Developer: Studio Inkyfox
Publisher: Studio Inkyfox & Future Friends Games
Genre(s): Adventure, Indie, 3D Puzzle Platformer
Platform: Xbox Series X (also available on Xbox One, PS4, Steam and Nintendo Switch)
Age Rating: PEGI 3
Release Date: 29/07/2021
Price: £14.99 (currently included on Xbox Game Pass Ultimate)
A code was provided for review purposes
A Trailer of Delights
I watched the trailer for Omno with that thrill rising inside me that only a well-put-together taster can inspire. I knew that I had to see what this title was all about. Were those tempting images gameplay, or simply a montage of cutscenes put there to whet my appetite? Read my Rapid Review below to find out answers to this question, and more.
A ‘Fantastic’ Introduction
You begin your Omno adventure by waking up near to what seems to be a portal. Beside you is your trusty companion, a kind of guide and pet who accompanies you throughout the game. Immediately, you begin wandering around a lush landscape full of fantastical creatures with fabulous names. As you meet these new creatures, they appear in a sort of journal you can access at the press of a button. In the journal, it notes a few facts about each animal. With the press of another button, these beings shed light which you absorb when close to it. Absorbing this light allows you to release glowing orbs (you need to do this to progress) or briefly whizz around at top speed.
When you can interact with something, a simple, white image of the button pad (or singular button later in the game) appears indicating which one you should press. As well as interacting with creatures, you collect messages (mentioning a pilgrimage and light-bearers) and touch balls of light. The messages are also recorded within the journal. Touching three balls of light will allow you to access the puzzle to move on to the next area. However, there is so much to explore and enjoy that you won’t be in a hurry to move on.
Each area combines elements of 3D puzzle platformers and open-world games. You can roam as far and wide as you wish, complete puzzles and collect light in any order that you desire, but certain puzzles will require you to follow a specific route to achieve your goal. As you leave each area, a message comes up telling you your completion percentage and letting you know that you are leaving. Handy for those completionists amongst us.
The Omno Aesthetic
Simply moving around each area is a joy. The accompanying soundtrack is perfect. It’s both calming and emotive at the same time. As you progress through the levels, you gain new abilities. Sometimes, the music even changes depending on the ability you are using, and it compliments your movements beautifully. For example, in the trailer, you see the main character surfing. Yes, you get to do this. Yes, it is as sublime as it looks in the video. My point being, this is one of those times when the music changes to suit your movements. From peaceful, tranquil meandering, the soundtrack opens up to become a glorious rush of auditory endorphins, in perfect synergy with your character’s graceful manoeuvres on-screen.
The graphics in Omno are simple yet effective. Colours are bold and vivid, and the use of light is impressive. Sunsets, sunrises and sun flare behind rock faces create impressive scenes in every single area you cover. You encounter lush green valleys, wintry snow-covered lands, baron desserts and sheer cliff-top wonders. Without fail, each area enchants visually with increasingly exotic beings to discover and magnificent views.
In every level, creatures constantly move. They go about their own business, making it feel as if you really are travelling through an inhabited area. It has a feel like walking into Jurassic Park, especially since some of the animals are dinosaur-sized. Your character, companion and the beings each have their own set of endearing sounds, which completes this fully immersive gaming experience – recommended with headphones, for sure.
Give Me More Omno
When my time with Omno came to an end, I just wanted more. For me, this indie has jumped into position as a contender for GOTY. I think it has something for everyone. For the completionist, you have the challenge of finishing each area to one hundred percent before moving on. Alternatively, the more casual gamer can wander for hours in each area, simply enjoying the music and interacting with the animals before drifting on into the next delightful region. For the ultimate experience, who’s to say you can’t do both?
An overall atmosphere of peace and tranquillity pervades throughout the whole game. You can absolutely lose your mind in simple pleasures while playing Omno. Every single aspect of this title is built to reel you in emotionally, resulting in a masterclass of immersion and an awe-inspiring synchrony of sight, sound and movement. And I most certainly took the bait. I urge you to do the same.
Rapid Reviews Rating
5 out of 5
You can purchase Omno from the Microsoft Store.
You can find and read our reviews on OpenCritic.