PAX East 2014: Hands-on: Woah Dave (GaijinGames)

Monday, April 14th, 2014

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Woah Dave - Large Logo | oprainfall

People familiar with my gaming background know I prefer experiences with more depth. It’s hard to hook me if you don’t have a decent story. There are exceptions to every rule, however. A lot of these exceptions can be found in the puzzle genre, like the recent Pokémon Battle Trozei or the not-as-recent Bomb Monkey. Puzzle games and those with a more “arcade classic” feel must rely entirely on their gameplay to reel me in. Enter: Woah Dave from GaijinGames, the creators of Runner2: Future Legend of Rhythm Alien and so much more. The handful of BIT.TRIP games have already proven that GaijinGames know how to take a simple concept and stretch it out as long as they possibly can. Is Woah Dave another addicting addition to their library, or does it fall short?

Woah Dave - Reminiscent of Mario Bros. | oprainfall

Mario Bros. comes to mind when I’m describing this one. No–not the one with princesses in other castles, but rather…the one where the point is to simply defeat enemies while not being defeated yourself, aiming for as high a score as possible. Before I even sat down to play Woah Dave, I was immediately brought back to my first interaction with that game. Platforms, enemies with cheap tricks, and a zillion twists to make the simple concept last as long as the player does. Watching everyone in line get obliterated pretty quickly made me think I could do better. More on that momentarily.

So, what exactly is the premise of Woah Dave without the allusion from before to crutch off of? The goal as a little…alien thing…is to pick up skulls to chuck them at eggs that appear before they hatch into…much more cruel alien things out to kill off the player as quickly as possible. You can also use the eggs of not-yet-hatched enemies to dispatch enemies currently running amuck. Yes–that’s it. I’ll admit the game probably doesn’t read as well as it plays. Nevertheless, go ahead and look at this trailer to see my words brought to life.

This is the kind of game where everything hangs on how ruthless the foes and other gameplay elements are. The skulls you pick up will eventually explode, so if you don’t get rid of them quickly, they’ll lead to your demise. Eggs with enemies will hatch as you’re holding them, so if you’re using an egg to be rid of an alien–gotta go fast. There’s a real sense of urgency to the gameplay, which helps keep things constantly exciting. Even multiplayer is a thing!

I am happy to report that Woah Dave kicked my ass just as it did many others before me. GaijinGames delivers yet another game that seems simple, but has a premise that will make you lose track of time and spend an entire day playing trying to top your last score if you’re not careful. I had to pry myself away after a long while because a line of people (all laughing at me) had formed eager to…do me one better.

Want more alien action? Woah Dave is coming to iOS, Android, Steam and Ouya soon! For more information, follow GaijinGames or visit the official site. We’ll be sure to keep you up to date with news about this game as it comes.