Ode – Review
Follow Genre: Musical exploration
Developer: Reflections, a Ubisoft Studio
Publisher: Ubisoft
Platform: PC
Tested on: PC

Ode – Review

Site Score
8.0
Good: Relaxing, colorful
Bad: Wonky camera
User Score
0
(0 votes)
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By the same team that made Grow Home and Grow Up comes Ode, a new musical game. Ode is a game that, like Grow Home and Grow Up, has a simple yet charming art style. You can discover the beautiful landscapes that produce the nicest tunes while collecting stars that have fallen out of the sky and are now scattered across the different landscapes. As everything you touch or move across makes music, it almost feels like you’re a musician or a conductor. This game is both mesmerizing to look at and to listen to. We couldn’t wait to enjoy this experience that is: Ode.

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Story

There isn’t really a story present in Ode. The game starts off with a poem:

“Life is music, music is joy.
I was listening to the stars in awe.
Elated, I called their name,
and they called me same.”

This poem is the only story bit that is in the game. You play as a little creature in a ball called Joy and collect stars that are spread around the musical landscapes. The poem gives an explanation of the purpose of the game. Since the game is pretty simple, more of an elaborate story isn’t necessary and might even ruin the experience.

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Graphics

Ode’s art style is smooth yet charming. There aren’t any extremely detailed textures but most of them do have simple shading. A few “plants” are present in the game although they are more of an instrument than a plant. Most of these plants have more details than the rest of the game as they have a bit more texture to them. In Ode are a lot of unique lights being used as almost everything glows. The rocks and basic ground are presented in darker colors which makes so that the lights stand out even more. Every use of color matches the environment and the colors don’t clash. This makes it a great experience for your eyes.

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Sound

The whole game is about music. There is no background music present but just moving around produces tunes. Everything in the game makes a sound and some “plants” represent an instrument like for example drums or a trumpet. There are green blobs that you need to “unlock” by giving a certain amount of little green blobs one star each. When the big green blob is unlocked it opens a new pathway and plays music on its own with the objects around it. As you collect stars they make squeaky noises like a mouse with one that sometimes sounds like they say “woohoo” which is quite fun to hear.

There are different levels with different landscapes each a tad more diverse than the other. Each landscape had its own music and rhythm. Although some plants reappear most of them are different in each landscape so it’s fun to bump into them to see what noise they make.

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Gameplay

Ode is a musical exploration game where you collect stars and discover the different kind of melodies in the environment.  You control Joy; a creature inside a ball that has a special connection to the stars. As you collect stars with Joy they turn the same color as him. While exploring you might run into a big green blob and a dead end. These blobs are locked until you give a star to all of the smaller green blobs that are in the area around the big one. This unlocks the path and causes the big blob to become the conductor of the musical objects around it.

Every object in this game produces a tune or a melody. So when you walk through a “hallway” in a cave with only one kind of object it makes it as if you’re playing that instrument or are for example slamming on drums. These items not only produce music but also glow or release glowing particles. Which is quite fun but sometimes horrible to be able to see where you’re going. The camera is wonky as well which makes it sometimes annoying to go through small entrances or go into tight spots. This might make you miss some stars as you can’t see where you have to go.

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As you go through the other levels, Joy changes color as do the stars when collected. Joy can also change color by rolling into some sort of liquids found in some levels. This liquid transforms Joy and gives him other abilities. There are ones that just make Joy have a super high jump but some liquids make the stars around him change in, for example, a wheel. These liquids are strategically placed in the areas that you might need them, to make it easier to reach small green blobs or stars.

The controls are quite easy to figure out as they are explained every loading screen. Joy can move, jump, attract stars and throw stars as well. There is only one problem with the controls and that is that there is no option to edit them. This can be annoying as some people like to change the keys to suit their play style. Joy can attract stars that he has already touched and he can also throw all the stars that are with him. This makes it so that Joy can throw stars and make them collect other stars or activate a smaller green blob. Sometimes you have to puzzle a bit to find and activate all green blobs but mostly it’s pretty easy to figure it out.

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Conclusion

Ode is a mesmerizing game that makes you relax and just enjoy the experience of playing the game. The use of sound and lights work perfectly together and make you almost feel as if you’re in a concert. This game is an experience for your eyes and ears and is perfect to play just to forget about the stress of life. Since there isn’t anything really hard about this game; it’s perfect for all ages. Only those with epilepsy should consult a doctor first since there are a lot of flashing lights. If you’re looking for a relaxing game that gives you a fun experience then maybe give this game a try.

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Theotakutem


The one and only slowqueen! ? -student multimedia-

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