Method Man & Creed Bratton Add Tang To ‘World Gone Sour’
Advergames are usually like the old guy at the concert who thinks he fits right in, oblivious to the fact that everyone is cracking jokes at his expense both behind his back and to his face. Give ‘World Gone Sour‘ — a downloadable game based on Sour Patch Kids candy — credit for at least being aware of how ridiculous its concept is.
Creed Bratton, who plays Creed in ‘The Office,’ provides gravelly narration in what seems like a drunken, off-script stupor. His distanced, intermittent commentary on your exploits sets the tone for this self-aware debacle.
You guide your little wall-jumping, projectile-tossing candyman through elaborate, found object-laden levels in a number of amusing ways. As you cross the paths of other Sour Patch kids, they become your followers. You can hurl them at switches, swallow them up to grow larger — all the better to jump in the air and butt-stomp to break fragile plaforms — or endure obstacles by sacrificing your comrades in arms.
Frequent checkpoints minimize the backtracking, but you’ll be forgiven for thinking you’re replaying levels, thanks to the sameness of many of your obstacles. The developers are going for a ‘Metroid’-style 2D, secret-laden world to explore, but occasional dead-ends and red herrings give you more frustration than fulfillment.
At least the mundane game isn’t afraid to copy its betters. The point-and-fling mechanic is straight out of ‘Yoshi’s Island,’ while the platforming brings back happy memories of ‘LittleBigPlanet.’ It’s tough to go too far wrong when you’re swiping from either of those games.
The design is a treat. Backgrounds are labeled with logos from old, forgotten candy brands, and it’s cool that a friend in the same room can pop in to join in your escapades. We could gripe about the lack of online co-op, but since the asking price is so low and the community behind the game will probably be less than thriving, we’ll let it go.
Just like real-life Sour Patch Kids, this game based on the confection gives you a tiny bit of fun for a little bit of money. You may be left with gunk stuck in your back teeth and a nasty aftertaste, but damned if that will stop you from trying it again.
‘World Gone Sour‘ ($5), developed by Playbrains and published by Capcom, is available on Xbox 360 and PS3. Rated T. The publisher provided a download code. For this review, we played the Xbox 360 version for four hours.