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Otter Bash – Review

It gives me absolutely zero pleasure to report when a game is so broken that it is unplayable. I pride myself on being a largely positive journalist for games and music and try to avoid easy negative click bait. Sometimes you simply have to call a spade a spade. Otter Bash is one of the most broken games I’ve ever played – when I could even get it to play in the first place. It shouldn’t be on sale in my humble opinion and no one should pay for the product.

Your otter has its lives follow them around like retro JRPG characters. They get stuck on things and confuse the game a lot.

Otter Bash is meant to be a 1-4 player local multiplayer brawler. Pick an otter and an arena and you can run around guarding your tiny otter family by collecting weapons and firing them at your opponents. Each arena has environmental traps too. Sounds like a recipe for some light entertainment? Think again…

Firstly, getting a game to actually start is pure luck. Otter Bash seems to crash when multiple controllers are in use at once. The menu’s seem to get confused over who is pressing what and then in the character selection screen the menu gets stuck. We were able to get a bit further when playing two player and one was on keyboard and another on a controller but even then it’d take upwards of five attempts to get passed the selection screen. The AI bots advertised do not seem to exist either. Then once they appeared in the menu and I selected something but nothing actually moved.

I’ve spent more time stuck on the character select screen than actually playing the game. Woeful.

Once into the game, the same level of jank remains. Otters move like floaty tanks and completely disregard most terrain. Your friendly otters that follow you around as your lives get stuck behind walls, inside objects and then sometimes fall off the world. This then seems to trigger more game crashes or totally unwinnable rounds. Sometimes weapons you collect trigger. Sometimes they don’t. The same can be said for environmental traps too. It’s all hit or miss as if the code is playing a game called ‘Bothered Roulette’. You are just waiting around 30 seconds for the next bug or issue to hit that will invariably cause a player to become unresponsive or the game to break.

In those flashes of 30 seconds, I can’t really say that the gameplay felt inspired or connected either. Graphically the game is garish and bulky to match the otter movement. Its difficult at times to see what is going on as the camera zooms in and out to match the player spread and then often hides someone behind trees or tables. It just looks, feels and plays like a mess.

When you can get a game running, its dull, floaty, janky and messy. Then it crashes anyway.

Frankly, Otter Bash shouldn’t be on sale. I’ve had this game for over a year and I’ve still yet to actually complete 3 matches. Sadly, its a game that I requested and was kindly given a copy of to review and I’d hoped that some kind of patch or fix would come one day. It never did and so it gives me zero joy to say avoid this game at all costs. It is atrocious and I have no idea how its got passed any quality control measures to get on sale. Even those woeful platinum trophy monstrosities work. Otter Bash doesn’t even do that.

Review copy provided by developer.

Otter Bash
Final Thoughts
This is the most broken game I think I've ever played since Frozen Synapse launched on PS3 without a patch that meant it crashed on loadup and was unplayable. Avoid this monster.
Positives
I've got nothing.
Negatives
Character selection screen doesn't work meaning you can rarely start a game.
When you can start a game, something crashes it usually within 60 seconds.
If you avoid that bugs mean games become unwinnable or players become unresponsive.
During that time Otter Bash feels like a dull local multiplayer brawler that should never have made it to market.
0.5
Avoid

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