Developer: room6, G-MODE
Platforms: PC (Reviewed), Switch
Publisher: G-MODE, yokaze
OU is an adventure game where you explore reality in the world of U-chronia. OU was developed by room6 and G-MODE and published by G-MODE and yokaze. There is not really any game that is similar to OU, as it has its own unique play style and story. This review is done for the PC but is also available for the Switch.
OU is a single-player game where you wake up in the land of U-chronia as OU, the young boy. Upon your arrival, you meet an opossum, Zarry, that guides you through the world you have been placed in. You are unable to speak but exchange dialogues with your guide and other characters on your path. The world of U-chronia is filled with much mystery that engraves the meaningful story behind this game. You meet many different characters along the way, some as threats and others as passing civilians. The Saudage Specter is who haunts the boy. You meet Gemini, who looks exactly like the young boy (an interesting play on the horoscope which relates to the twins). And many other characters who play a role in changing the story and determining how it will end.
The controls for OU are fairly simple, and most of them are provided as you play through the game. As you progress onwards, you get a pop-up instruction diagram with the keybind to what the move does. There really is not much use for the mouse in this game, as everything is just done with the keyboard. What I really like about this game is that it has unique mechanics, which I have not come across in other games, and it plays well with the theme of this game. That specific mechanic has to do with OU using stickies. Throughout the game, you can find stickies and throw them at things in the environment to note their speciality. Each sticky also has a unique design and some with abilities that can help burn through things or light up the area. As you played the game, controls were also highlighted at the bottom of the screen, so it was easy to catch onto the controls quickly. There was no delay, and the controls ran smoothly.
The art style for OU is extremely unique. It is a side-scrolling game with a stationary background. Each background is filled with many details to create the scenery for the location the character is in. It seems like a mix of digital and hand-drawn elements put together to create a cartoonish look. There is so much detail that’s put into the different areas you dive into, and with the stickies, you’re able to learn more about the significant things in the area. Personally I found the main character to have some resemblance to the main character in Ponyo. There are elements in this game that give an artistic yet delicate feel to the game. I really like the character designs and the focus on colour for the main aspects of the scene and not the foreground. The foreground and background are also filled with so many little details that truly bring the area to life. What I enjoy so much about the visuals of the game is the fact that each loading screen that moves the game onto the next page has a unique art sketch of the two main characters in the story. The game itself seems to be played as a storybook, and the visuals capture the true essence of how a storybook looks. The animation in this game is also so cute, from OU running and his bag bouncing up and down to the water drop animation when the characters dive in. I enjoy how the visuals also complement the audio; they pair well, creating a real-life environment in the game. I do have to say that the soundtrack for OU is filled with melodic instrumental music, which creates a soothing, fantasy atmosphere. Most of the music contains guitar strumming, giving folklore type of vibes. There is also a sense of ominous music that plays a low bass drum beat to emphasise something bad is coming. Subtle sound effects from OU’s, footsteps, and water splashing to throwing stickies make the game much more immersive. With the overall theme of this game, I would say both visuals and audio play a major factor in creating the wonderful and mysterious storyline you play.
I really enjoyed this game as it was relaxing yet had an intriguing concept, which drew me in. By far, the story was extremely interesting, and the more you played the game, the more you unravelled the secrets of U-chronia. My favourite part about this game would definitely be the storybook style. You would be placed in one location that you can interact with and place stickies onto, then dive into the next page, which would be another location. In some areas, you could go backwards to see if any other changes were made to the story; it was as if reality was being altered as you were living through it. Sometimes, it did get a bit repetitive, where you would go back to the same sets of locations, and nothing would be changed, but it allowed you to collect items and more stickies for your collection. The true charm of this game would have to be the story and the visuals. It really immerses you as a player because you would want to keep moving forward to see how the story gets changed based on the people you meet. There were also little puzzles that were placed in locations, which added more of a play to the game. One of the puzzles was a bit confusing, but I like how, after you trial and error a few times, Zarry gives you hints on how to solve the puzzles. Again, I would say the stickies mechanics are extremely unique and work so well with how this game plays, as it’s like you’re placing sticky tabs in a book you’re actually reading. Each sticky also has an interesting description written for what it’s stuck to; to give more information on its importance. I enjoyed the game for its entirety, and it took about 5 hours to complete, which is fairly decent for embarking on this journey as OU.
Now, if you want to play an intriguing side-scrolling adventure game that has a mysterious filled lore where you meet interesting characters that develop the path of your journey. A game where you play alongside an opossum that guides you through this new world with nothing but stickies at your disposal, then OU is definitely the game for you to check out. It has beautiful visuals and a soothing soundtrack that immerses the game into the true meaning of reality.
This is S & S. We are world game explorers. We play games. We have played over 10,000+ games! We travel, we write reviews AND we play more games!!!!