Whenever I write, I tend to draw some comparisons between the game I am reviewing and others that share a similar narrative and/or style of gameplay. However, I can say without a doubt, The Walking Vegetables is perhaps one of the most original ideas that I’ve ever come across. The premise is something straight out of an 80s B-Movie, take on the role of a renegade cop and defend the earth from invading Alien Vegetables and to an extent Fruit (but I guess The Walking Fruit and Vegetable: Radical Edition was too much of a mouthful). The game was developed by Still Running and published by Merge Games and TagStar Games, and was initially released in 2017.
Now, before I dive into dissecting the gameplay a fair warning. I would NOT recommend playing this game if you suffer from epilepsy or are prone to migraines. Because, there is a serious amount of flashing lights in this game, the pause menu alone made me want to sit in total darkness with a blanket over my head for three hours. But I digress, let’s talk about the gameplay. In similar fashion to the highly original concept, the gameplay takes the overdone aim and shoot/hit in a new direction, constantly evolving with new power-ups and weapons to ensure that each part of the game feels new and exciting. I felt pleasantly challenged in having to figure out ways to use these new weapons, it ultimately ensured that the gameplay didn’t get as stale as it potentially could have been.
Another enjoyable aspect of the gameplay was the map. Now whilst the game itself is broken down into sections (Part One, Two, Etc.) the map remains open and you must travel through the expanding world, in order to progress through the game. What I enjoyed about this aspect, was that every area felt different and unique, yet somehow cohesive and tied to the games overarching aesthetic.
However, there are some drawbacks to the gameplay. The first and most obvious one being, it doesn’t initially tell you how to use the weapons, where to go, or what you’re even doing. It took me a good 5-10 minutes to figure out not only the basic controls, thankfully everything was smooth sailing after that. Whilst the controls aren’t that difficult to pick up, a simple run down before the gameplay started/during the early stages would have been much appreciated. In addition, whilst I enjoyed the open map I did find myself getting lost/backtracking on myself at various points, despite being given an in-game map. But perhaps that just speaks more about me than the actual game.
Sadly another gripe I had with the gameplay was that it doesn’t necessary take a lot of skill to kill the enemy, and certain levels of the game are what can only be described as a button-mashing extravaganza. Now if you are someone who thrives off button mashing, great, more power to you my friend, this is the game for you. But if like me, you prefer more technical style of combat then this may be somewhat disappointing. If I were to make any improvements, I would perhaps have fewer enemies (which may hinder the ‘invasion’ aspect of the storyline I know) and focus more on having the various fruits and veg be weak to one specific weapon each (for example Lemon’s weakness could be pistols) but again that’s just my take.
Now moving onto the game’s graphics, and like many indie games The Walking Vegetables has drawn inspiration from the pixilated videogames of our youth (depending on how you are). Overall, the game is well designed and has a rather charming purple tinged aesthetic. I didn’t encounter any major problems with the graphics, except for the flickering which I have already discussed. If anything, the pixilated style just adds to the 80s B-Movie feel, and compliments the story perfectly. Truly, neither the narrative nor aesthetic would work on its own. Side note another complimentary aspect (I know I’ve used that word a lot, but everything just compliments each other in this game okay!) is the soundtrack, very 80s electronica.
To conclude, I would recommend The Walking Vegetables to those who are a fan of retro-style shooting games, and anyone who longs for 80s nostalgia really. I would further like to commend the work of Still Running productions, for creating one of the most original and creative indie games I’ve ever had the fortune to play.
REVIEW CODE: A complimentary Sony Playstation 4 code was provided to Bonus Stage for this review. Please send all review code enquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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The Walking Vegetables: Radical Edition Review
Gameplay - 7/10
Graphics - 7/10
Sound - 7/10
Replay Value - 7/10
User Review( votes)
I would recommend The Walking Vegetables to those who are a fan of retro-style shooting games, and anyone who longs for 80s nostalgia really.