The world of Wuppo is nothing short of intriguing. The game’s art style is an interesting blend of Paper Mario and Microsoft Paint, which just adds on to the already charming nature of this adventure platformer. Wuppo is the story of particularly round, particularly sloppy little wum who finds himself forcibly ejected from his apartment in the Wumhouse after making an awful mess with his ice cream. To add insult to injury, your television is stolen after you are kicked out. A bad day can’t get much worse from there and so you set out on an epic quest to find a new home.
In addition to the wum that we play as, the world of Wuppo consists of three other races. The Blussers are known to be exceptional gardeners, while the Splenkhakkers (who happen to resemble rocks) are more entrepreneurial. The third race is the vicious, warmongering Fnakkers. The stories of these other races and their interactions with the Wums – including the story of the Fnakkers’ attempt to take over the world which lead to the other three races exiling them to a giant sinkhole – can be uncovered by locating hidden filmstrips throughout the world.
Watching these film strips and doing other good deeds throughout the world earns the player an increase in happiness points (HP) that serve as the wum’s health. While the majority of Wuppo focuses on platforming and puzzle solving, there is some mild combat in the game, as well. Our wum acquires a gobblegumgun early in the game which can be assigned to any of the three available face buttons (X, Y, or B) that the player chooses. The gobblegumgun shoots brightly colored gum balls that inflict a small amount of damage over a short range, which means some of the bosses (of which there are seventeen) that players encounter will require some calculated risk in order to fully take down.
While Wuppo begins as a charming story of a sloppy wum on the hunt for a new home, his adventure eventually evolves into a quest to save his entire world. While it is a natural evolution for the story, it does feel a bit excessive. Given the limited game play mechanics available (jump, double jump, or shoot) the change from “find a home” to “save the world” feels like extra padding that Wuppo just didn’t need. The game becomes drawn out and repetitive when it was really would have been best served as a smaller, more personal adventure for the wum.
Despite the story overstaying its welcome, Wuppo is a quirky and unique experience that is responsive and plays well. Given the world’s metroidvania set up, it’s really up to the player how much time and energy to spend uncovering all of Wuppo’s secrets.