When platforming gets though, it turns neon. Brightly coloured neon.
No, I’m not stuck in a fancy discothèque, dancing my legs off on trippy rave music (perish the thought), I just played through a bunch of levels in Octahedron. This visually odd little platformer starts off with an equally bizarre plot. Our protagonist is sitting in a desolate cabin in the woods, a sound outside catches his attention. He steps outside and finds the sound emanating from a weird shape. Against better judgement he touches the shape and is instantly transformed into a neon man with an octagon for a head. He drops in another dimension and from there on it’s all us. Platforming our way through odd levels, without so much of a hint what’s going on.
Neon dude has one power though: he can summon levitating platforms for a brief time. He can use these to reach higher areas, or to bridge gaps surfing on them. There’s a catch though. The platforms last for a couple of seconds only, and only two can be summoned at the same time. Every step taken needs careful planning and thought, or neon dude will perish bumping into an even brighter neon obstacle or enemy.
To call the levels ingenious and devious and slightly irritating would be an understatement. I could tell that each level took as much planning to make as it took to cross. And only after failing one for the umpteenth time does one know the true meaning of irritating.
But for all the brightness and the fun platforming and the novel concept scored with an ubercool synth soundtrack, there’s also a darker side. Octahedron might seem fun the first time, but the longer I played, the more bored I got. There’s just something about forever trying to get to an exit, only to be dropped in another level to find the exit again. Repetition is just as dull when it’s brightly lit by neon lights… And there’s no amount of collectibles and medals that’s going to convince me to do another playthrough.
While the concept is novel and fun, underneath there’s a core of repetitiveness that puts a huge, red neon stop sign all over the game.