Olija Is an Indie Platformer Filled With Love, Loss, and Harpoons

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There have been additionally just a few moments within the recreation the place a scripted sequence had me falling by a damaged platform, solely to seek out that transferring ahead required me to backtrack to the place that platform had been magically repaired. As in nearly any recreation, this sort of backtracking is needlessly tedious. Harpooning round rapidly from floating eyeball to floating eyeball is rarely actually required for the primary story—it’s for just a few more difficult, non-compulsory sailor rescue rooms—however it feels awkward when you need to do it, and utilizing the analog stick to vary instructions on the Nintendo Change—Olija is on the market on Change, Xbox One/Collection X, Ps 4/5, and for Home windows on the Steam Retailer—Professional Controller feels imprecise. I discovered myself having to modify to the D-Pad for these sequences. Celeste, with its tight, straightforward controls, this isn’t.

Later within the recreation, Faraday will get a sword that has its personal teleportation properties, and you may arrange two transportation factors à la Portal. Sadly, this solely comes close to the tip of the sport. I’d have cherished to see extra puzzles that utilized each the sword and the harpoon. You additionally purchase two ranged weapons within the type of a shotgun and a bow, however their ammunition requires crafting. I discovered them to be extraneous and moderately ineffective when matched with the enemy varieties that the sport throws at you.

Lastly, there are a handful of boss fights, however they every really feel distinctive and are a pleasant fruits to their levels. The second-to-last one, particularly, has you climbing a tower whereas dodging the boss’ sword thrusts, and discovering angles to shock him with a sensible warp or good harpoon throw. It combines the whole lot that’s enjoyable about utilizing the harpoon, and lets the participant work out how they need to strategy and defeat the boss. Total, you’re ready for a boss to indicate his weak spot—generally after launching commonplace Rottenwoods at you—after which going to city on it together with your harpoon. They by no means really feel low-cost, but in addition finish rapidly. I appreciated that I may actually fly round in open areas with the harpoon in these, however I couldn’t assist marvel if the bosses additionally felt extra cathartic as a result of the sport’s common encounters are so easy.

As a complete, Olija is on the simpler aspect, and I discovered myself solely actually dying due to the aforementioned imprecision with the trickier airborne harpoon throwing components. I died in all probability 4 occasions, and I by no means felt caught, although one puzzle within the recreation had me scratching my head (in a great way.) You’ll discover that you simply lose well being very slowly exterior of pitfalls, and also you received’t really feel overpowered by enemies. Reasonably, you’re compelled to maintain transferring ahead. The degrees themselves—you’ll sail to completely different to remoted ranges in an overworld after leaving the house base—are petite. Nevertheless, provided that the sport has no map, and it is likely to be irritating to attempt to keep in mind all of the completely different paths within the ranges, it’s doubtless greatest loved in just a few devoted sittings.

Olija can be fairly brief, lasting about 4 hours, however every little bit of the sport feels condensed to a nice morsel of high quality, and also you’ll by no means really feel like the sport’s run out of steam. Having mentioned that, there isn’t a lot selection to the sport’s fight, neither is there any kind of scoring system, variable issue, or New Recreation + and, as it is vitally linear, it’s unlikely you’ll return to play it once more, except you’re tempted to observe among the recreation’s extra beguiling story moments.

Olija is a truncated however memorable expertise, one which’s price a glance from any gamer who desires to be swept away on a seafaring journey. It isn’t a trailblazing new entry within the platformer style, however its particulars have a sure magic that makes it really feel better than the sum of its components. At 15 {dollars}, it’s an absolute catch.

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