The kicker for Organic Panic is that with each level, the difficulty increases immensely, causing each move I made to be well thought out, not to mention using a certain amount of precision while doing so. 

This aspect of the game is equal parts frustrating and entertaining. Anticipation continued to build while I racked my brain for any possible solution to the levels, which I didn't necessarily expect from the playful graphics and backgrounds. 

Is The Irritation Worth It?

Personally, I loved the challenge that each level entailed. Since a majority of your attacks have to be swift and accurate, this isn't a game that can be played while multi-tasking, and I enjoyed the thrill of such a high-stakes decision making process. 

The more characters and attacks that I unlocked, the harder the puzzles became. Various predicaments cause you to band together with multiple fruits and veggies such as cherries, carrots, and kiwis, each with their own special abilities. As you unlock more playable, edible characters, the more powers you'll have to utilize to unlock each level.

This means that overall intelligence will indeed be tested, and this is an aspect I would have to commend. It's not often that games of this caliber challenge me to such an extent, and it was actually a nice change of pace.

Gameplay and Controls 

It's safe to say that the controls are basic and straightforward. Space bar or right-click to jump, left click for the abilities. WASD to move around, but other than that I was on my own. 

Each level is completed by maneuvering around obstacles and defeating enemies. By jumping into the purple swirl, with the purple arrow serving as a quest helper of sorts, leading to the next stage. 

Just like Super Meat Boy, one small screw up will require a necessary level restart, meaning that each of my acts had to be planned in advance. This was thrilling and dangerous for me, as my curiosity and drive to move on was having an internal battle with my brain as I strived to complete each puzzle. 

Don't Give Up!

A few times I wanted to just give up. My patience was wearing thin, and the frustration from failing so many times at one level was getting to me.

After arguing with myself for a few drawn out minutes, I decided that I couldn't let the game defeat me and continued questing onward. I'm glad I did because the feeling of triumph after so many unsuccessful attempts is unparalleled. 

Figuring it Out On Your Own

The only problem I faced here was that the character-specific moves aren't told to you, nor are the rest of the controls such as F to move objects or Tab to switch characters.

Now, this might be a little selfish on my part, but I would have preferred the tutorial to spell each of these things out, so I could spend my time playing the game rather than figuring out how to play. 

If this discouraging feature is amended with the game's full release, I'll have no complaints whatsoever regarding controls. 

Design Your Own Fun

A unique feature of Organic Panic is the level creator and modifier. Players can create, share, and play levels that they, or others, have thought up all on their own, creating an exclusive element to the game that should theoretically keep players interested for hours. 

Another point worth mentioning is that every level in the campaign has been created with this available level designer, so participants are encouraged to attempt his/her own level creations.

If the Last Limb design team created 11 Stages of various levels, a finale, and an epilogue, you can just imagine the possibilities. 

Although the feature is not yet available for review, which I was a tad disappointed for, I'm looking forward to taking advantage of the level designer upon the game's full release. 

Overall

Overall, Organic Panic is a steam game worth buying, especially if you're a player that's fascinated by challenging puzzles and comical destruction. 

I would recommend this 2D platform game to anyone willing to put in the required effort to wrapping his/her brain around each level, while also following an entertaining story line that doesn't take up too much cherished time or attention. 

While I would like to see the abilities and controls explained a bit more thoroughly, I would give the early access to Organic Panic a solid rating. The concept and gameplay are both on par with leading Steam titles, even though the game is only in its preview stages.

This is no doubt an impressive feat, and I'm looking forward to playing the entirety of the game when it's revealed on Steam. 

Learn more about the game on the official webpage, or buy it on Steam for $9.99

Our Rating
8
Organic Panic introduces a well-designed war between Meat & Cheese and Fruit & Vegetables. Deceivingly difficult, this game is as time consuming and entertaining as it is frustrating to advance.
Reviewed On: PC

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Published Dec. 12th 2014

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