Has Nothing To Do With Octopi
HIGH Matches are quick and perfect for pickup-and-play.
LOW No online mode or bots for single players.
WTF Pressing start can pause the main menu screen.
In many ways, gamers have have high expectations for the titles they choose to play. Where once a quarter for a few minutes on an arcade machine was acceptable, many titles are now commonly expected to deliver 100 hours of entertainment — or more — for $59.99, and some players even expect the same for free, albeit with paid cosmetics or the equivalent. With that in mind, what should someone expect with a title that’s five bucks from a fledgling studio?
As it turns out, they can expect a fast-paced 2D platform party fighter. While not looking to overthrow Super Smash Bros., Octafight plays to its strengths by keeping things simple, and this design ethic is most exemplified by the ‘characters’ which are all differently-colored blocks of pixels, equal in size and ability. These abilities include a double jump, wall jumping, a shield (which requires quick reflexes), and a bomb (which is also a block of pixels).
Local matches are quick and easy to set up, and rounds can last anywhere from a single second up to several minutes, depending on skill and amount of confidence to engage in the frenzy. Completing matches allows the player to unlock different game modes, stages, and types of bombs. These options help keep things fresh, and the bombs add variety to the gameplay with properties ranging from splitting into multiple smaller bombs, heat-seeking capabilities and more.
The game is obviously designed with a pixel-heavy aesthetic, and this can be a mixed bag. While the menu text can be difficult to read, once a player is in a match, the stages impress with wildlife, lighting, and water effects that convey a particular attention to detail behind the rudimentary exterior.
The name “Octafight” comes from its other gimmick, which is allowing up to eight people to play at the same time. Unfortunately, due to the current pandemic I was unable to get eight people together to test this out, although I was able to confirm it is possible to connect eight controllers at once.
This brings up Octafight’s biggest weakness – it’s multiplayer-only, with no bots and no online play, and this is something that should very much be kept in mind before purchasing. Those who aren’t living with another gamer or two in the house will find their ability to play extremely limited unless they don’t mind ‘pulling a Sakurai’ and playing against themselves with two controllers at once.
When friends are available, Octafight offers quick matches with fast and fluid action, and a variety of modes, stages, and weapons that add an unexpected amount of variety and freshness. However, potential buyers should beware — this added lifespan is only relevant to those who have someone to play with.
— Mitch Zehe
Disclosures: This game is developed by Pixel Almost Perfect and published by Silesia Games. It is currently available on Switch and PC. This copy of the game was obtained via publisher and reviewed on the Switch. Approximately 5 hours of play were devoted to the multiplayer mode. There are no single-player modes.
Parents: According to the ESRB, this game is rated E 10+ and contains Fantasy Violence. The game is entirely pixelated and characters are squares made up of several pixels. These squares do fight, and at least one stage with water effects uses red water which one may assume to be blood.
Colorblind Modes: There are no colorblind modes available.
Deaf & Hard of Hearing Gamers: This game does not offer subtitles. However, there is no dialogue. No audio cues are required to play. This game is fully accessible.
Remappable Controls: No, this game’s controls are not remappable.