Sat. Mar 2nd, 2024
Kao the Kangaroo Oh! Well DLC review cover

A couple of months ago, I had the opportunity to review Kao the Kangaroo, and I really enjoyed it. 3D platformers are high up there as one of my favourite genres, and I’m always on the lookout for new ones. So when the publishers approached me about trying out the new content, I was only too happy to oblige. In this article, I’ll be giving my honest Kao the Kangaroo: Oh! Well DLC review (henceforth referred to as ‘the Oh! Well DLC‘). This was played on an Xbox Series X.

The DLC is a Halloween special priced at £5.49, and introduces 5 new Eternal Wells. It’s worth noting that you do need to own the base game first, and it can’t be purchased as a standalone. I’ll be honest, the Eternal Wells weren’t my favourite part of Kao the Kangaroo. I didn’t hate them, but I didn’t enjoy them as much as the main levels. Still, I was eager to try out some new Kao content, and the DLC seemed like fun. Whether it actually was as fun as it seems… You’ll have to read on to find out!

The Wells

One thing I noticed straight away is that the Eternal Wells in the DLC were very different to the main game. Not so much in gameplay, but in length. The ones in Kao the Kangaroo typically took me around 2-3 minutes to complete. Whereas the ones in the Oh! Well DLC were taking up to 9 minutes to beat the more difficult ones. I’m glad the developers went this route, as it would’ve been a bit of a rip-off to charge money for a handful of 2 minute experiences. There are even checkpoints throughout the levels, which is something new to the DLC.

Kao the Kangaroo Oh! Well DLC review, Level Cleared

These ones are considerably more difficult than the Eternal Wells I was used to. When I played the base game, a few of the wells took a couple of attempts to complete, but for the most part I breezed through them. That was not the case here. Aside from Well 17 which was a definite outlier (took me around 3 minutes), there was certainly an elevated level of challenge. At first, this frustrated me as I pride myself on my talent at platformers, and hate the feeling of disappointment when I fail. But then I decided it was actually a good thing, as it meant I could play the game for longer.

I also noticed that these wells used mechanics that I was more used to in entire levels rather than just Eternal Wells. For example, there were trampolines to bounce you from one area to the next. As well as taking longer to bear, they were also much larger in size. I liked that this meant you had time to really immerse yourself in the challenge.

Large size for Eternal Wells

What I liked

As the Oh! Well DLC is considerably shorter than a regular game, I’m formatting my review a little differently. Normally I would separate by story, gameplay, audio, etc, but that wouldn’t really apply here. After all, the majority of those aspects would have been covered in my Kao the Kangaroo review. So instead, I’m covering what I did and didn’t like about the DLC.

  • Easy to access – Just like with the other Eternal Wells, you can enter these from any of the home worlds. You don’t need to do anything special to activate the DLC or anything, just download it, and then treat the wells like any other.
  • Varied level designs – The wells all were pretty different to each other. Not only did they look different in appearance (some were darker, some featured ice, etc), but even the mechanics used were different. For example, Well 18 involved a lot of fighting, whereas others involved ground-pounding buttons to activate moving platforms.
Kao the Kangaroo Oh! Well DLC review, Ice race
  • You can make lots of money – These wells are great for farming coins. You could easily get around 300-400 coins in each one, and this resets every time you attempt it. So you could just keep completing them, and earning more and more money. It would be a good way to save up to buy all the costumes and items in the store.
Farming coins
  • You can do them in any order – I like that the game doesn’t force you to go through them in any order. I was able to do Well 15 without too much hassle, but Well 16 proved very difficult. I probably would’ve rage quit if I had to keep on attempting Well 16 in order to progress, but instead I was able to skip over it and do Wells 17-19. After that, I’d had enough time to get used to the controls again, and was able to beat Well 16 when I tried it again at the end.

What I didn’t like

An honest review means sharing what I didn’t like as well as what I did. Unfortunately, there are a fair few entries in this section.

  • Rather glitchy – The camera jumped around a bit, meaning that I’d sometimes be unable to see what I was doing. I also got stuck inside a box that I’d smashed, so that took some wild button-mashing in order to escape. Not ideal!
Kao the Kangaroo Oh! Well DLC review, Glitched inside a box
  • Visual boundaries don’t match physical ones – I remember this being an issue in the base game as well. This was particularly problematic at one point where sheep were being fired at me. It was hard to dodge them as the sheep were wider than they looked, and the platforms were off too, so I’d sometimes get thrown off the edge.
  • No music most of the time – I’m not sure what happened here. A few times, the music would start when I entered the level, but then peter out after a few seconds. Sometimes it would be missing from the start. Either way, it meant I played most of the wells in relative silence, listening only to sound effects.
  • Breakable level components – This may not quite be the right word, but I found I was able to avoid certain obstacles. On several of the wells, there were these swinging axes that were deadly if they hit you. They’d clearly been laid out so that you were supposed to time it right to jump past them. But I found that instead, I could just stand on the right or left hand side of the platform, and they’d swing too high to hit me, so I could jump past at my leisure. Similarly, I could avoid the throwing enemies by turning my camera away from them. If I can’t see them, they can’t see me.
Climbing a wall, dodging spikes

This is Halloween!

Given the spooky trailer, I was excited for some Halloween-y goodness. Unfortunately, I didn’t really get that. I’d been expected the Oh! Well DLC to have themed wells that looked visually scary, at least in a fun way. But they just followed the same aesthetic choices as the rest of Kao the Kangaroo. There was nothing that made me feel like I was playing something Halloween related. This was incredibly disappointing to see. I wouldn’t have minded so much had it not been for the misleading branding. You have this ghoulish green font for the logo. The trailer features pumpkins and creepily-shaped tree branches. But none of this reflects the designs for the wells. I would’ve liked a spooky soundtrack, but there was nothing of the sort. Overall, the Halloween theme wasn’t there.

Kao the Kangaroo Oh! Well DLC review, All Eternal Wells

This was redeemed somewhat with the costumes, but even then it was hit and miss. Many of them didn’t have anything to do with traditional Halloween concepts, one was just a country-style shirt and a straw hat. I did still appreciate getting extra costumes, though, especially as you got them immediately upon completing the wells. You didn’t have to buy them with coins or anything, they were ready to wear straight away, which meant you could gain 5 different outfits from this DLC.

My favourite costume was probably the unicorn hat that you get for beating Eternal Well 17. It looked very pretty and made me feel magical, although I still don’t see how it’s related to Halloween. The pumpkin outfit was at least spooky, but the proportions seemed off. The pumpkin head sat so far forward on Kao’s body, and even though that’s probably realistic given his long nose, it just didn’t look right. I feel like in this case, they should’ve prioritised appearance over realism.

Costume choices, pumpkin head

Verdict

Overall, the DLC was a mixed bag. I’m glad I played it, and have no regrets taking on this review, but it wasn’t as good as the main game. I feel that the price is a little high too, and that it would’ve been fairer at £3.99. Put it this way, Kao the Kangaroo is £24.99 and features 14 Eternal Wells, 4 home worlds, a bunch of levels, and several different collectibles and costumes. Whereas the DLC only gives you 5 Eternal Wells and 5 outfits. It’s just not the same value for money.

Still, I did have fun with it, and I appreciate the developers giving us extra content. If you already own the main game and you fancy a platforming challenge, you should give the Oh! Well DLC a chance. It’s not as good as the base game (which I rated 80), but it’s not bad either. Also, if you like costumes, the developers have released a free update with costumes based on Yooka-Laylee.

What did you think of this game? Do you enjoy platformers in general? Join the discussion over in our Facebook community! And don’t forget to follow us on Twitter to stay up to date with all things Screen Hype!

Kao the Kangaroo Oh! Well DLC

£5.49
7.4

Verdict

7.4/10

Pros

  • Varied and interesting level designs
  • Some fun costume choices
  • Good for earning in-game currency

Cons

  • No/ inconsistent music
  • Semi-frequent glitches
  • Not particularly Halloween-themed

By Screen Hype

Hi! I'm Melika Jeddi, a content writer and aspiring author. I've created Screen Hype to share my unique brand of entertaining articles with the world, and to create a fun space that everyone can feel a part of :)