Publisher: Orange One
Developer: Backup Plan
I wasn?t a huge fan of Maneater (though I know my colleague Stan would disagree). It was built around a fun idea — I mean, who wouldn?t want to be a shark that eats everything? — but it felt like a one-note joke dragged out a little too long.
That said, Maneater is GOTY material when you put it up against a game like Angry Alligator.
I mean, this comparison is kind of unfair, since Maneater was developed by a bigger, more established team. But given that Angry Alligator mines a similar vein — the only real difference being that you play, obviously, as an alligator rather than a shark — it?s hard not to compare the two games. And by any standard, it?s just not as good.
The most obvious issue is the controls. They?re complete and utter garbage. Not only is it a massive pain to move your alligator in a straight line, you also have to contend with a camera that?s incapable of finding a good angle. To that latter point, no matter how much you keep moving the camera, you?ll very quickly find it stuck behind a tree, or under a hill, or even inside the alligator itself, and you?ll never have a good view of what?s happening in the world around you.
And if you could, you?d see all kinds of weirdness. None of the animals you?re hunting move in anything resembling a normal fashion. You have beavers (I think?) that move by bouncing up and down. There are ducks that run around in circles rather than flying away (which isn?t the worst evasive strategy, seeing as how hard it is to move your gator in a circle). Once I chased a frog that split apart into five different frogs.
It?s a deeply strange world, is what I?m getting at.
It doesn?t help that Angry Alligator?s actual gameplay is incredibly tedious. The game does give you missions/fetch quests to keep things moving along, except you quickly discover that the whole point of the game is to keep eating. Your health bar is constantly winding down, so if you don?t eat constantly, you quickly die and get pushed back to one of the game?s infrequent checkpoints.
On the one hand, this is a pain, since it means that you have to contend with those awful controls. On the other hand, however, even eating everything in sight quickly gets dull, once you realize that your alligator can eat pretty much everything right off the bat. Sure, it gives some animals different power levels, and tells you your gator may not be strong enough to go running into a tougher area — but attack a more powerful creature, and even if they take a few bites from your health bar, those will be quickly refilled when you inevitably win. I mean, it should tell you something when I?m someone who likes playing games on fairly forgiving settings, and even I found it boring.
But that?s the only way to describe Angry Alligator: it?s boring. Maneater, for all its problems, at least had some personality. Strip that away — along with anyone else remotely good about the game, and you?re left with…well, you?re left with Angry Alligator.
Orange One provided us with an Angry Alligator Switch code for review purposes.