Released (on Steam): 2 Jul, 2020
Genres: Action, Casual, Indie
Developer: Tri-Heart Interactive
Publisher: Tri-Heart Interactive
Steam Price: £12.99
A FAST ACTION PARTY SHOOTER, WHERE OTTERS GO AIRBORNE
• Multiplayer action : Team up with up to four players in a chaotic, couch co-op campaign or test your friendship and go t.o.e to t.o.e in our competitive, versus mode!
• Go solo!: Travel the galaxy and take on Tiko alone! Featuring a huge variety of challenges across 8 different planets in an intense campaign mode that keeps you on your toes!
• Build your team: Earn stars, unlock skins, customise your otters and keep on fighting.
• Game Modes : Rapidly changing game modes, 2 minute rounds and an environment hazard here and there and we promise it will be otter chaos!
• Locations: Fight across the sprawling galaxy of The Otterman Empire!
• Split screen: Pass those controllers out and see who’s got what it takes to come out on top.
Completion: Campaign completed in single player. 3 stars on every level.
Playtime at Review: 5.1 hours
Achievements at Review: 3/15 (20%)
My rating: 8.0/10
Tonnes of fun with 4 player split-screen!
Supports Steam's Remote Play Together.
Plenty of unlockable items to change each character's look.
Nice and quick rounds.
Each character has a unique look and feel to them.
Some keyboard binds are a little unnatural, although mainly on menus (backspace/delete to go back instead of escape).
No way to save equipment loadouts.
No skip intro when replaying campaign levels.
No live score in campaign. I would rather see the live score than the total score needed for the next star (both would be perfect).
I first discovered The Otterman Empire in September 2018 at a Manchester Gamers Unite event. This event is actually organised by the creators of The Otterman Empires, as a way to bridge the gap between gamer and developer. I’ve been to each event since then too, and was fortunate enough to play this game throughout varying stages of it’s development, along with a load of other games by different developers! The team are also very active on their Discord server and interact with the community on a regular basis, which is always great to see!
Even though I had actually played this game several times in multiplayer prior to release, I didn’t find the tutorial as simple as I probably should have. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, and it’s not to say it didn’t cover what was needed from a tutorial. I’m actually fed up with games and their constant hand-holding, so it was quite refreshing to get a more basic introduction before delving into the rest of the game.
The campaign was a great way to get accustomed to the different game modes. I played it solo, but you can play co-op too. It also had a rather nostalgic feel to it, although I’ve not quite managed to put my finger on why exactly. It could be the way each level is very much it’s own, and your performance is graded by a point and star system, allowing you to challenge yourself to get 3 stars and more points on every level. Something I don’t tend to see in the games I play these days. Or it could be the way each level is introduced. More likely it’s a mix of both along with some other factors I don’t even realise. Whatever it was, it worked well! I would like to see a way to skip the introductions once the initial playthrough is done though.
Throughout the game, you’ll unlock different characters to play as, each with their own distinct style and feel. You’ll also unlock several different items to customise the different characters. Some can be used on any character, while others are for specific characters only. I have no doubt there’s a load more items for me to unlock yet, and I look forward to it! I would like to see the ability to save loadouts, or for the gaming session to remember loadouts until a quitting the game or restarting, but that’s more me being picky than anything else.
I haven’t actually played any local multiplayer/versus games since the game went live, but that’s partly due to being locked up (due to COVID-19… I’m not in prison), and partly because I’ve played the multiplayer side of things plenty of times throughout development, and it’s easily the best part of the game. It’s likely another cause of the nostalgic feelings. You don’t tend to see 4 player split-screen games anymore! Naturally, I completely suck, but it’s a good laugh all the same! There are several different maps and game modes, all with short rounds and additional hazards to make each game as chaotically fun as possible!
While the campaign is fun and challenging enough to play alone, the game is definitely best played with friends, whether it’s campaign or the different versus modes. It’s great fun for children and adults alike, and as soon as it’s safe enough to have people around, we’ll be having a few drinks and enjoying some 4 player split-screen gaming!
Posted on 08-07-2020