Omno is a puzzle platform adventure where players explore and journey through different environments looking for hidden secrets. The world of Omno is filled with luscious design, lots to interact with and much to do. As a promising title from a one man dev team, a lot of people anticipated this game after it’s trailer dropped. Lets get into it.
On starting the game, you are thrown into the play and immediately drawn into your surroundings. There is next to no set up, which is fun. As a player I felt immediately intrigued, ready to look around and explore. You are controlling what looks like if a very cute onion that has a body with a T-Shirt and scarf on. I am assuming this little dude’s name is Omno. If not, then for this review he shall be. Around Omno is a cute companion who seems to guide you in the direction you should be heading.
The music is really calming, it feels like it has been crafted very delicately to match the surroundings. There are no harsh drums or pitched instruments to offset from what your atmosphere is trying to tell you. I felt like I had walked into a Spa. I can tell right away this game is going to be quite calm and relaxing. Even after you’ve explored for a short time, you will reach a pillar with a quote on it. It appears to nudge towards what the story might be. Omno needs to follow the path to the light.
Heed the call, set out on your journey, follow the path to the light.
Controls are delicate, feeling like you are walking on ice but not to the point you are sliding around everywhere. With you, you have a journal where you start logging the creatures you encounter and the glyphs with messages that you find. The creatures are nothing short of adorable and creative. You can interactive with every creature and nothing is a danger to you. They will give you small bursting light shards that glisten and float or fall as you interact with them. You also are able to interact with the wildlife, which makes it all the more enjoyable to explore.
These cute little creatures take on the similarities of seemingly normal animals but with a cute adorable twist. You have dragons, cute plant jellyfish and adorable little lobster crabs. There are also ‘legendary’ creatures who are ginormous in scale and takes Omno to their next adventure.
Apart from the mystical creatures and plants that surround you, Omno is alone. There are no real dangers in the world lurking in the shadows to strike at you. So you can only ‘die’ by accidently plunging off a cliff into the abyss, or falling from a great height. However, if you fall from a great height Omno will likely just splat on his face. It feels cruel but is equally a bit funny and charming. Do not fear about losing your collectables as there are check points along the way to make sure you can repeat your tasks from the start should you slip up.
With no story, no script or any indication other than glyphs when you start playing, this game is full of mystery. It’s similar to a book you can not put down; begin making your way around the environments interacting with everything and you start figuring out plot points and interconnections. As you further into the game these messages start to tell a small story. Despite it being hands off with its narrative delivery, you won’t feel completely lost, even with no indication of what you are doing.
Omno has a staff which seems to absorb the light and energy you collect. It will also project your map above you once you find the pillar that activates it. Whilst exploring the depths of your environment, you will also come into contact with giant light orbs, these orbs are the key to opening your journey to the next world. You need to collect a total of three to do so, but in some worlds there are many more to collect. Also spread amongst the land are square like objects with messages from the light inside.
These giant light orbs are not as easy to get just by walking to them. Omno has a detailed puzzle platform element to to it which never subdues your attention. Cute and mighty comes to mind here, the puzzle elements of Omno have a steady difficulty curve and one that never feels it is too hard too fast. These puzzles range from jumping to higher platforms, time limited pressure pads, moving blocks and pillars to get to hard to reach places – plus more. There was one particular puzzle later in the game which I was extremely proud of myself for even working out what on earth it was trying to make me do!
With every grand move towards the light, the environment changes. You start off in a watery swamp like surrounding and soon you are surfing sands or icy peaks. The world around never gets boring, and changes once you just think you have gotten used to the crevices and secrets you find amongst the terrain. Each level gets larger in scale, so you are never overwhelmed from the beginning of your tasks.
Equally with every new world, comes a new ability that allows you to manoeuvre around your new domain with ease. Omno does a great job of never allowing previous new skills to be wasted in future levels, and instead integrates them so it is necessary the player is still using them all. These include dashing around, surfing and teleportation to name a few.
One thing I found incredibly engaging, was that it seems that nothing is an accident. The environment such as rocks, grass, cliffs edges are all there for detail. However, every time I came across something that just seemed innocently placed as feature art had a purpose of some kind. Even when it came to the smallest of cliff edges, I would find I had no other choice but to balance Omno on them to get to my energy orbs. It continued to shock me within every different world. It appears nonchalant, yet had motive.
Graphically, it looked sound. Although not officially a PS5 release, it looked gorgeous on my screen. Every colour was vibrant and contrasted well with each other. Each object in the sand or grassy soil stood out. The only hitch I had graphically was occasionally falling through the geometry of features such as tree’s. However, this is by no deal distracting.
Performance wise, this game is very smooth. I ran into one slight issue where the game didn’t register that I had collected everything in one level and therefore I roamed around for a really long time before it randomly decided to tell me I had in fact gotten everything. This is by no means a deal breaker, but as a pictorial map which highlights percentage progress is the only indicator of what you have collected, it could leave a few scratched heads.
The game is relatively short but feels in the sweet spot for the genre that it is. The game is extremely reminiscent of that like Journey and Abzu. It feels deeper than those games, likely because there is more to do, and more use of what your character can do. Additionally there is more diverse puzzling areas. Games such as those, also can appear very linear, only really going in one direction which is forward.
The message behind this game is one of true heart, but as a player I did feel some further detail on the story could have enhanced the experience much more. I didn’t feel unsure of the story, but at times I forgot as a player why I was doing what I was doing and what was the purpose from the story was it. Casual playing will put your run time at around 4-6 hours if you want to collect and 100% each area If you love those types of games it is hard to believe you wouldn’t fall in love with Omno. Omno feels like next generation puzzle adventure and what the future looks like for it.
Omno is an atmospheric, adventure puzzle game that certainly gives similar games in its genre a run for their money. It’s Charming, vibrant and with stunning design. The story lacks slightly, and would benefit from more direction, however gameplay is diverse with many ways to play. If you love games like Journey, it will be hard not to fall in love with Omno.
Omno is available now on PlayStation 4 (review platform), Xbox One, Nintendo Switch and PC.
Developer: Jonas Manke | Inkyfox
Publisher: Inkyfox | Future Friends Games
Disclaimer: In order to complete this review, we were provided with a promotional copy of the game. For our full review policy, please go here.
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