Home > PC, Platformer, Puzzle > Wrapple [REVIEW]

Wrapple [REVIEW]


Wrapple: released January 4th, 2010
Developer: Awoken Entertainment
Platforms: Windows

You are a genetically modified potato, created in a lab to be resistant to grasshoppers. Unfortunately for your lab coat wearing overlords, you have evolved and are now sentient! In your attempts to escape the lab you make use of various portals that are scattered about, but they weren’t designed for the transportation of potatoes, and as such each time you pass through one it destroys the room you left behind. At this rate, if the scientists can’t stop you, tomorrow’s headlines will read, “Sentient potato goes on portal hopping rampage and destroys laboratory!” And that’s the story folks!

I’ll say this much for the indie gaming scene, they are absolutely fearless when it comes to pushing the boundaries for whacky-as-shit premises in their games. Not that a terrificly plausible or complex story is even remotely necessary in a puzzle platformer such as Wrapple, but you’ve got to admit, that’s a pretty bizarre backstory, even so far as indie games are concerned. It’s all in good, light-hearted fun though, and I enjoyed the amusing story related journal entries that broke up the gameplay during Wrapple’s brief campaign.

More relevant to the experience though is the gameplay. The story can be as kooky and imaginative as it likes, just so long as the game is still fun to play. Thankfully, Wrapple delivers. The core gameplay mechanic is your ability to warp (called “wrapping” in the game) through walls, ceilings, and floors. This is taken a step further though as the game also gives you a chance to put on your Pacman hat, meaning that if you “wrap” through the right side of the screen, you appear from the left of the screen, or if you go through the bottom of the screen, you’ll wrap through the top of the screen., and vise versa. The goal of each level is to reach a portal which will then transport you to the next level, though this is made somewhat difficult by the spikes, incinerators, potato-proof walls, and crazy, mutated roach-blob experiments that you’ll encounter throughout your escape.

Each new level presents you with a new layout, which is of course a new puzzle for you to solve. These aren’t the most complex puzzles ever conceived, but it’s a pretty safe bet that a handful of them at least will leave you scratching your skull for a while. Certain puzzles will require fairly precise timing, requiring that you “wrap” at just the right moment, and then immediately “wrap” in a totally different direction the moment you’ve reached the other side. There are some genuinely crafty designs here that really force you to use your noodle, and it was great fun figuring them all out. While they can certainly be a challenge at times, I never found them to be overly frustrating, and as such I was more than willing to soldier on and figure out a solution. This can be a huge obstacle for puzzle games of any kind, since if your puzzles are too tough, people are likely to drop the game altogether, but if they’re too easy your game just becomes boring. Wrapple does a good job of walking that fine line, so I always felt challenged, but not overwhelmed.

The visuals are a simple, dominantly black and white silhouette style, with some viney looking accents here and there that serve to add a little flair to the package. It’s simple, but it’s clean, and while not terribly original, I found the visuals to be appealing and easy on the eyes. It works flawlessly in most regards, though I’ll admit there was a case or two where some black text appeared over a black background, which was a little silly. It didn’t hamper my ability to play in the least, but it was still an annoyance worth mentioning. Still, it was only a small nitpick, and overall I really enjoyed the visuals of Wrapple.

The sound had me a little conflicted though. The effects were all spot on, and the music was great, but the part that had me conflicted was the fact that there’s only one song. Granted, it’s a catchy little melody and I really did enjoy it, but it’s the only song in the game. I may not have minded it so much, but that’s not to say that it won’t get on your nerves after a while. Clearly the developer is capable of creating some high quality tunes, so I just wish that there had been one or two more songs included in the soundtrack to add a bit of variety.

All in all, Wrapple was an entertaining puzzle platformer that offered up appealing audio and visuals, as well as excellently challenging brain teasers, and a crazy, ridiculous premise to tie it all together. It’s unfortunate that the experience only lasts an hour, but it is a free game, so who can complain? I had a great time playing Wrapple, and it even came with a level editor, so with any luck I’ll be able to hunt down a few quality fan-made levels here in a bit and continue wrapping long in to the night!

 Wrapple can be downloaded for free and is available HERE.

[I apologize, but it appears that there is no official trailer for Wrapple that I can show you.]

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