Landflix Odyssey tells the story of Larry, a lazy binge-watcher who finds himself trapped inside the Landflix streaming service after using special batteries (sounds familiar Simpsons fans?). In order to escape the TV hell, Larry needs to survive five seasons of five different shows in order to gather special batteries.
Landflix Odyssey is a 2D action platformer where you have to reach the end of every level (episode) by gathering as many coins as possible in order to be able to use them to unlock additional levels. Each level has 100 coins, but while not mandatory to through the various proverbial hoops to collect them all, it is recommended to get as many to avoid having to re-visit previously cleared levels.
Each world is tailored from familiar TV shows from the popular Netflix streaming service. There’s Peculiar Stuff which is the developers’ take on Stranger Things, Blind Evil; Daredevil, Elder Thrones; Game of Thrones, The Standing Zombie; The Walking Dead and finally Going Mad; Breaking Bad. Interestingly enough, while the core of the game is 2D platformer, each show introduces something different that gives the protagonist a little something to help him go through the shows.
For example, Blind Evil gives Larry a green baton that can be used to stun enemies and grapple to specific flashy green rings peppered throughout the levels. While Elder Thrones provides Larry with a sword to kill enemies in his path. You can kill enemies by jumping on their heads, but human-sized enemies will need to be stunned. While each show provides Larry with a unique skill, burping is the common skill that the protagonist carries throughout all shows which will stun his enemies.
The game’s biggest problem is the uneven difficulty. The first few levels of each episode will lure you into a false of security where you’ll assume it’s just a Super Mario Bros. clone. However, a few levels in, the game will throw you obstacles which will sometimes require the perfect timing that you’d be more used to see in a game like Super Meat Boy; the biggest example being during the Peculiar Stuff chapter, a level is an auto-scroller where you’re on a bicycle where you need to need to time your jumps and slides perfectly; miss your jump by half a second and you’re screwed. There were also a few occasions where the controls were unresponsive as I tried to do perfectly timed jumps.
The only problem, which is directly link to the point above, is the boss battles. While some of them are pretty simple, straightforward albeit frustrating, a lot of them are some of the most puzzling and worst boss battle designs I remember seeing. Thrown into a frustrating level design with the boss and his cronies bombarding you with their attacks while you take it wondering what the hell you have to do to kill the boss. There’s a limit on the number of times you can die before you understand how to kill the boss. It sometimes feels that the devs just made up a few of them without actually putting them through QA.
Each chapter is uniquely designed and faithfully represents its source material all in 8-bit pixelated glory. Each level will have a unique design to test your platforming skills whether it is to play Tarzan with your baton or quickly move from platform to platform before they vanish. The game also features an 8-bit soundtrack to match its classic visuals which reminded me of classic NES games from Sunsoft such as Gremlins 2: The New Batch. While not as memorable, it’s definitely of the most entertaining chiptune soundtrack I’ve heard recently and will most likely hunt it down.
Landflix Odyssey is one of the most jam-packed content indie games I’ve played in recent memory. While the core is a 2D action platformer, the fact that each chapter brings something different makes it feel like a bundle of five different games. While the game’s difficulty feels uneven through each “show” along with pain in the ass boss battles, the amount of content here makes up for it. It will test your patience and skills; there’s definitely a lot of bang for your buck here.
- Lots of gameplay content
- Decent gameplay variety
- Abrupt difficulty spike
- Some of the worst boss battles ever conceived