Oddworld: New ‘n’ Tasty finally makes its way onto Switch. Six long years after its release, the Nintendo faithful can take the reimagined classic on the go, and some could even be playing it for the first time with this port. I know that I came into Oddworld: New ‘n’ Tasty with a set of fresh eyes. I’ve not seen or played much of the Playstation original, but I’ve heard so much praise that it’s always been on my radar.
In Oddworld: New ‘n’ Tasty you control an enslaved Mudokon named Abe. Upon discovering that his employer/master, Rupture Farms, is planning on using Mudokon meat for their latest treat. Abe takes it on himself to rescue the other 299 Mudokon workers as well as discover more about his Mudokon heritage.
New ‘n’ Tasty is a 2.5D platform/puzzler that’s a remake of Abe’s Odyssey built from the ground up. The spirit of the original Oddworld with its dark macabre humor comes through clearly in what developer Just Add Water crafted. The unique inhabitants, creatures, locations and lore are recreated and represented beautifully with new 3D models and design tweaks.
However, The controls and mechanics of Oddworld: New ‘n’ Tasty seem to have failed to get that same loving attention. The platforming is incredibly stiff, sometimes not even responding to what you press. There are a few sections that require you to run at full speed and jump gaps, but they took forever to finish since occasionally my jump command wouldn’t respond and I would fall to my death. The walk/run/crawl commands also had issues where Abe would unintentionally run when I tried to step in closer and deactivate a mine.
All of the control complications paired with the puzzle nature of the game really hammer home one point; the quicksave and quick load commands are an absolute godsend. It’s really safe to say that if those commands weren’t conveniently mapped to the minus button I wouldn’t have been able to finish. This addition saved the game for me as I was much more willing to try many different puzzle solutions without the frustration of having to load all the way back at the checkpoint.
Along with that major quality of life improvement, Just Add Water tweaked the original formula with more additions. There are now 299 Mudokons to save instead of the original 99, there are expanded and new secret areas, and now Abe has the ability to toss bottle caps as a distraction.
Just Add Water has done an amazing job rebuilding Oddworld with the same style and spirit of the original. The scope of the remake shows it is a true labor of love. Unfortunately the gameplay part of the rebuild leaves something to be desired and can be the catalyst of game rage more often than not. As it is, Oddworld: New ‘n’ Tasty is a delightful reimagining for fans of the original, and a solid, challenging puzzler for fans of the genre.
This review is based on a retail copy of the game provided by the publisher.
Oddworld gets a facelift
Oddworld: New ‘n’ Tasty makes its way onto the Switch and gives a new audience a chance to enter the universe, but is setback with a few stiff controls and mechanics.