Olija stars Lord Faraday, leader of a having a hard time fishing town who gets shipwrecked throughout an exploration. He awakens alone in Terraphage, a collection of islands damaged by an ancient evil and house to a foreign civilization governed by the mystical Lady Olija. Who is Olija, what is this malicious force, and how does Faraday rescue his team and return house? Answering those enticing concerns is a blast, due to the fact that Olija looks excellent and plays much better, making it among the year’s very first enjoyable surprises.   

Static pictures of Olija (noticable “ooo-lee-ah”) don’t do the discussion any favors. It has an easy, pixelated appearance, however it’s backed by smooth animation that stimulates classics like Prince of Persia and Another World. The video game likewise has design for days thanks to its remarkable cutscenes (anticipate regular cuts to black), foreboding soundtrack, and unexpected gore. The unknown, subtitled language contributes to that cinematic quality, though my preferred minutes are interacted nonverbally. One excellent scene includes providing a rose to a maiden without her understanding, resulting in a charming interaction that doesn’t require a single word to be said. 

 

Beneath its simple-looking look, Olija is a rewarding action video game. Players can release multi-hit combinations, launch opponents air-borne, handle them a bit, and send them flying into walls – and it feels excellent. A magic harpoon functions as your main weapon, and can impale opponents from afar, permitting you to then warp towards them. Teleporting in the face of air-borne hazards feels slick, as does remembering the harpoon to strike opponents on the return journey. You likewise have a collection of subweapons, such as the quick and combo-focused rapier or the effective shotgun. Best of all, subweapons can be switched on the fly, suggesting you can integrate attacks and change methods. 

Special hats function as your sole type of devices. You craft these products yourself, and each hat bestows a unique perk, such as shooting dagger-like plumes while evading, siphoning health on eliminates (my favorite), or the capability to spin the harpoon like a buzzsaw. These capabilities are mainly satisfying and can certainly assist, however they’re likewise not make-or-break helps. You’re bound to one hat per objective, however I hardly ever felt as though particular headwear was needed for any job. While that permits versatility, it likewise makes hats feel rather irrelevant. They do make Faraday look quite classy, though. 

Levels function several courses and, rather oddly, no dungeon maps. Though I didn’t get reversed typically, there are bigger, tougher-to-track locations where a map would reduce expedition. I had a good time checking out Olija’s world. Platforming feels excellent, and the ecological puzzles are smart. For example, properly browsing huge mouths that warp (read: spit) Faraday around the map. Unique sectors, such as a completely stealth-focused location and a thrilling escape series, keep expedition fresh. Also, I never ever got tired of tossing the harpoon off-screen, acquiring something, then deforming to discover a secret collectible or captive crewmate. Generally, you’re trying to find secrets to open a huge, end-of-level door, which generally causes an amusing employer battle. While some fights include massive battles versus monstrous monstrosities, individually battles with human enemies alter things up with a more intimate, tactical focus that needs reading habits rather of simply assaulting full blast. 

Between islands you develop Oaktide, a run-down port that acts as your online. Rescued crewmates return here, and the more you discover, the livelier and more joyous the port ends up being, which in itself is a benefit. Players can open a potion store to completely increase the health bar, dine at a soup kitchen area to bring back vigor, and pay a sea captain to look for extra treasures. I’m a fan of this sort of base-building function, and while Olija’s variation is far from the inmost example of it, it is still pleasing. The just drawback is that as soon as you totally update your health and get every hat (which isn’t tough to do) the cash and ornaments you continue to gather efficiently spoiled. 

Olija isn’t a long video game; it took me a little over 4 hours to end up even after collecting the majority of its antiques. But it loads a great deal of excellent things in that timeframe and never ever wears its welcome. With tight gameplay, enjoyable expedition, and an appealing environment, Faraday’s dreadful trip develops into a fulfilling exploration.