- Excellent visual styling
- Awesome soothing soundtrack
- Fun puzzle mechanics
- Imperfect platforming mechanics
- Difficulty scaling on boss fights
Potata is the new whimsical artistic platformer by the Potata game company. Potato is a platforming adventure where you’ll play Potata on a mission to collect the necessary ingredients to save her sick fox. You’ll meet tons of wacky characters along the way and uncover the secrets of the world where Potata lives. The game is available now on Steam for $8.99.
Design and styling
The design and styling of Potata is hands down the best aspect of the game. Every minute of the game looks and feels like an interactive fairy tale. Attention to detail in Potata is absolutely off the charts. As you explore the world, you will feel like the environment is living and breathing. From the lanterns, gentle moving back and forth, to the flowers gentling swaying in the breeze. It all amounts to an environment that feels stunning.
To pair with the already perfect ambiance created by the stellar styling. The music is entrancing to suit the beautiful fairy tale theme.
There are three main elements to Potata’s gameplay. First is the apparent, platforming, and exploring. You’ll spend the majority of your time climbing, jumping, and searching each level. While the platform elements are not the best I’ve seen, they certainly aren’t the worst. Movement is a tad clunky and imprecise and suffers from the old-school platformer bounding box issue. Several times we would land on a platform with just our pinky toe touching, but that was enough to register. There was no real challenge in exploration, but the game feels like a casual platformer, so it didn’t stand out as a big issue for me.
The second element of gameplay is the combat. Standard mob combat mechanics are rather bland. All the enemies follow a simple patrol and have no real artificial intelligence. Dispatching of most mobs requires jumping over them and hitting them on their unprotected side. Now on the complete opposite side of the spectrum, I found the boss fight mechanics to be reasonably challenging. Each boss has the standard boss fight patterns and requires attempting the boss a few times to nail it down. While I enjoyed the boss fights quite a bit, it almost seemed out of place, given the difficulty of the rest of the game.
The third main element to Potata gameplay is solving puzzles hidden throughout each level. This aspect of Potata was probably one of my favorites in regards to the gameplay. While the early game puzzles are relaxed and took seconds to solve, they drastically ramp up later in the game. One nice feature was the option to skip the puzzles, at the cost of in-game currency. While I enjoyed the puzzles and took the time to solve them, I could see how some people would rather play the action. I thought it was an excellent idea to include the option to bypass them.
Potata is an excellent value for the price of $8.99 on Steam. The amount of love that went into the soundtrack and art alone is worth the price tag. However, this is a video game and not a piece of art, so the game also has to be solid to be worth buying. In its current state, I think Potata has a few issues that need addressing. While the puzzles are a great inclusion to the game and I loved them, the other aspects seem to fall a little short. Currently, it feels like a very casual exploration platformer, which is not a bad thing. However, the platforming mechanics aren’t quite to par. The boss fights felt like a complete 180 in difficulty. It created a bit of a shock after the casualness of the rest of the game.
I would love to see the base platforming and combat increased in complexity to buffer the large jumps in difficulty. But if casual platformer is the style they are going for, then decreasing the boss fight difficulty would also make sense. Overall I think Potata is still a great buy at only $8.99. Nothing is broke to the point of unplayability and is still a great experience.