Alright, so I haven’t had a game that enrages me quite as much as Obsessive Collecting Disorder has done in a long, long time. It’s not a flaw either – that’s the idea behind the game. This creative indie title from developer Hyped Hamster focuses on one thing in games nowadays that is incredibly wrong and perpetuated throughout nearly every single title that isn’t sports related – collecting random crap. From feathers to coins and souls to tags, collecting secret trinkets or those in plain sight has pervaded games for too long andObsessive Collecting Disorder is here to fix it.
Seeing as the game is trying to break us of our collecting habits, the first thing most people are going to notice are the constant references to other video games – the title screen itself references Super Mario Bros and the Portal series in less than 30 seconds. A little overt in my opinion, but hey, it adds to the overall aesthetic of the game.
But what does it all mean Basil? Well, the simple point of this game is to collect coins. While collecting those coins, Craperture Science plans on breaking you of the need to continue collecting by throwing puzzles and environments at you that will indeed piss you off. The game is a simple platformer where you’ll be running around and jumping from platform to platform doing your best to dodge spikes, buzzsaws, and even worse things.
You know, I think I’m already cured of my collecting disorders…
It’s a fairly straightforward game though – each level of a stage is separated into separate testing chambers (gee, where have we seen that before?) that are littered with coins and other traps. The protagonist, a simple stick figure representing the player, has to run around jumping and dodging in order to collect the coins. Once they’re collected, an orange portal opens up no matter where you are and the stick figure climbs in only to emerge from a blue portal in the next chamber. The game times you as well, awarding star coins that are vaguely familiar for finishing within a set amount of time. Granted, don’t expect to finish if you’re playing on Hardcore – the 3 lives can be wasted in seconds. And once they’re gone, it’s back to the start of the entire level for you. Casual mode gives unlimited lives but where is the fun in that?
Aside from all of the video game references hidden in plain sight, the other thing that caught my attention was the presentation of the game. It’s mostly a simple black and white with gray scale for the in between, but it’s shown to players as though they’re watching on an old black and white TV. It’s even got the slight distortion; I had forgotten what distortion was practically since TVs now don’t tend to have that issue nowadays. I also enjoyed the bright red eyes on some of the “equipment” that players will see in the game – it stands out as being pretty sinister. Considering the circumstances, it fits well. The game also drives you with the music too, which I can say the leaves a lot to be desired. It plays continuously with the same beats. It felt like a song straight out of Half-Life, but on repeat over and over meaning it gets old fast. Very fast.
The game’s difficulty combined with the idea behind it – making you stop collecting crap in games – means for what you get it’s a pretty solid title. It’s got some length to it and as you progress through the stages, new dangers like mechanized thwomps pop up, providing players with a constant challenge. And for only 80 points, it’s another solid Indie title offering on Xbox Live.
Note: The Obsessive Collecting Disorder review was written based on the Xbox 360 version of the game.