Harmony’s Odyssey – Review
Follow Genre: Puzzle game
Developer: Mythic Owl
Publisher: Neverland Entertainment
Platform: PC, Switch
Tested on: Switch

Harmony’s Odyssey – Review

Site Score
Good: A streamlined and accessible experience
Bad: Low difficulty level might not appeal to everyone
User Score
(2 votes)
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Rating: 10.0/10 (2 votes cast)

In our recent review of The Knight Witch, we briefly mused on witches as unlikely protagonists in video games. Our words aren’t even cold and we’re once again looking at a game with a witch protagonist. Continuing the trend of putting witches in unlikely video games, developer Mythic Owl brings a puzzle game to the masses with Harmony’s Odyssey. Players will need to use protagonist Harmony’s magical powers to restore the world after her cat messes things up. At first glance, Harmony’s Odyssey is what most people would describe as a ‘kiddie’ game, but perhaps there is more to this witch than meets the eye?


A short cutscene without words introduces us to Harmony’s Odyssey’s protagonists. There’s a young witch, who we assume is the titular Harmony, and her feline companion, a black cat. When a troublesome trio of mice (or perhaps rabbits?) cause mayhem in Harmony’s house, her cat accidentally knocks a magic wand to the floor. This accident breaks up the world into tiles, and it’s up to Harmony to fix everything by putting the tiles back into their rightful places. This is only the beginning of our cutesy story, however, as our duo finds themselves in a variety of scenarios in between the various levels, each told by a similar short cutscene. Harmony will encounter everything from mythical dragons to penguins that like to take selfies. It’s not the deepest story, but it’s infused with plenty of adorable, family-friendly humor.


The bright colors and relatively low-poly visuals lend a storybook-like quality to Harmony’s Odyssey. Usually we prefer a more subdued color palette, but in this case, the saturated colors work surprisingly well. Occasionally we did feel that the game looked overexposed, but this can be written off as personal preference as we have seen a similar kind of bright color usage before to great effect, in games like Voyage or DEEEER Simulator. What helps tremendously is how distinct each of the game’s seven worlds looks and feels. It’s a joy to explore these worlds by rotating puzzle stages around and discovering hidden details. The deceptively simple visuals aren’t too taxing on the Switch either, and the overall performance was fantastic as a result, without any noticeable frame rate issues.


The story of Harmony’s Odyssey is told without words and likewise, the game features no real voice acting, although there are plenty of animal sounds to be heard throughout. While voice acting would have elevated Harmoney’s Odyssey to the next level, this is one of those rare cases where the absence of voice work didn’t detract from our overall enjoyment of the game. This is because the story is easy enough to follow and character emotions are conveyed through exaggerated facial expressions. That said, the devil is often in the details, and small things like having our heroine gasp or talk gibberish would have been welcome. The game’s soundtrack is quite varied and provides cutscenes with a cinematic quality. When you’re actually working on puzzles, the music takes a backseat and provides the right atmosphere without being distracting. Ambient sound effects are good but ultimately unremarkable.


You wouldn’t say it based on how busy and elaborate some of Harmony’s Odyssey’s levels look, but what you’re getting here is actually a standard tile-swapping puzzle game. For the most part at least, because occasionally the game shakes things up with spot-the-difference puzzles as well as other slightly different puzzle variants. These provide a nice change of pace, but ultimately, Harmony’s Odyssey’s main focus is on those jigsaw-like tile puzzles. Things start out easy enough, with the first puzzles presented to the player simply requiring swapping around a handful of panels on a 2D plane. Gradually these become more elaborate, until you are rotating and rearranging 3D dioramas comprising multiple layers. With over one hundred puzzles to solve, spread across eight distinct worlds, and multiple secrets to discover, you’re certainly getting a lot of bang for your buck here. As we initially expected, the game seems to be geared towards a younger audience, but older audiences will find plenty to like here.

We should note that the puzzles becoming increasingly intricate does not necessarily translate into a higher difficulty level. Despite how complex late-game puzzles look at first glance, we found the game to be quite forgiving and puzzle aficionados should have no trouble with Harmony’s Odyssey, even at the highest difficulty setting. Given the cozy and relaxed atmosphere that the game tries to convey, it would appear that this lack of difficulty is intentional and that the aim of Mythic Owl is more about showcasing its ingenuity and art design rather than frustrating the player. That ingenuity is Harmony’s Odyssey’s biggest strength. By sticking to a simple gameplay formula and pushing that to its logical limit, the game feels like a streamlined and accessible experience, without any unnecessary bells and whistles.

The game eschews lengthy tutorials or unnecessary explanations because it doesn’t need these. Controls and button inputs are only briefly explained while levels are loading, without any need for words. Visual cues like matching tile edge colors or even the ability to do sub-assemblies simply make sense on their own. At harder difficulties, the puzzles themselves don’t change but the game simply disables some of the more helpful aspects. In the unlikely event that you do get stuck on a puzzle on hard difficulty, you can freely change to normal or even easy mode too. Accessibility is the keyword here, and that doesn’t just translate to the gameplay itself but to the streamlined controls as well. As a pure puzzle game, there isn’t a whole lot of meat on Harmoney’s Odyssey’s bones because of how simple and straightforward everything is but the overall presentation makes up for that. This may not be the most engrossing or addictive gameplay experience but as a comfy and relaxing game, Harmony’s Odyssey knocks it out of the park.


While Harmony’s Odyssey isn’t going to appeal to everyone, there is a lot to like here. The adorable visuals, family-friendly humor, and accessible puzzle gameplay make for a game that provides the perfect getaway from the dark and gloomy days of winter. Harmony’s Odyssey is the video game equivalent of a warm and comfy blanket, and sometimes that’s all you need to have a good time. With the younger crowd in particular, Harmony’s Odyssey is likely going to be a smash hit, so if you’re a parent looking for what to spend that €15 Nintendo eShop card your kid got for Christmas on, you could do far worse.

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Rating: 10.0/10 (2 votes cast)
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Harmony's Odyssey - Review, 10.0 out of 10 based on 2 ratings

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