You’ve probably seen the Sour Patch Kid commercials where rainbow-colored candies perform a horrible act on an unsuspecting human (like cutting off one pigtail of a sleeping girl), then looking so “sweet” it was immediately forgotten. Those same mischievous candies have somehow spawned their very own videogame where you aid them in reaching the ultimate goal: landing in a human stomach. Not very ambitious, are they? World Gone Sour is an adventure that explores this odd desire, and ultimately succeeds in offering a little more the mediocre licensed adventure it appears to be.
The journey begins with the Sour Patch Kids in a movie theater, about to be hungrily consumed by a Jersey accountant who, after suffering a bout of vertigo, leaves the candies behind. In a strange twist, the candies embark on an adventure to “avenge” a red candy they left in the factory. The game quickly morphs into a quest to make it up to the abandoned red candy while catering to the woes of every other slighted SPK you happen to meet along the way. It’s not exactly a plot you’re going to want to see through to the end based on premise alone, but the enticing colors and bizarre characters are a reason to press on to see what all this is about.
As you progress, you’ll encounter many more fellow Sour Patch Kids who trail behind you on the way to salvation. Like Pikmin, they can be used to solve puzzles, access just out-of-the-way areas, and attack enemies. Toss your Kids into huge puddles of soda, fling them into harm’s way (a buzz saw), and abuse them any way possible so you can gain points and keep yourself safe. It’s quite hilarious, actually. Having a minion fall to its death into a huge deep fryer isn’t detrimental to your cause, and in fact the poor soul will respawn for another round of abuse. Feel free to abuse your followers in any way, shape, or form, and be rewarded for it! The Kids are also used as a form of hit points, so be wary of how many you’re leading around.
It’s easy to see the platforming elements lifted from other, more recognizable games and inserted into World Gone Sour, and for the most part they work. It just doesn’t always work. Levels devolve into repetitive messes with iffy double-jumping mechanics, and the looping, irritating background music quickly begins to grate on the nerves. And the game can actually be completed in a mere couple of hours. Once you’ve completed the adventure, there simply isn’t much to go back and do save for enlisting a friend for co-op mode.
But multiplayer is where, for the price, the game truly shines. There aren’t enough co-op titles out there period, so another platformer that allows two players to shine is always welcome. In an interesting twist from the main campaign mode, players share the collected Sour Patch Kids and must work together in harmony in order to complete the game, adding an element of teamwork that usually isn’t present in similar games. Sure you must work together to reach your goal, but usually not in such a close-knit manner. I rather enjoyed it and it’s a concept I’d like to see added in other titles in the future.
World Gone Sour, even with its repetitive nature and awful rap single from Method Man at the end of the game, is an interesting little story for being a licensed game based off of Kraft Foods’ endlessly popular candies of the same name and budget price. There isn’t much here to come back to once it’s over, but it’s great for a weekend play or quick run-through to add it onto that lifelong list of games you’ve finished. Never hurts to add another, I suppose.
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