Avocuddle might be one of the strangest juxtapositions seen this console generation. On one hand, gameplay is Metroidvania-ish with a focus on exploring a number of large worlds filled with creatures that can be defeated using a number of different unlockable weapons. On the other hand is a stupidly silly plot, graphics that starkly contrast one another, but with a soundtrack that is so good it should be sold separately for more than the cost of the game itself.
For some reason you play as a cut-in-half avocado with the pit still in the middle. The opening scene depicts a male and female avocado taking a stroll, seeming in love. Then, the male avocado says that the female avocado should eat the chocolate they brought because he knows how much she likes chocolate. The female avocado then gets upset because she doesn’t like being told what to do, storms off, then gets kidnapped by a UFO that just so happens to be nearby for no reason at all. Then the male avocado sets off on a multi-hour adventure to get her back. Nothing about this story makes sense and stands out for being beyond weird.
You know what else is really weird? Having a cut up avocado wield high tech weaponry. Although this avocado can destroy local wildlife by jumping on top of them, he can also use pistols, machine guns, and other high-powered tools to decimate any living thing that crosses his path. Imagine an avocado with stick figure limbs blasting the crap out of a tiny lady bug with an uzi. That is the norm here with Avocuddle. It is so freaking weird and actually a little nightmarish.
Like Mega Man X, this avocado can wall jump to reach new heights and even has a double jump. Each level features vast worlds but they are often filled with large segments of nothingness which makes some travel longer than it needs to be even with cool double and wall jump abilities. The backgrounds themselves are gorgeous and outfitted with scrolling visuals and sweeping landscapes. Unfortunately, the contrast of the avocado sprite against these wondrous visuals just do not belong. Making matters worse, the collectable items are often poorly drawn 2D pixels that stand out for all the wrong reasons. It is like the backgrounds were made by a professional painter in his prime whereas the character sprites were drawn by a 6th grader in second period art class. The contrast is so jarring it ruins the experience the aesthetic is so desperately trying to achieve.
The gameplay and graphical presentation might be a mixed bag but the soundtrack features the most jarring contrast of them all. Filled with an amazing piano-based musical score, the soundtrack is phenomenal. These musical tracks are amazing and actually have no business being in this game. In a way, each sweeping score aligns with the extraordinary background art style. Unfortunately, when the player encounters the horrific 2D sprites and stupid story, everything gets ruined.
Avocuddle was made by a small team and remains impressive even with obvious flaws. The problem is there is one giant step backward whenever there is a quality step forward. It is not a terrible game, just a very odd one that is trying too hard making most aspects feel forced. I mean, “Avocuddle”? Really!? There are some features here that are worth experiencing but everyone else will probably just want to enjoy gauc instead.