An Octonaut Odyssey by Octo Studios
Set against some truly trippy backdrops, An Octonaut Odyssey is a side-scrolling platformer with a challenging yet satisfying level of difficulty. Bright-hued landscapes and a soothing jazzy soundtrack both contribute to the dreamy, ethereal feel of the game.
Squid Pro Quo
After crash landing on an eclectic planet, a space-faring octopus awakes to find that he’s been stripped of his abilities. He needs to traverse his bizarre new surroundings to acquire his lost octo-pods if he ever hopes to repair his spacecraft. As the game starts, the octopus can only move left and right, and he can slightly terraform certain deposits of soil. Even his ability to jump was granted by one of his errant pods. Finding the rest is going to require visiting the neighboring worlds by traveling through portals.
Each portal brings the player to a new realm, replete with gorgeous stylized visuals. Exploring stages will also reveal numerous NPCs . These pixel art masterpieces are one of the game’s standout features. One recurring NPC will appear to force an alcoholic beverage on the octopus, causing reality to distort for a short period of time, thus making negotiating the platforms a lot trickier. The antics of this world’s denizens are often laugh-out-loud funny, and it’s a nice reward for daring to explore more of the place.
As power pods are reintegrated into the cephalopod’s arsenal, he is able to traverse more of the world. One pod will allow him to repair levitation devices. Another will allow him to travel underwater (it’s especially cold on this planet). With each new ability he restores, the level of difficulty ramps up considerably.
What starts as a standard side-scrolling platformer quickly evolves into a delicate affair requiring the deploying of several powers sequentially in order to traverse the increasingly treacherous landscape. Finding the right mix of abilities will sometimes require wrenching your hand into new cramp-inducing shapes. Jumping, double jumping, and drifting in particular all factor into some of the trickier puzzles.
Fortunately, the levels are peppered with plenty of save points, so you won’t have to take on huge swathes of a level again should you fail. The last stage of the game brings all of the abilities together for some decently challenging sequences, and the required timing is wickedly precise.
Eight Is Enough
The ending I played through (there’s a red pill and a blue pill ending) felt a little tacked on. Ultimately, the tale never tries to go all that deep, but the wrap-up is cliché and detached.
Lengthwise, the adventure runs a bit on the lean side, but for the price it sells for, this isn’t a huge detractor. Also, upon completion, you are able to wander the worlds, should you care to unlock more of the world’s secrets.
Short but sweet, An Octonaut Odyssey solidly puts a creative and challenging spin on the side-scrolling platformer.
[xrr rating =”4/5″]
An Octopus Odyssey is available via Steam.
Watch the official trailer for An Octopus Odyssey below: