Space Otter Charlie from Wayward Distractions and The Quantum Astrophysics Guild is a 2D Zero-G puzzle platformer. Learn more in our Space Otter Charlie review!
In Space Otter Charlie from Wayward Distractions and The Quantum Astrophysics Guild is a 2D Zero-G puzzle platformer on PlayStation 4. In the early 2500s, humans left Earth. There were too many people and not enough resources, so it was time to spread across the galaxy to try and find what was needed to survive. The animals were left behind, with polluted lands, rivers, and oceans full of all of the garbage accumulated over the years. Unfortunately, the weather continued to get hotter and hotter. Since you’re going to play this one as an Otter, you can imagine how an animal with lots of fur reacts to living on a planet where things have gotten too hot for comfort.
Luckily, some otters that were a lot smarter than your character manage to build a rocket from all of the stuff and the parts of failed experiments left behind by the humans. This is how Space Mission Alpha came to be. Unfortunately, as happens a lot with alpha stages, everything went boom. It was then time for them to do it all over again, this time with the designated Mission Bravo, as they worked on fixing any mistakes from the previous round. This, too, was a failure, but at least this time, the rocket managed to get off the ground! Mission Charlie barely managed to be a success, and it is here that your journey begins.
You will move by holding a direction on the left analog stick and then pressing the X button to jump. Your character won’t stop moving until you land on something, which will make your boots attach to said surface. You will also have a jetpack, which you can activate by holding down the X button to steer your direction while you’re in the air. You can only use the jetpack for a short period of time before it runs out of fuel, and you’ll need to recharge it by not using it for a second or two or by landing on a surface. If you press and hold the R2 button when you land on a wall, you’ll be able to slide along it.
As you play through each stage, you’ll be collecting energy – which will heal some of your wounds -, as well as parts that can be used for crafting new items to aid you on your quest. You can, for example, build a Basic Lazor as your first item. It’s a basic weapon that can deal some damage to small enemies while also helping to clear some of the small debris around each area you visit. With the aid of the Build Bot, you can craft this and other useful items. Once you have the Basic Lazor, you’ll be able to fire it with the Square button.
You can also find a variety of space logs as you explore each level, which will give you some insight as to what has happened to the locations you’re visiting. There will also be secret areas for you to find, which you can spot here and there, either a bit out of reach or hiding behind, say, a destructible lid. Once you enter the secret areas, you will have to solve a puzzle to collect plans for new spacesuits for Charlie to wear. You will need to craft these suits with the parts that you find, which adds some extra replayability to the game. You can also find blueprints for other types of upgrades to craft, such as a shield upgrade that will boost your suit’s shield by one level or a boost to your jetpack thruster.
You’ll soon find a map that will allow you to explore that particular location in greater detail so that you can see where the different objectives are located, as well as where there are some Build Bots for you to make good use of. For example, your first mission will take you aboard the HMS Tomcat. In there, you’ll have to turn on the lights and activate all systems – which unfortunately also activates the rodent extermination protocols -, find the map, locate the navigation data, collect five fuel tanks – because your own spaceship has almost run out of fuel -, and then return to the exit.
Once you fully explore the HMS Tomcat and beat the boss at the end of the stage – a huge supercomputer that sees you as a rodent that must be exterminated at all cost – you’ll return to the spaceship to store all of the energy you collected, as well as to see what your next target will be. Before you take on your next mission, I suggest that you go and check the orbital training session available at the bottom of the screen, since once you complete it, you’ll have collected some extra parts, a new story log, and two blueprints for a shield upgrade and an electric slide that will power up your otter as its slides on the walls.
The energy you pick up will be used to bring some of your friends from Earth into the spaceship so that they can join Mission Charlie, thanks to the power of the Transportifier. There are 11 friends to recruit to your cause, which include Asteroidea, Jeff, Seymoir, Wadsworth, Lucy, A Moray, Granny, Captain, Gwen, Icy Bear, and Chad. You will need to pick as much energy as possible as you explore each location because those that you can recruit will increase in price the higher you go in the list.
Space Otter Charlie includes a full trophy list with a Platinum trophy at the end of your path. You will get your first trophy once you unlock the Basic Lazor, with the rest popping as you progress through each stage and beat their bosses, use the stored energy to add more friends to your mission, another one will unlock when you defeat the main boss of the first spaceship you visit, another one asks that you upgrade one of your weapons, that you boost your otter’s health and the energy of its jetpack, to name some examples.
I was pleasantly surprised by Space Otter Charlie on PlayStation 4. I liked what I had seen for the game, but I was not expecting it to be so fun. It offers the right combination of Zero-G platforming, puzzle-solving, and action to keep you busy for a bit as you aim to complete your mission and add a new Platinum trophy to your collection. Along with the main Story Mode, which is the main draw for this one, there’s also the option of taking on arena-style battles with up to four players, under the classic Deathmatch option, or by diving into the Sea Urchin Mode, in which you’ll have to battle it out to try and collect the most food possible. Space Otter Charlie is out on March 18 with a $14.99 asking price, and it’s one you should definitely check out on PlayStation 4.
This Space Otter Charlie review is based on a PlayStation 4 copy provided by The Quantum Astrophysics Guild.