Oh Hi! Octopi! ($1.99) by kode80 LLC is a hybrid of arcade platformer and color-matching puzzler. This interesting mix makes for very unique gameplay. It's also pretty great to see a new title from the developers that brought us 1-bit Ninja, a distinctive arcade platformer, over a year ago.
Even though we are in the age of HD graphics, it seems that everyone still loves the retro, pixelated look from the golden age of gaming. This is just what you’ll find in Oh Hi Octopi, along with a fun chiptune soundtrack. When you combine it with the colorful nature of the game, it stands out.
In this game, you are controlling what looks like a small ninja in blue garb (did he get upgraded from 1-bit?). But he only has a hammer, which you'll use to smash things, obviously. There will be a never ending stream of various colored Octopi, and your goal is to get rid of them.
But wait! When you hit these guys, they get temporarily stunned, but they don’t go away, so what’s the deal? Of course it wouldn’t be that easy. Your main priority is to hit the button in the center of the screen to create a bubble with either paint or the occasional bomb. Then you must use these paint bubbles to knock out Octopi of the same color.
Be careful, though, because hitting one with the wrong paint ball will change its color and multiply it. You can also hit a row of them to rotate their colors. Don’t let any of them touch you either, because you will lose one of your three hearts when that happens — lose them all and it is game over. Octopi who are properly hit will fall off the screen, and if they touch any more like-colored targets, then they will be cleared off the screen as well, and maybe even drop bonus point medallions to collect.
For every 10 you clear, you go on to the next round. Each level advancement will have the Octopi moving faster. If you can collect all of the “BONUS” medals, then the screen gets cleared and you go into a bonus round.
The controls are very straightforward: tap the left or right side of the screen to hammer in that direction, or hold to walk. Reaching the bottom of the screen is nothing to worry about, because you will fall back to the top. However, if you press left, right, left, right repeatedly, then you can do a spin jump to get back on a platform.
The game is rather simple, yet strangely addictive. It brings back the good old arcade days, when all you cared about was getting a high score. And thanks to the challenging game mechanic provided in Oh Hi! Octopi!, I can guarantee that it will take some time before you master the concept of the game and top the Game Center leaderboards. But hey, at least you can move left this time.
For a fun mashup of platformer and color-matching, I recommend checking out Oh Hi! Octopi! It’s a universal title for your iPhone and iPad, so the price is right.