What is it about playing a beast that is seeking revenge against hunters that is so satisfying? Is it the sheet idea that they can finally turn the tables? Or is it the sweet joy about not giving a damn about what happens to them? Either way, it’s a concept that has not been explored enough in gaming.
Tripwire already made its case with the highly enjoyable Maneater, and now we have the more kid-friendly Angry Alligator from GS2 Games. Its concept is similar – guide a deadly crocodile across hazards while chowing down on animals and, eventually, humans – but it’s done in such a fun style that you can’t help but grin over the proceedings. Never mind the fact that you’re a monster having everything for lunch – there’s fun to be had here.
The World Is Your Menu
For a small “indie” style game, compared to Maneater, anyway, Angry Alligator has pretty good ambitions. You start with a small part of a swamp that eventually opens up as you make progress, depending on where you go and what you eat. What’s more, as you progress, your character also grows. It may not be as dynamic as Tripwire’s game, but there’s some interesting things as you level up your ‘gator.
Another noteworthy addition is the power-ups. You ever see a gator get around with rockets? Well, you will now, and no horror movie could ever replicate this level of silliness without looking like it’s over-CG’ed to death. Here, it just feels like a natural part of the proceedings and keeps you far more interested than you might’ve expected.
The general gameplay is simple enough, and there’s not an overabundance of complication when it comes to eating things. Furthermore, surprise, it’s not nearly as gory, or even nightmare-inducing, as, say, Maneater, because the devs at Lion Castle chose to focus more on the antics than the realism. That works in the game’s favor, adding to Angry Alligator’s charm rather than taking away from it. Yes, there’s something charming about eating humans. (Not that we advise you to do so.)
A Decent, No-Frills Presentation
One thing you may notice about Angry Alligator is how simply it’s designed. It doesn’t overdo on its carnage, like we said, sticking with more of a visual style that works more like a typical platformer. That’s not a bad thing, as the swamp is neatly designed, with fun stuff to explore and a lot of targets to hunt down. The alligator also moves convincingly enough, crawling around and getting the jump on its prey. Of course, this changes a bit once it’s attached to a rocket, but whatever.
However, we do wish the camera controls were a little better. It can be tough getting adjusted at times when you’re trying to get a lay of the land, and sometimes it can glitch up a little bit. Nothing you can’t fix, but a patch to allow for better options wouldn’t be a bad thing.
Also, the sound could use more variety. The music is pleasant enough, and the sound effects hit where they need to. But this is one game that could’ve used a narrator or, dare we say it, giving the shark a voice. One thing that catapulted Maneater to new heights was the hilarious readings that came with it. Here, it’s just kind of…plain? Yes, a game where alligator eats things can sound a bit more plain than it should. Maybe we can get a voice pack in the future and throw Dana Gould into the mix. That’s right, the voice of Gex. We went there.
Worth Taking a Bite Out Of
Despite its small setbacks with presentation and camera issues, Angry Alligator is a huge surprise on the indie front. For a game where you’re devouring prey and using ridiculous power-ups, it’s got a good deal of replayability, and it’s good fun. Even the kids will enjoy it, a game where, of course, you devour anything. (We’re normal, we swear.)
Take a bite out of it and you’ll see just how tasty it can be.