It’s a dog-eat-dog world out there. Unless we’re talking about Ordinarium, in which case it’s a great big purple fish thing-eat-gyrating squid with prehensile bum teeth world out there.
And, let’s been honest, that’s not a phrase that’s going to catch on.
In Ordinarium, you play as the aforementioned anally molared cephalopod, permanently tethered to a gently rotating windmill for no obvious reason other than that it gives you something to spin around.
And spin you will, using the thumbstick to gyrate in fixed circles and firing your butt fangs out as amoeba-like blobs of nutrition meander by.
It’s a game of eat or be eaten. Your primary task is to stuff your stomach full enough to muster the energy to move on to the next stage before a bigger, hungrier creature eats you for lunch.
Initially, it’s simply a case of rotate-grasp-flee - your only real concern is to focus on red blobs rather than green ones, since red ones won’t fill you up and send you spinning uncontrollably around at dizzying speeds.
Things get interesting when Ordinarium introduces peep holes, forcing you to feast with a little more trepidation. Get caught in the gaze of a predator and its Game Over.
It makes for a surprisingly tense game of hide and seek as you struggle to stay out of sight and chow down on lunch before something bigger comes along.
It’s a game replete with a sense of woozy nervousness, bolstered in no small part by Ordinarium’s surreal visuals and off-kilter score. And things get even weirder come your first eyeball-nibbling encounter with a boss.Stranger danger
It’s a weirdness that’s oddly captivating - particularly when married to Ordinarium’s simple yet effective gameplay conceit.
Sadly, what starts out as an intriguing, intense oddity quickly turns tiresome as situations and stages are regurgitated time and again. It’s an issue that’s only exacerbated by the twitchy controls that tend to jolt you out of the otherwise mindlessly enjoyable rhythm.
Still, there’s some merit to the game’s kooky charms - and if longevity’s not an issue then Ordinarium might be worth a spin.