Scientists say we’ve mapped more of Mars than we have of our own oceans, and I’d like to believe that Quadropus Rampage, by Butterscotch Shenanigans, is what happens in the deepest depths. Adventure along the ocean shelf as a squid, finding artifacts, looting treasures, and destroying sea creatures in this rouge RPG.
Pop Culture Mash-Up 2013
If there is any reason to play Quadropus it’s for the game’s sense of humor. Weapons and artifacts make constant references to memes and pop-culture. Take for example Bingo Unchained: an item that has your pet ignite explosions when attacking (and if you’ve seen Django Unchained you would know it exemplifies the cool guys don’t look at explosions gag). There is a sloth on a stick, which pays homage to Reddit’s sloth fascination, and there is a blue bird on a twig that of course nods at Twitter. More spectacular though is the weapon name generator creating items such as the Vegetarian Trident of Bailouts or the Salad Shooting Bat of North Korea.
The real humor, however, is found in the dialogue of the NPCs. There is Grubby: a worm with an eye patch who finds powerful weapons and artifacts to sell to you, and he successfully goads you into buying them by pointing out how sub-par your equipment is. The most entertaining character is Pete, the king jellyfish in which you are tasked with destroying. He must be frightened of the players quest because his rhetoric is loaded: “You may be wondering why I don’t DISPATCH you myself! I’m a BUSY MAN WITH A BUSY MAN’S NEEDS, ALL RIGHT?”
A One Squid Army
Like any solid rogue crawler, Quadropus has randomly generated levels and loot. Environments are packed full with enemies trying to prevent you from surpassing your record depth. Thankfully, there are plenty of items and tools to assist you in annihilating the eco-system more efficiently than a careless oil spill or over-fishing.
With luck, Grubby will find epic artifacts, which he will sell to you. Artifacts provide special bonuses such as increased health regeneration or increased damage towards specific types of enemies. Sometimes they increase the percent chance of finding certain items. Finding trees of baby squids—little sea critters that look like Furbies—will provide temporary bonuses.
Progression isn’t limited to the nick-naks you stumble across: orbs collected from defeated enemies, destroyed flora and chests can be used to upgrade your character and his companion Bingo permanently. As you complete achievements such as falling off the ledge X amount of times, you will be able to chose permanent skills to aid you on your quest. The more you play Quadropus, the faster you will be able to crawl through the dungeons.
As Sleek as a Squid
The visuals are refreshing. This is a game released in an App Store crowded with trendy pixelated games as if we have barely crawled out of the 1990s. I appreciate a nod to the classics, but it’s becoming overwhelming in the App Store, and it’s like I’m standing in a fish market with rotting seafood.
Quadropus has the best interface and controls I have experience in an iOS title to date. Buttons are perfectly spaced and sized, and the virtual joystick is responsive and never plunges me off the edge unexpectedly. The interface is also pleasing to the eye, designed with aquatic adventures in mind.
Quadropus is strange in the way it has two different in-game currencies, which I am unsure how I feel about. The first currency is the orb, and it’s very common and accessible. Currency number two is the Doubloon. Doubloons are extremely rare: to the point that you find one every two to three dungeon crawls. Doubloons are specifically used to purchase upgrades whereas orbs are used for upgrades and items Grubby finds. And what costs doubloons is expensive: ten doubloons to resurrect your character if he dies.
But are the prices fair? I don’t think so considering you have to purchase two sets of currency to unlock everything (if you’re looking to skip the grind). It’s wiser to enjoy the game and let the riches build up on your character rather than spending the money. However, Butterscotch Shenanigans will gift you an over-powered hammer that will destroy almost everything for the first ten minutes of game-play if you purchase something from the store.
One other complaint about the store is that there is no way to restore purchases.
Seafood salad. That’s what I think of the heaps of dead enemies behind my character. That’s right. I can’t stop playing Quadropus Rampage. It’s my go-to game when I’m swiping from screen to screen thinking of what to do when boredom crashes onto me like waves onto a beach. This game is free, so I suggest downloading it. Maybe stay away from the in-game store until Butterscotch Shenanigans adjust the prices, or at the very least includes a way to restore purchases.