REVIEW: Uproar!

Maybe it’s an annual thing, maybe it’s a reverse form of one-upmanship, the race to be terrible, the game that resets the year’s advances to its lowest point— a title that becomes an indie catchphrase for the worst fate you can think of. 2011 had Goolin, 2012 was all TrickyTreat, and now 2013 currently has Uproar! (240 MSP). Nothing beats TrickyTreatbut let me spare you the suspense; Uproar! is worse than Goolin. At least Goolin had bizarre on its side. Uproar! should really end with a interrobang, as the exclamation itself doesn’t do it justice, nor does it ask the important question. Why?

Why, in a time when so many great games exist on every platform, when a dollar can buy you hours of entertainment, do we continue to see half-realized (a kinder word for it, half-assed is what it really is), completely irresponsible releases like Uproar!? And that’s not meant to be an interrobang, but a legitimate interrogative.

Uproar! - Screen

A 2D beat ‘em up with 3D assets and environments, the game masquerades as some kind of poor Double Dragon / Final Fight homage, with thugs conveniently waiting in line to be throttled by our Hero Pugilist, working without a backstory or motivational event to explain why he’s punching and kicking the expressionless crud out of every white person with a shaved head that crosses his path. City in Chaos! screams the box art. Really? I saw one car on fire through four levels of urban / rural blandness. If that’s the definition of chaos, then what’s considered Armageddon? Two cars on fire?

Uproar! is a laundry list of troubles. Despite all of the action taking place on asphalt, the character moves like he’s been dipped in molasses and slides to a stop as if he’s on ice. The controls are equally questionable, with button inputs that only work some of the time (try alternating punches and kicks; it’s like the game has to invent the animation on the spot). To make matters worse, our protagonist seems to suffer from a recurring phantom pain, taking invisible hits outside of combat that drain his health. No idea what’s happening there.

The odd behavior continues with the enemies as they wander into frame, blocking the view and punching the air randomly around you, practicing for their death animation or just hoping to create a tear in the space-time continuum so Elizabeth (BioShock Infinite reference) can pluck them from their current reality and re-seat them in a world where Uproar! never existed. My money’s on the latter.

Uproar! - Screen2

Difficulty, too, is nonexistent. You’re never in any serious danger so long as you button-mash, which can interrupt most enemy attacks. A few basic combos will help, and utilizing a dropped weapon is basically a license to win, though beware; the cherry on top of my time with the game was encountering a Code 4 during the last level’s boss fight, while carrying a hammer. Granted, it only takes about twenty minutes to reach that climactic battle, but I refuse to pummel my way back to that point to see how it ends. I know too well the in-between, and that’s bad enough to have committed to memory.

The only uproar that Uproar! is likely to cause is a riot among wallets at having been swindled out of three dollars, and the shame that very public knowledge will bring when forced to admit it. And ‘swindled’ is indeed the operating word here, as you are receiving nothing in return.

10 thoughts on “REVIEW: Uproar!”

  1. So after playing the demo I imagined what you would of wrote about it had you reviewed it and my imagination was not as good or funny compared to the reality. So you can just guess how elated I was to see that you actually reviewed this game. Your comments were even more amazing and funnier than I anticipated and your reference to Goolin and Tricky Treat (although I had passed on this demo I did go try it after reading this and quite agree) was spot on! Actually there is a good ideal here in this game (as I’m sure most games start out that way) but just the controls themselves make this game unplayable. I’m beginning to think that you are into some sort of bad game torture fetish I am yet unaware of that exist. You and Alan must be leading this movement in some subliminal way. On a side note I laughed so hard watching Alan’s Goolin series on you tube I had to go to the doc to put me back together.

    1. I do play some bad games for the sake of others. I think it was the sage Jason Lee, in the Tom Cruise version of Vanilla Sky, that said it best: ‘You have to know the sour to appreciate the sweet’. Not the exact quote, I’m sure, but same line of thought. And I think the Spanish original was called something else… I digress.

      Alan’s GOOLIN series is legendary, so he knows full well the perils (and comedy) to be had from playing less-than-perfect games. Most of us do. You do have to play games like this, just to remind yourself that rainbows don’t stretch over everything and that the world can be a cruel place.

      TrickyTreat was…. IS… in a league by itself. That game defies review. I found my words being sucked into a vortex of bad so absolute that nothing would stick on the page. I’m sorry that you are now saddled with its memory. 🙂

    2. Oh God, don’t do it, man. 🙂 Though the potential for laughs is admittedly high. I’ll reference Tim Robbins (and Morgan Freeman’s voiceover) in The Shawshank Redemption for this one; you’ll have to crawl through a mile-long tunnel of shit for that game, and there’s no guarantee you’ll come out clean on the other side…

      Side note: Thank you for introducing ‘interrobang’ into my vocabulary. Worked out well in this case.

  2. Ouch! I assumed Uproar! would be dull but it sounds like it’s utterly risible. I almost want to play it out of curiosity, but if it’s so much below Goolin the pain might be too much.

    1. Anybody else, I’d say avoid it like the plague that it is. As for you, I know you can weather the storm. No one that has spent as much time in the company of GOOLIN as you is a mere man. You don’t come out of that experience ‘normal’. You’ve clearly been built with a high tolerance for terrible. That is a gift, sir.

      That said, I’d try the demo to get a taste. The price tag is too high to let curiosity get the better of you.

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