Japanese game shows are often a source of hilarity around the world, like this clip of contestants wearing raw meat on their head to entice a lizard. Western games like Smash TV and Rage HD have used over-the-top violence to parody our own media. But somehow when you combine a spoof of Japanese television and culture with buckets of gore, the result is a bit distasteful, even if the game itself is actually fun.
This off-putting style is our main complaint with OrigamiGore, a flick-based action defense game set on a violent Japanese game show. You set up a series of towers in order to defend your base, and you earn gold for surviving waves of enemies. Unlike in most tower defense games, you have to aim and fire with a flick of your finger, making the combat feel highly interactive.
Some of your towers are just strange, like squid launchers and chickens who fire spread-shot eggs. Most of the enemies are quirky and Japanese-themed as well, like walking pieces of sushi, sumo wrestlers, and uniformed schoolgirls.
If the game stuck with just goofy humor, we wouldn’t feel uncomfortable with the subject matter. But OrigamiGore veers off-course with stereotypes like kamikaze blowfish, buck-toothed caricatures, and painfully accented voice-overs. Plus, every enemy collapses into a heap of blood and guts when you defeat them, so you’re essentially massacring schoolgirls and costumed mascots by the thousands.
On the plus side, the game contains 50 challenging levels that require fast reflexes and clever planning. You can customize your tower layout with five different towers, which will result in a number of different gameplay styles. For example, you can invest your resources into one-shot laser kills, or upgrade your arrows so that they pierce multiple enemies.
Night of the living stereotypes.
We quickly became caught up in the fast and fluid action, to the point that OrigamiGore started to ache our hands and wrists after multiple rounds. It could be considered a sign of quality that the game can cause repetitive stress on your ligaments, but just be careful not to hurt yourself from playing too much.
OrigamiGore is a fun action game with some unfortunate subject matter. If you can look past the fairly offensive audio and visuals, there are enjoyable gameplay mechanics underneath. It’s too bad that the developers tried so hard to be edgy, because OrigamiGore would be a better game if it was suitable for a wider audience.