Skeleton Crew Studio’s charming new 2D platformer Olija makes a strong impression with its interesting mechanics and captivating lore.
Developer Skeleton Crew Studio and publisher Devolver Digital’s upcoming pixel art side-scroller Olija tries to set itself apart from the competition with a story that genuinely keeps players interested, and some good old fashioned fun gameplay. And for the most part, it succeeds with flying colors.
The story-based action-adventure is the perfect homage to platformers of old, like Prince of Persia and Another World, and is set for release later this year for the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, and PC. A demo is already available for download on the Steam platform.
What Olija is all about
While part of Olija’s charm lies in slowly unraveling the game’s plot, the side-scroller saddles players with enough of a back story to get them interested before even taking their first step.
Gamers will assume the role of Faraday, a man who set sail on a journey to save his people from starvation and slavery, only to find himself shipwrecked on a mysterious island as the sole survivor among his crew.
The sailor eventually happens upon a legendary harpoon but is immediately captured by a tribe of malicious creatures that he has to fight his way out of.
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After slashing and piercing his way through hordes of enemies and obstacles, Faraday meets the creatures’ master, who ends up dropping a key upon its defeat. The key frees a mysterious woman named Olija, who’s fate somehow coincides with Faraday’s.
Together, they have to unravel the secrets behind the enigmatic country of Terraphage and make their escape along with the other unfortunate castaways.
What the platformer does well
Olija isn’t the prettiest pixel art game to look at, especially with gorgeous titles like Hyper Light Drifter and Katana Zero, but boy can it stand toe-to-toe with the best of them when it comes to satisfying high-stakes combat, enjoyable puzzles, and crisp controls.
The game’s combat, navigation, and puzzle-solving all revolve around Faraday’s legendary magical harpoon, which happens to control like a dream. Players will be zipping around the screen, performing sweet combos and getting past large crevasses in no time at all.
Olija’s narrative shouldn’t be overlooked either, as it draws heavy inspirations from sailor legends and Asian folklore, providing players with bite-sized story pieces to keep them hooked as the game goes on.
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To top it all off, this sidescroller has hats that can be crafted! And they aren’t just for show either. Each hat not only looks unique but also provides some awesome power-ups either defensive or offensive in nature.
Featured image courtesy of Devolver Digital/Youtube