Release Date: April 10, 2012
Price: 80MSP ($1)
In Septipus: Tentacle Apocalypse you play as Smiley, an emoticon from the town of Follicles known for their beautiful flowing locks, which has been recently invaded by The Septipus who has taken all hair of Follicles to create his mustache; you have driven Septipus back to his cave and now track him to return everyone’s hair. So needless to say Soulfire Software‘s Septipus is set up to be a bit out there, but in doing so it has some of the highest production values on the Xbox Live Indie service. From the looks of the interface, to the detailed portraits and cutscenes, and the orchestral style music it’s clear that a lot of care and attention was put into it.
Starting at the painted intro sequence and moving seemlessly the lovely textured interface, Septipus comes out swinging with style and it doesn’t stop there. The main portion of the game is played on a black and white screen that is styled akin to the old Tiger LED Handhelds but with sleek pixel art, smooth animation, and lightning effects showing off the caverns of Septipus’s domain. As you move through the caverns you are often greeted with voiced dialogue accompanied by large character portraits which are not exactly what you would call perfect, but end up being very fitting of the over-the-top nature of the game.
The gameplay is largely combat-less and involves moving through dark catacombs with a bit of a floating momentum while avoiding spikes and creatures with a bit of a puzzle element collecting keys and carefully choosing conveyors to move along in your attempts to make it to the next floor. It offers enough challenge while not becoming overly frustrating, however the hitbox for your character and the obstacles encompass the full tile which occasionally causes the cheap death when you try to squeeze in a small corridor while bouncing on the walls.
The levels are laid out well but when I completed it I found myself wanting a bit more of them and wishing it explored the puzzle aspect a bit further. The game concludes with your battle with Septipus switching gears to a bit of twin stick shooting which is a quick and fun change of pace that is marred a bit from slowdown, having too many things on screen at once. Lastly the game ends leaving me wanting some harder levels after the credits but I was instead met with an odd bug where the game started over but still had the Septipus fight laying over top of it at the same time, woops!
So Septipus ends up being a bit shorter than I would have liked but due to the quality of the overall game, the enjoyable humor, and the low price it’s more than worth the dollar admission. You can pick up Septipus: Tentacle Apocalypse on the XBLIG channel or go here to download it on your system now.