Avocuddle – Review
Follow Genre: Platformer
Developer: Ramez al Tabbaa
Publisher: Ultimate Games, FistikTech
Platform: Switch, PC
Tested on: Switch

Avocuddle – Review

Site Score
4.0
Good: Beautiful music
Bad: Frustrating controls
User Score
7.0
(2 votes)
Click to vote
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 7.0/10 (2 votes cast)

Ah, the avocado. Staple ingredient of guacamole. Essential part of the millenial diet, best served on toast. And now, video game character too, apparently. From the mind of Syrian developer Ramez Al Tabbaa comes Avocuddle, a platformer that stars not one, but two anthropomorphic avocados. We joined Avora on his quest to save his one true love, Avoln, after she is kidnapped by an alien.

Story

Our story begins with a dramatic opening narration, set against a black background. A female voice delivers a monologue about the importance of the power of love. It’s a confusing and unexpected start, as Avocuddle is an adventure platformer about cartoon avocados. After the narration is over, we meet a couple of avocados: Avora and Avoln, and we’re dropped into the tutorial part of the game. The pair are on a walk after a long, hard day at work. What do avocados do for a job anyway?
The two avocados get in an argument about chocolate, and Avora is sent away by Avoln. The Love Orbs, floating, glowing spheres appear to help Avora, explaining how collecting roses will win over the heart of Avoln again. However, when Avora returns with the roses, Avoln is kidnapped by a lonely alien. It’s now up to Avora to go on a quest to save Avoln.

If you feel like the story setup makes very little sense, you’re not alone. Between the dramatic narration, avocados getting in a fight about chocolate and Love Orbs, Avocuddle’s story is an inconsistent mess. It doesn’t help that the dialogue is riddled with odd phrases and spelling and grammar errors. It’s likely that the writer isn’t a native English speaker, but it would’ve probably been a good choice to enlist the help of a proofreader.

Graphics

It’s not just the story that’s inconsistent. Avocuddle features a mix of graphic styles that stand in great contrast to one another. While the backgrounds and level designs look absolutely gorgeous, and are filled with rich detail and fantastic lighting effects, the character designs are much more simplistic. This makes Avora feel detached from the world he is supposed to interact with. Other character designs, such as the lemon-based shopkeeper suffer a similar fate. The stylistic clash becomes even more apparent when you notice that the enemies you encounter are presented in yet another different art style, with a black outline that isn’t present in the other characters. It makes us feel like these characters weren’t designed for this game, but were pulled from a variety of sources before being added to Avocuddle.

Sound

To its credit, Avocuddle features a fantastic soundtrack with some truly beautiful and epic music. We must remind you, however, that this is a game about cartoon avocados, and while the music is great, it does not fit with what is happening on screen. It adds to the feeling that everything was meshed together from a variety of sources.

Gameplay

Avocuddle offers a basic by-the-numbers platform experience for the most part. Every platforming cliché you’d expect is present here: double jumping, moving platforms, killing enemies by jumping on top of them… The game attempts to be different by adding a gun mechanic as well, so if you’d rather shoot enemies rather than taking them out Super Mario style, that’s possible as well. There’s a variety of weapons at your disposal, with limited ammo that you’ll need to collect or buy from the shop with in-game currency. We should point out that adding guns to a game about cartoon avocados is another example of the tonal inconsistency that plagues this game. The gun mechanics seem like a totally random inclusion and we’re not sure whether we’re supposed to take it seriously. Whether the guns were included because Ramez al Tabbaa thinks an avocado wielding a gun is funny, or if it was done to differentiate Avocuddle from other thirteen-in-a-dozen platformers, it feels like a forced and unnecessary inclusion.

A good platformer stands or falls with its controls, and the control scheme is the defining major flaw with Avocuddle. Controls aren’t thought out very well on the Switch version, although the PC version might fare better here. As an example, on the Switch version, if you want to run rather than walk, you’ll need to push down the left control stick and keep it pushed in while running, making it awkward to navigate Avora. Things get even worse when aiming with your gun, as you’ll need to aim with the right stick, but as soon as you let go, your aiming position will instantly reset. Shooting is far more complicated than it needs to be, and Avocuddle becomes frustrating, rather than fun as a result. Jump mechanics suffer a similar fate, with jumps that feel way too short and there appears to be a slight latency between button input and on-screen action. It takes some time to get used to this millisecond delay, and timing jumps does take some getting used to before you get it right.

Conclusion

It’s clear to see that Ramez al Tabbaa was very ambitious when he tried do deliver Avocuddle. The game tries to be an epic adventure, with a story that goes beyond a pair of cartoon avocados. Unfortunately, being ambitious isn’t enough to deliver an experience that sticks with the player, or is even fun to play. If there’s one word that can describe Avocuddle, that word would be inconsistent: between the clashing art styles, music that doesn’t fit and a story that tries to be epic but fails to deliver, Avocuddle is a game that fails to deliver an experience that sticks with the player.

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 7.0/10 (2 votes cast)
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: +1 (from 1 vote)
Avocuddle - Review, 7.0 out of 10 based on 2 ratings
Sebastiaan Raats
Sebastiaan Raats


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