Without exploring the depths of what defines me as a person (that’s a long, dark journey for another review), let’s just say I know a thing or two about OCD. In that regard, Obsessive Collecting Disorder (80 MSP) preys on my propensity for cleanliness and having everything in its rightful place. Collect all the coins in every level? You know I will! They’re scattered all over the place! Somebody has to clean this dump up. Mario’s been pulling the same shit on me year after year, and I dutifully oblige, even when I don’t need the 1UP.
For Mario, this usually goes on for eight worlds, dozens of stages (ice, fire, you name it, including the special stages), until I have amassed a digital fortune I couldn’t spend in a hundred plumber’s lifetimes. That same effort holds true for OCD, though spread across 70 levels of significantly more challenging, but less bright, architecture. I appreciate art and color as much as anyone, but the minimalist stick man and black & white presentation are fine for a game that’s strictly focusing on the platforming.
Casual mode will likely be the most popular, giving you unlimited lives with which to trial and error your way to the finish, but Hardcore exists for the miserable gluttons that insist on tackling the festivities within a strict limit of three tries. The usual roadblocks are in place for OCD; static and retractable spikes, buzz-saws, turrets, etc. Many of the levels will require multiple sacrifices (i.e. your blood) in order to recognize the hazard patterns and routes you’ll need to take. In lesser games, this leads to frustration. The difference here is you’re getting better the longer you play, instead of hoping for a lucky dice roll of favorable conditions.
You better run little Stick Man, or find yourself even thinner.
It is a punishformer though, so it’s not meant for anybody that wants to enjoy a stress-free session. As a challenge to your skills, it meets the criteria without taking it overboard. The only other knock against the game is its blatant borrowing from / parodying of Valve’s Portal (even the ending transfers intact). Dying in the bowels of the CrAperture Corporation is good for a laugh or two, but it doesn’t really add much to the game, and OCD is swell enough on its own that it doesn’t need to hitch a ride on an established franchise.
I may have only gotten one star in each of the seven stage hubs, on casual (still sounds like partial success to me), but Obsessive Collecting Disorder surprised me, just as Apple Jack 2 did last month. Their respective trailers promise a rough go, I anticipate sluggish controls or unfair design, and then, like a slap across my judgmental face, turns out it’s really good. And a game that celebrates unreasonable hoarding and tidiness in a fictional world? Thanks guys, I needed that. <—- Sarcasm.