ReviewsReview: Dr Oil

Review: Dr Oil

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If you live by the seaside, chances are that you’ve been attacked by a seagull! These sky rats are greedy, aggressive, and obnoxious. They’ll crap on you from a great height and take enormous pleasure in stealing your food. It is for these reasons I can relate to the hero in Dr Oil. The protagonist was bitten by a seagull and he’s hell-bent on revenge. His enemy is now referred to as Captain Seagull, and he’s an angry beast. Yet, our hero is Doctor Oil, and he’s angrier still. He despises every seagull he sees and plots how he can decimate their whole species. 

Developed by Antena and published by Chilidog Interactive, this is a 2D hardcore platform title. Set across 5 unique worlds, this is a classic controller breaking affair. You’ll hate every moment of it, but you won’t be able to put it down! It demands accuracy, patience, and a lot of skill. Subsequently, if you have none of these things, you’ll rage-quit, swear, and despise every moment.

Dr Oil is infuriating. 

Like its peers, Dr Oil punishes minor errors. You’ll need muscle memory, exceptional twitch speed, and an eye for detail if you are to succeed. Furthermore, you’ll grind your teeth to stubs, bite your lip in rage, and make noises you never knew existed. In short, Dr Oil is infuriating, but oh so rewarding.

When a title mocks you about death, you know you’re in for a tough time. Therefore, if you don’t like failing, or you get a little sensitive, Dr Oil probably isn’t for you. Subsequently, each of the 75 levels will test you in horrific ways. You’ll have to dodge spikes, land on spinning platforms, avoid ghosts, work in the dark, and so forth. Furthermore, there are flying bullets, plenty of sharp edges, and ledges that disappear. In short, it’s a nightmare to beat and will test the hardiest of gamers.

Dr Oil has so many spikes to avoid
Avoid the spikes and stay alive.

Its concept isn’t unique.

Hardcore precision platformers aren’t a new concept. As such, it has a niche following that loves a brutal time. The genre is already packed with rage-inducing titles such as Super Meat Boy and OkunoKA Madness. So, how does this compare? Sadly, it isn’t as good as its counterparts. Yes, it is challenging and is enjoyable, in a sadomasochistic way. However, its concept isn’t unique and its peers do everything that much better.

Unfortunately, Dr Oil is lacking in the complexities that the other leading titles have. Moreover, the stages are much smaller and the levels lack flair or depth. However, this doesn’t mean it’s poor, because it’s not. I simply wanted it to evolve past the drip-fed mechanics and usual death-inducing elements.

Though I wasn’t overly enamoured by its approach, I liked the unique element within each world. This was a clever idea from the developers that kept the gameplay fresh. Furthermore, it added to the difficulty and kept you second-guessing. Whether it was the introduction of shifting platforms, floating spikes, cannons, or more, you had to think on the move. This quick planning and the constant shift in approach are where the title excels.

Captain Seagull is massive in Dr Oil.
That is one big seagull!

Dr Oil keeps things simple. 

The lack of complexities extends to the graphical approach. The blend of bright colours and dark tones makes it pleasant and interesting to look at. What’s more, the sprites are simple, yet striking, and this helps to navigate each stage. Other than the silhouetted level, the action is easy to follow. Sadly, I struggled on the low light stages as the obstacles and enemies were tough to see. This unfortunately increased my frustrations unnecessarily. Had the developers used contrasting colours, then the issue would have been alleviated. This aside, it was a nice looking game that is attractive, simple, and well designed.

The simplicity continues with the repetitive, but melodic soundtrack. The high tempo and aggressive music suit the risky and challenging gameplay. Sadly, though, its basic nature will annoy many gamers. Unfortunately, the same song plays on a loop and that’ll drive you mad. With no respite or sound effects to break up the tedium, it’s hard to play for long periods.

Dr Oil lacks contrasting colours.
It is far too dark.

Easy controls. 

Much of the action demands accuracy and tenacity. Therefore, it is lucky that there are easy controls to rely upon. Fortunately, the simple layout and responsiveness help to overcome the difficulties. The actions are well explained in the early levels and this helps to set you up for the challenges you encounter.

Unlike its peers, Dr Oil doesn’t have a speedrun option. Furthermore, there is no NG+ mode, and this was disappointing. Yes, the gameplay is tough already, but I expected more from this genre. However, completing every level is no mean feat, and subsequently, you’ll keep playing for hours.

Dr Oil ticks most boxes.

Getting everything right in this genre is a tough ask. Its fanbase is particular and wants to be challenged. Luckily, Dr Oil ticks most boxes, but I feel it doesn’t evolve enough. Sadly, there are a few things missing and this prevents it from fulfilling its potential. This being said, I enjoyed it and I recommend you to buy it here! Will you overcome every obstacle and get your revenge? Avoid every trap and kill that evil seagull. 

SUMMARY

Dr Oil is an infuriating and tough 2D hardcore platform title. You'll attempt every small level and die repeatedly! It'll make you scream but it's also extremely rewarding when everything clicks.



+ Simple and retro graphics.
+ Easy controls.
+ Challenging gameplay.
+ Good value for money.

- Not enough contrasting colours.
- Repetitive audio.
- Not as hard as its peers.

(Reviewed on the Xbox Series X. Also available on Nintendo Switch and PlayStation.)
Daniel Waite
Daniel Waite
My gaming career started on an Amiga and spans many consoles! Currently, I game using an MSI laptop and Xbox Series X. A fan of every genre, I love to give anything a go. Former editor and reviewer for www.bonusstage.co.uk, I'm loving my new home here at Movies Games and Tech. I can be contacted for gaming reviews on the following email: Daniel@moviesgamesandtech.com

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Review: Dr Oil<p class="has-text-align-justify" style="font-size:14px"><em>Dr Oil</em> is an infuriating and tough 2D hardcore platform title. You'll attempt every small level and die repeatedly! It'll make you scream but it's also extremely rewarding when everything clicks. </p><br/> <br/> + Simple and retro graphics. <br/> + Easy controls. <br/> + Challenging gameplay. <br/> + Good value for money. <br/> <br/> - Not enough contrasting colours. <br/> - Repetitive audio. <br/> - Not as hard as its peers. <br/> <br/> (Reviewed on the Xbox Series X. Also available on Nintendo Switch and PlayStation.) <br/>