World Gone Sour

Don't Eat The Stuff In The Bottom Of The Bag!

World Gone Sour delivers more than just marketing.
Author: Aram Lecis
Published: May 6, 2012
The "advergame" has a long and rocky history. The earlier annals of gaming brought about travesties like Kool-Aid Man (Kool-Aid) and Chase the Chuckwagon (Purina) , games which essentially plastered an advertising label on the outside of a shitty Atari 2600 game. Later years brought a few iconic games like Chex Quest (Chex Cereal) and Spot Goes to Hollywood (7-Up) to go along with more dreck like Avoid the Noid (Domino's Pizza). The tradition marches on today, with the games getting decidedly better, like the offbeat Sneak King (Burger King) and the oooorah-imbued America's Army (United States Army) actually being games you might play. So where does the sublime World Gone Sour, a celebration of Sour Patch Kids, fit on the scale of the ultimate manifestation of product placement? Surprisingly, it sits near or at the top of the list of games you really want to play!


You might not find a whole lot of unique elements in the game play of World Gone Sour, yet it's still a very solid side-scrolling platformer that controls well and ramps up the challenge nicely as you progress through the games 12 levels. You'll avoid a variety of grisly demises like hot stoves that melt you, spinning fans that dice you, and heavy objects that squish you, the titular Sour Patch Kid trying to make his way to freedom. There's a lot of Mario-type jumping on heads here, but you'll also acquire an entourage of various colored smaller Kids who you can fling at enemies (or into horrible deaths, if that is your thing) to clear a path. You'll also gain the ability to absorb a chunk of them to move through three stages of growth. That bigger size lets you take more hits, but it can lock you out of certain areas though. Thankfully you can squeeze the followers out of you to shrink back as often as you like.

The star of the show here is the fantastic art direction and the dark humor of the story. Your kid will have to make his way through a movie theater, a child's bedroom and a terrifying back yard on a quest to, well, I don't really know what a Sour Patch Kid wants. Each of those environments is cleverly designed with delicious touches like a lovingly recreated concession stand or a Rube Goldberg inspired tinker toy construction. World Gone Sour is one of those games where you'll get a whole lot more out of it if you pay attention to the background because Capcom tossed in quite a few jokes back there.

Interspersed through the levels are nicely executed cutscenes featuring the voice talents of "The Office"'s Creed Bratton delivering an ominous tale of a Sour Patch Kid stuck to the wrong shoe. It's amazing how much pathos they can draw out of a kids candy, but when that blue Sour Patch Kid takes over a sneaker with a Snickers bar and turns it against you un an epic boss fight it's a moment in gaming you won't soon forget.

World Gone Sour generously lets you take a (local) friend along for the ride, and plenty of zaniness can be had tossing each other into candles or cats. The game can be run through in 5 hours or so, but there are a decent amount of collectibles if you feel like traversing back through a second time, and with a budget price of just $5, this experience might just rate as one of the best values on the PSN right now. I know no one was expecting much from World Gone Sour, and perhaps that helps make it stand out a bit more, but this really is a charming game that finds a creative take on traditional product-based games.
The Verdict
8.0

The very definition of a pleasant surprise, World Gone Sour proves that the advergame doesn't have to live in the land of mediocrity. For a mere 5 bucks, this is a sold platformer with a wicked sense of humor.

7.0Graphics:

This isn't hi-res heaven or anything, so expect a few jaggies here and there. Th art direction makes up for it though, somehow making a Sour Patch Kid "haunting".

8.0Sound:

Creed Bratton provides some top-notch voice acting, and the music is pleasantly pleasing. You'll come to enjoy the sound of high fructose corn syrup screaming.

9.0Control:

Simple controls that feel tight and not too floaty. I never felt frustrated like the controls were holding me back from making a jump or anything like that.

7.5Gameplay:

Surprisingly enjoyable even if it isn't steeped in originality. A solid platformer that trades on it's quirky theme and offers just enough with co-op and collectibles to keep you coming back after it's finished.