Sawbuck Gamer

Wild King

Where The Wild Things Are

Wild King doesn’t just look good on paper.

By Danny Gallagher • October 8, 2013

Sawbuck Gamer is our daily review of a free or cheap game ($10 or less).

The pursuit of photorealism in games can be dangerous thing. Games that strive to emulate reality can feel like a waste of talent and imagination. When creators have the opportunity to show us new and unthinkable worlds, copying the real world is like making a comic book drawn entirely by a tracer.

Wild King is what happens when artists lets loose, taking players to an imaginative and vibrant place created entirely out of whole cloth—or rather, whole paper. In the game, a wild boy who fancies himself as the king of the paper forest works with his BFF (“Blue Flying Friend”) to take back their kingdom from an industrial enemy that turned its inhabitants into evil googly-eyed animals. The two of you fly around blasting baddies in well-executed Gradius-style arcade combat. The major addition to the side-scrolling shooter template is the ability to bounce your laser bullets off walls to clear paths. This adds a welcome extra level of lateral thinking to the proceedings. Still, Wild King’s most noticeable achievement is the look of its colorful world. Every screen appears to have been built out of carefully cut construction paper. It makes the experience pop off the screen in ways that even hyper-realistic 3D titles often fail to achieve.

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3 Responses to “Where The Wild Things Are”

  1. Chum Joely says:

    Looks nice, cute story. But movement and firing are both controlled by mouse, for some reason. I will try this at greater length at home, but my first impression is that the control scheme might be a deal-breaker.

    • Chum Joely says:

      OK, so now that I’ve played it a bit, my second first impression is, this is a fairly decent attempt at a homemade “cover version” of the Moskito levels from Rayman Origins. Fun enough, but lacking originality as far as the gameplay.

      However, the control scheme is indeed completely unacceptable. You have to “push through” obstacles at certain points, and if you’re not lined up perfectly, you will get irreparably stuck. The comparison to Origins, which is famous for its super-smooth controls, is especially unfavorable on that point. Oh well.

  2. Brainstrain says:

    That control scheme: yikes. Opening cinematic was charming, though.