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Organic Panic Hands-On Impressions from PAX East

Before heading to this year’s PAX East, if you had told me that I would spend a good part of my day playing a video game in which I was a fruit using superpowers to take on various meats and cheeses, I probably would have done anything but believed you.

However, during my time on the PAX showroom floor, I went hands-on with Last Limb Games’ upcoming fruit-centric, physics-based puzzle-platformer, Organic Panic and truth be told, it set the bar for any other game I played over the weekend quite high.

Organic Panic‘s premise is just as described above. Players don the persona of various fruits (Cherry, Kiwi), vegetables (Carrot) and nuts (Coconut), and guide them through numerous levels in which they must use their different skills to not only complete the level, but also take down the evil meats and cheeses. This wacky description is perfectly is pitch-perfect in describing to players the type of experience they will get in Organic Panic.

The left-of-center- premise of Organic Panic is enough to make the game instantly stand out, but the game’s actual art and gameplay mechanics are where the brilliance of Last Limb’s efforts truly shine. Organic Panic’s visuals instantly draw the player’s eye to the game at hand, where the quirky fruits, vegetables, meats and cheeses battle it out in vibrant worlds.

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Seeing the various characters come to life in Organic Panic is an absolute blast to watch. Each and every fruit, vegetable and meat brims with personality at every single second of the game. By combining such interesting – and goofy – characters with the game’s emphasis on physics-based platforming, Organic Panic manages to stand out among the numerous other games shown at PAX.

At first glance, Organic Panic looks a lot like any other platformer readily available in the video gaming world. However, within mere moments of playing the game, it quickly becomes apparent that Organic Panic has numerous features that set the game above the rest of the pack.

First and foremost, Organic Panic’s emphasis on its robust physics system is simply mind blowing. Each playable character comes with its own  unique power that players must learn to utilize in order to survive and overcome the various challenges presented in the game. For example, the Cherry game ploy through elements such as dirt and rock, the Kiwi has mastery of water and the Coconut can harness gravity itself.

These different abilities instantly set each of Organic Panic’s characters apart, but their usefulness in a given situation is what makes Organic Panic so enjoyable to play. In my time with the game at PAX East, I played through a handful of levels with each of the currently playable characters. The first thing that was noticeable given my time with Organic Panic was just how tight the game actually played. Outside of each character’s unique abilities and the impressive physics of Organic Panic, the game boasts the genuinely tight controls that any platformer needs to succeed.

Progressing through the levels in Organic Panic was an absolute blast. In the version I played at PAX, each respective character had their own series of stages, each one building up in terms of challenge level. For instance, when playing as the Kiwi, the first level in his series of stages introduces the player to his water shooting ability. Upon completing this level, the next stage builds upon what the player has just learned, adding enemies and the like to the mix. This type of gameplay does wonders to make Organic Panic truly enjoyable. By building the player’s skills up, the game ensures that the player always knows what to expect in terms of challenges.

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Outside of the tight controls and well-presented visuals, Organic Panic’s selling point, the physics-based puzzle platforming takes center stage once the player has becomes acclimated to the general flow of gameplay. As previously mentioned, each character has their own strength and ability, and mastering them as the player progresses through the hundreds of levels offered in the game is no small task. Learning to control the various elements that each character uses is a blast, especially with Organic Panic’s destructible environments and dynamic fluids. By combining each character’s powers with Organic Panic’s destructible environments allows the player to complete the numerous stages in a way that they see fit. Numerous times during my hands-on session with Organic Panic, I was able to see the way through the level that Last Limb intended players to go through, as well as at least two other options that players could take advantage of if they had true mastery of the mechanics.

This kind of intuitive gameplay is what makes Organic Panic stand out, giving the player the ability to take control of their powers and have them overcome the challenges presented in the game is one of the most enjoyable experiences I had at PAX.

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Organic Panic also features a robust level editor. While I was not able to build any stages in the build at PAX, the team at Last Limb happily told me just how impressive the game editor is. Simply put, once the editor was fully functional, Organic Panic’s numerous stages were all built up with relative ease using their editor at hand. This type of simplistic building allows not only for  tons of content, but also for anyone with the game to get their hands dirty and attempt to create their own levels.

Similarly to the level editor of Little Big Planet making the game so instantly successful, Organic Panic looks to carry on this tradition. Players will be able to play, rate and experience the different levels created by users the world over. The possibilities are near endless thanks to this level editor, ensuring that Organic Panic is one title that will never get old.

Organic Panic is currently Greenlit on Steam, where more information regarding the game can be found. Suffice to say that when it comes to the numerous platformers on the horizon, few stand out more than Organic Panic. Despite the game’s cute fruits and menacing meats, at its core, this is one seriously addicting game that will keep players coming back time and again.

 

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Tags : Organic PanicPAX East 2014
Raymond Porreca

The author Raymond Porreca

Raised on classic role-playing games, Ray’s eternal quest for the next great game has led to him playing everything he can get his hands on. With a passion for every facet of the video game industry, Ray aims to keep readers informed and entertained with every word he writes.