Sometimes an octopus has to do more than just sit around and give deep-sea divers the shuddering horrors. Quadropus Rampage for iOS and Android slips you into the jelly-like frame of an octopus with four tentacles and a burning thirst for justice.
It's an hilarious and thrilling ride, though control issues keep this adventure from being crowned the King of the Sea.
And your little dog, too
Quadropus Rampage begins in warm, shallow waters, where you're pitching a tennis ball for your pet starfish-dog to retrieve.
Word suddenly comes in that a mad sea god with the terrifying name of "Pete" is aiming to take over the ocean with a dark army of giant fish and sea monsters. Your mission is clear: descend into the depths and frustrate Pete's ambitions.
Quadropus Rampage is best described as a roguelike action game. Each floor layout and its enemies are randomly generated as you go deeper and deeper.
Loot drops are likewise randomised. Your initial weapon is a humble tennis racquet, but in time you find powerful staffs and swords with baffling names like the Cheese-Filled Goat of Consequence and the Virginal Sword of Massive Ego.
The names have no real bearing on the weapons' powers, but they're just one example of the game's awesome sense of humour. There's plenty more to be found in Pete's taunts (made from the safety of a projected image) and Grubby the shopkeeper's pitches.
Undersea fight club
Quadropus Rampage's levels are presented in an isometric view that you navigate with a virtual thumbstick. A virtual 'attack' button shoots out your weaponised tentacle, and a 'dash' button releases a squirt of ink that propels you over pits.
There's also a rechargeable smash attack that will clear your immediate radius of enemies, should you ever find yourself in trouble.
Running around and bashing enemies is satisfying most of the time, but mushy controls harpoon the experience a bit. The virtual joystick may cause you to slip and plunge into the void from time to time. Worse, the action buttons are clustered closely together, so there will be instances where you dash when you meant to attack.
Get stronger, punch fish
Despite its faults, Quadropus Rampage is hard to put down for long. Even though the game's scenery is a bit repetitive (coral, coral, coral), your quadropus pal's bouncy step is hypnotic to watch. Also, you collect Orbs as you play, which you can put back into upgrades.
The more you play, the more your power, speed, and skills climb. You're able to journey farther and farther underground as a consequence. You can even upgrade your little starfish-dog and turn him into a veritable undersea pitbull.
Quadropus Rampage is free-to-play with optional in-app purchases. The game's hard currency, Doubloons, can go towards a multiplier that gives you twice as many Orbs. Doubloons can also unlock skills that are otherwise gained via achievements. The in-app purchases never feel necessary: It's not overly time-consuming to grind for Orbs.
This game is more proof that everything is better down where it's wetter - violent brawls included. Quadropus Rampage is a treasure of a game, though it's difficult not to dwell on how much it would benefit from a tactile control scheme.