Owen’s Odyssey is the story of a boy, while on a journey, taking refuge from a storm in a dangerous place – Castle Pookapick. A castle where spikes, saws, fire, falling rocks, lava and creatures try and end him. It’s a bad place to take refuge. It’s okay though. He can float past dangers using his trusty propeller hat.
Balancing is tough, you can make the most amazing looking game, the sweetest particle effects, deep progression systems, but all that is for nothing of the difficult curve is off.
Many developers are trying to cash in on the Flappy Birds effect by releasing balls-to-the-wall hard games. Building a ‘hard’ styled game, shouldn’t mean devs can avoid balancing the game, or smoothing out difficulty curves.
Owens unfortunately suffers from too-hard-too-soon syndrome. Consider this screenshot of level 1 – only 1 minute into the game.
Now at this point in the game the player is still getting used to the controls and the games expectations. It’s nice to give the player a bit of spacial freedom to understand the physics of the world before making em’ sweat.
The game advertises itself as “It’s ‘Flappy Bird’ meets ‘Mario Bros.’!”
Yes, Flappy Bird is hard out of the gate, but it is also a different kind of game with a different user journey and a single level variable (the shifting pipes).
More importantly, does Mario need to meet Flappy? Some would argue that Mario Bros is the perfect difficulty, with a well refined difficulty curve.
Owens Odyssey also has a time limit. Geez I hate time limits, they are a redundant mechanism used to instantly ramp up difficulty. The game just doesn’t need it, there is already enough to trip you up.
Apart from that, the game looks fantastic and has some great audio (although I did hear some familiar sound samples from Mega Man, hello Mr Copyright).
Try it for yourself, however I recommend trying the free version first to see how it plays for you.