Action platformers have a long and illustrious history with names like Super Mario Bros. and Mega Man still lovingly remembered by gamers. This makes it difficult for new ones that enter the market to make an impression, but Mobge’s Oddmar is a charming game that lives up to the high standards of classics in the genre.
Oddmar immediately sets itself apart by how it looks. The game has a Nordic setting with familiar names like Midgard, and is filled with beautiful cutscenes that look hand drawn and cartoon like. Characters have great detail to them while enemies like trolls look incredibly dangerous. The game also boasts backgrounds that will put most mobile games to shame, making it is as fun to watch as it is to play.
The game’s beauty isn’t limited to its cutscenes. The titular Viking you play as is incredibly detailed and has a variety of appropriate facial expressions that add to the game’s enjoyment. Whether it is determination, anxiety, or courage, Oddmar wears his emotions on his sleeve. The protagonist is not the only expressive character, however. Enemies and NPCs also emote constantly. This is not new to platformers, but it looks like it was done with purpose and not just as a concession to the genre.
A platformer may look great and have cute characters, but what is the point if the game is not good? This is an excellent game though it may initially seem too easy. With each the level, the game throws more tricks at you and the increased difficulty leads to increased fun factor. As the gamer learns more tricks and gains more powers, it becomes obvious that those early levels that seemed easy have secrets that are now open to you.
Oddmar also manages to stay fresh. Levels change from traditional platforming, to riding atop speeding animals, to having to rush through a level without stopping while a giant troll destroys everything. The game does not rely on the same level design with just a simple background change and keeps the gamer engrossed.
I played the game on an iPhone 8 and my one complaint is the game would be much better on a console or PC. The controls are tight and it does not require additional button inputs, but some of the areas that required more precision or speed would have been more fun and less frustrating with a controller. In all fairness, this may have been alleviated with a bigger phone. There were also a few times in the game that I stumbled across a secret area that I was unable to leave because I did not have the appropriate power. I had no choice but to restart the entire level. This seemed odd to me since when you die you start from the most recent checkpoint you passed.
Oddmar is a surprisingly good game. At a glance it looks like it will be another platform with better cutscenes but it quickly becomes apparent that it has much more to offer. Along with great graphics, it has endearing characters, awesome level design, and smooth controls. Oddmar is a strong addition to the iOS library.
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