Ode, by Ubisoft Reflections, is a trippy third-person 3D platformer music game. Set in what could be interpreted as an alien planet, it consists of four levels where Joy, a little creature with beady eyes and short limbs stuck in a bubble, bumps and jumps around collecting spheres with a drawing power and making alien plants groove and sing.
It is a simple game in every possible way, and there is something brilliant about its simplicity, particularly in the way it completely dispenses with language and even signs, making gameplay advancement entirely dependent on music, which changes when you achieve a certain progress and Joy is ready to move on to the next level.
This makes for environmental gameplay rather than environmental storytelling. Of course, movement can be slippery and button-mashy, but the gameplay is fun enough to keep the player engaged through the levels. The music is all sorts of chimes and beeps and whistles, which is not too bad, but it gets old after a while.
Each level should take at most an hour to complete, so it is a very short game for casual play and not much more than that. There is no replay value, and some will enjoy it less than others. But at a time when a lot of games completely consume our lives and take dozens of hours to complete, it is nice to play a short and sweet game like this once in a while.
Available in the Ubisoft Store, at the time of writing this review it was priced at 50% off as part of a holiday sale, which is not a bad deal at all.
Disclaimer: PC Aficionado was provided with a code for the purpose of this review. All thoughts and opinions expressed in the review are the writer’s own and are not influenced by the developer and/or publisher in any way.
- Interesting environmental gameplay
- Short and sweet
- Controls get slippery and button-mashy at times
- Music is cute but gets old after a while