Chowderchu is a game about wizards, by wizards, and it will make you want to question your sanity.
Well, at least I am now questioning my sanity (okay, I was doing this before). Chowderchu is a game about Chowderchu, a wizard who teams up with another wizard to overcome obstacles. That is, of course, if you can survive playing the game that long. That is the true task in Chowderchu – surviving long enough to see anything actually happening.
Depending on where you look, Chowderchu is marketed as a “torture platformer”. The torture part if about right, honestly, so I’ll give them that. Unfortunately, the only place it isn’t marketed as a “torture platformer” is on the Steam store page. The reason this game will torture you so much comes from a couple places – the controls and the “combat”. Well, I suppose there is also the graphics and the music.
Chowderchu controls like absolute garbage. Your main control scheme is A and D to move left/right, W or Space to jump, Shift to “teleport”, Tab to use doors and talk, right click to leave some weird bomb thing, and then left click is your attack and “better” jump. These controls are non-configurable. The regular jump (off of W/Space) is absolutely garbage, so you will be using the left click to attempt to jump. This jump is well… also pretty garbage. It’s more like flinging yourself and then praying that you can land somewhere safely as you go through the air extremely fast. This would be great, if some of the platforming didn’t involve a little precision while trying to evade enemy attacks.
“Why not just kill the enemies?” you ask? Well, here’s the thing – you get this dinky little sword to attack with, and your enemies get ranged attacks. So while you’re going up there to try and smack them in the face, they’ll beat you down and then easily get out of your way before you can do anything about it. Oh yeah, and did I mention that if you die 3 times, it is a game over? Yup, the game has a lives system.
Oh, but it’s okay, right? Surely the game has a save system!
Oh. Is that how it is? I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again – making a game without a save system, unless it is stupendously short, is an absolutely terrible idea. Especially in a game such as this where there’s such a high degree of “difficulty” (which, really, is just poor controls). I’m not actually sure how long the game is – the controls made me rage quit somewhere around the second game over. Somewhere between trying to dodge what looked to be ninja’s with ninja stars and teleport through walls that didn’t want to be teleported through consistently I decided I just couldn’t stand the controls anymore.
So how about the graphics? The graphics are sure something, and I don’t mean that in a good way. The graphics are some sort of MS Paint pixel art that seems to be from the Windows 3.1 era. While I didn’t make it very far, from what I also see in the trailer, there’s some flashy shoot ‘em up portion that seems to be there, and it really doesn’t look any better. Then there is the YouTube camera quality pop in of the creator trying to be some character in the game, but it just comes off as absolutely poor quality.
The sounds are okay for about the first few seconds you hear them. Those first few seconds are all it takes before they seem to start looping over again. There does seem to at least be a few DIFFERENT tracks that loop like that, but they still get annoying really fast.
Chowderchu is something to write home about if you don’t value keeping your friends and if you wish for your family to no longer like you. The non-rebindable keys are absolutely horrendous, there’s absolutely no controller support (nor are there any plans to add it, as apparently the mouse is too “integral”), and a save system is non-existent. This game is in no way worth the $4.99 they are asking for it. So, if you value your sanity (and your friends and family), then just give Chowderchu a complete pass. Even if you don’t value your sanity you should really just not play this game because it is just not worth it at all.
Chowderchu Review Score
It gets a .5 because we don’t do 0’s… yet.