IMGC Review – Oh! Ko!

in Games

GAME: OH! KO! BY MOSTLY USELESS

Summary: Oh! Ko! is a goofy, charming game with fantastic art that ends far too soon.

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2014 IGMC Winner (Best Non-RPG – 2nd Place)!

There’s a lot to be said for a game that’s truly distinctive. With a massive library of games available to us that’s far beyond anything in the history of the medium, trying to keep track of everything is an intimidating challenge. So we choose the ones that catch our attention in some way – maybe we read a review of it, maybe the art is instantly appealing, maybe it placed in a major contest.

Even without the contest, however, Oh! Ko! is a game that grabs you right away. Right from the title screen, where a little creature in a dress with a trapezoid head and antenna stands under a tree. It’s charming and gives you an immediate idea of the game’s tone. The whole game is depicted in this childlike style and the results are enchanting. It looks like a kid drew all the backgrounds in a few minutes, but it’s obvious that much more work went into it.

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The robot doesn’t get hung up on details.

The story begins with Ko coming downstairs for her breakfast one morning. She meets a robot and finds that her toast is talking to her. This pushy piece of breakfast informs her that an adventure is waiting out in the back garden. There’s a lot of non-sequitur and meta humor in this adventure, like a less crude version of something you might see on “Adult Swim.” The jokey dialogue might irritate some players, but the game builds to a surprisingly moving ending.

The puzzles in Oh! Ko! revolve around using items and using logic to determine your next course of action. Adventure games can get obtuse pretty easily, but this one executes its simple but difficult mechanic very well. While there is very little hand-holding, the solutions never seem obscure and thinking carefully about Ko’s surroundings always got me through.

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Watch your language!

If I have any problem with the game, it’s that it’s just too short, even by the standards of these IGMC entries. You can easily finish it in one sitting. As with all the entries, you have to take into account the short time frame for the contest, but I find myself very intrigued by what this one might look like if it were longer. Some powerful themes come into view briefly at the end – with a longer narrative to flush them out, this game could rise to great heights.

So what did you guys think? Did you like the unique art style? What do you imagine a longer version of it might be like? Tell us in the comments!

 

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