Coconut Dodge

  • Release: September 2010
  • Developer: FuturLab
  • Publisher:
  • Genre: Puzzle

Holy crab!

Who knew dodging coconuts could be this much fun?
Author: Parjanya C. Holtz
Published: July 3, 2010
For a game to receive a massive following, it doesn't necessarily need to be overly complex. One great idea is all a talented developer needs to create an experience that will draw in millions of people from around the world. Ultimately the magic in such titles lies in the quality that both hardcore gamers and the average soccer mom (in desperate need of some form of stress relief) can suddenly relate to one another on a high-scores list. Over the course of video game history we've seen quite a few examples of such strokes of genius; Tetris, Arkanoid, Space Invaders, those are just a few titles of games our children, and our children's children will be playing years from today. With Coconut Dodge, British developer FuturLab's first release, the young company came up with a title that is similarly fun and addictive as the aforementioned classics, and above all is the kind of game that proves once again what a great platform PlayStation minis provides to small, uprising developers.


You are a crab. You dodge coconuts. And then you try to collect as many treasures as possible. While dodging coconuts. While being a crab. Yep, that's it. There are 30 levels of difficulty you need to make it through. If you want to reach level 30, you need to be patient, and you definitely won't make it through on your first (or 30th) try, but somehow all Coconut Dodge gave me was pure bliss. There was hardly a moment of real frustration. And keep in mind, part of the fun is that it's not a game you can make it through without putting in a little effort. That's also what makes it so addicting. I found myself thinking about doing a quick round of coconut dodging in the weirdest places. I used to think I was over carrying around my PSP with me wherever I go. Since Coconut Dodge, my PSP go has had a guaranteed spot in my backpack every time I leave the appartment. Even when I don't get to actually play the game, knowing that I could any second gives me a warm, fuzzy feeling in that area around my belly button. Is that love?

But it doesn't end there. Getting past certain levels in the survival mode unlocks challenges in a mode called Maze Master. The challenges usually consist of short sections taken out of the survival mode that you need to make it through with just one life, while you need to collect a certain minimum of points. What makes the Maze Master so engaging, is that each challenge can only be completed when almost every coin and diamond is collected, while dodging all the coconuts, of course. That's quite the challenge, in most cases, however, it's also the perfect distraction while waiting for the bus or the doctor's appointment, as a try usually only takes a few seconds.

I've mentioned a few times that Coconut Dodge is not an undemanding game. If you want to succeed, you need to provide it with your full and undivided attention, and you need to be ready to not give up as soon as a little resistance comes your way. However, Coconut Dodge controls perfectly, and therefore frustration never was an issue for me. Using the PSP's analog stick to move your crab from left to right and back feels tight and responsive. It's good enough to make you want to thank God (or Sony) for equipping every PSP with one.

Currently available for £1.99 in the UK store (only until next Wednesday, when it becomes £2.49), Coconut Dodge is a great deal either way. Ultimately European PlayStation gamers owe it to themselves to check out this excellent mini, while Americans can look forward to a (likely) release sometime in September.
The Verdict
9.0

Coconut Dodge is an excellent mini for an excellent price. Do. Not. Miss. It.

8.0Graphics:

A clean and crisp presentation is all a game like this needs. It has both.

8.0Sound:

A catchy tune and decent sound effects. Good stuff.

10.0Control:

Perfect.

9.0Gameplay:

Charming, addictive fun. A mini that will keep you coming back for months to come.