How does a game that mixes racing and platform sound to you? Interesting? No? And what if we add animals controlling the oddest vehicles possible, how about now? Not yet? And if we add a customization system, a deep level design Tool, the possibility to share your creations online, integration with Mixer and, my favorite part, a strange and at the same time cruel sense of humor? Do I have your attention now? So let me introduce you to Animal super Squad, a physics-based adventure game by the hands of Swedish studio DoubleMoose Games and published by Digerati that is certainly the craziest game of 2019 so far! Select your favorite animal, put a hat on its head, select your vehicle and let’s start this adventure!
What is Good?
- Gameplay: The gameplay is very straightforward. You walk (or drive, roll, fly, jump… More about that later) from the beginning to the end of the stage overcoming obstacles and avoiding traps until you reach the finish mark. ‘Easy peasy’ you would think but I grant you: it is not. Well, the first few stages in Adventure Mode are, but things start to get more and more complex faster than you would expect. And at the end of the first map, you will already be crying. Each stage (well, not exactly all of them, but when selecting the stage, there’s a list of things to unlock in each one) has a few secrets you can unlock like new characters/pilots, new hats and secret stages.
- Level editor: The game offers a good number of stages for you to adventure into, but its focus resides on the level editor tool. I cannot stress enough how amazing it is: there are so many items, so many assets and so many possibilities in it I can say it is virtually infinite! And there are already some very dedicated players that were able to build stages as complex as or even more complexes than the premade ones! And if you dedicate some time to understand its mechanics (don’t worry: there’s a tutorial for that), you will also be able to create really impressive things. And, who knows, maybe they can feature your creation in the ‘Featured Levels’, something like the spotlight of the week.
- Sound: In the sound department, I can attest you Animal Super Squad has some very decent music in its soundtrack, with good sound effects too. None of them were remarkable, but they do not disappoint.
- Fun graphics: In the visual area, the game doesn’t disappoint too. Its graphics are cartoon oriented and very well-detailed, which allows the crude humor I mentioned before: your vehicles can be destroyed piece by piece. And, when it is totaled, well, you can use some of its pieces to continue advancing. The same can be said about your pilots: they can die when drowning in water or when they hit something spikey, for instance. But when hit by fire, the fire will actually… Well, cook them. When playing as the chicken, for instance, if fire touches your pilot, it turns into a roast chicken. When it happens again, you become a buck of chicken wings. If flames hit you once more, you become a single roast chicken leg. But there’s no need to give up: recover a pair of wheels from your destroyed vehicle and you’re back in the game as the fastest chicken leg ever!
- Vehicles: What to say about the vehicles of the game? How about THEY ARE THE CRAZIEST VEHICLES YOU WILL EVER SEE IN A GAME! For real! Well, how else you would describe a toilet bowl with wells? Each one has a special characteristic: the Flush Master has a small boost, the Flame Flower has a long boost, the Bike + Kopter can fly and the UniKHorn makes you move like playing Getting Over It with Bennett Foddy (if you have no idea what I’m talking about, please check https://youtu.be/-xFpV7ADnr8). There are still more, but let’s not spoil any other surprises.
- Customization: While exploring each stage, you can find some crazy hats for your pilots. From traffic cones to paper bags, passing by fruits and food and other animals. These hats, although charming, are there only to add some style for your pilots. They don’t make any difference in your gameplay. If you like collectibles or you are aiming for achievements, you may invest some time in going after them. If not, just ignore them and continue your adventure.
What is Bad?
- A physics game where physics don’t always work as you expect: Sometimes, it’s funny because it helps you. But most of the time it’s frustrating… but forgivable since the developer already told us they don’t know how physics work in the game description. And you thought it was a joke?
- Graphics issues: It’s really common, even in pre-built stages, to face clipping problems or to find your vehicle crossing walls and falling in the pit (have you ever seen a glitch in which your character falls on the ground and never stops falling? That’s what I call ‘the pit’). And it happens on an absurd frequency. It would be something to relieve if it only happened on levels created by the community, but when it happens on levels created by the developer, it’s clearly an issue that needs to be patched.
Animal Super Squad [Score: 68/100]
I must confess something: I still don’t get the title of this game. There must be some catch about it like in almost every aspect of this game: from its fun gameplay to the extent of its level editor, from the challenging adventure mode do the many times you will find yourself laughing while playing it. The game does have some flaws that need to be patched, but if you can get past them, you will have a great time with it. Now you will excuse me because I have some new levels to design for you.
With a history of gaming that goes from his old man’s Atari 2600 to his Xbox One, Rafael or RAF687, our Brazilian editor, has a love for games as old as he can remember. He has already spent countless hours in many consoles (Mega Drive/Genesis, Sega Saturn, PS1, PS2 and Xbox 360) and is always ready for more (as long as his wife is asleep). Raf has been writing for LifeisXbox since 2017, with a passion for games of almost all genres – though we know he has a special place in his heart for RPGs, racing games and anything that includes pixel art. Writing about games has always been a childhood dream to Raf, dream that he has fulfilled reviewing games for you here. You can drop him a message at Twitter, Facebook or Xbox Live at any time.