App Reviewed on: iPad Air 2
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We celebrate games for all kinds of different reasons. Sometimes it's because they’re ambitious. At others, it's because they're innovative or thought-provoking. In the case of Oddmar though, there’s only one real thing to celebrate here: it’s just a really fun game. Oddmar is mostly just a straightforward platformer, but it strikes a brilliant balance between fluid animation and responsive controls in a world full of levels that bursting with variety.
No so vicious viking
When you think of platformers, most people think of the Mario games, which is more or less what Oddmar is going for. You play as an orphaned Viking named Oddmar, who must run, jump, and fight his way through 2-D environments like forests, caves, and mountains while on what starts as a quest for glory and loot for his people.
The only problem is, Oddmar isn’t much of a warrior, or at least he wasn’t until fate intervened. On the night before his adventure, a fairy visits Oddmar in his sleep and grants him magic powers via a mysterious bag of mushrooms. With these powers, you, the player, must make sure Oddmar makes it through everything standing in the way of his quest.
Lots of platforming, not so much pillaging
A surprisingly substantial story unfolds as you work your way through Oddmar’s 24 levels. As it turns out, Oddmar’s seemingly simple quest is complicated by all sorts of Norse gods, mythical beings, and even goblins. What started as a simple pillaging quest turns into something more more adventurous than that, and it happens to work in Oddmar’s favor tremendously.
Although there is a certain amount of combat in the game, much more of Oddmar is about clever and smart platforming. None of the tricks it pulls are things you haven’t seen before, but none of them really stick around long enough to get boring either. So, while there are sections of the game that have an auto-scroll screen, animal companions, and physics puzzles, all of them are used just enough so they never end up wearing thin.
In addition to being a well designed platformer, Oddmar is an amazing looking game. This is especially true when the game is in motion. Oddmar bounces around expressively in all sorts of colorful environments, and none of this beautiful animation work gets in the way of the game’s controls, which feel incredibly responsive.
The only thing I will say about the game’s style is that it’s lacking a bit when it comes to its story and characters. Throughout the abundance of cutscenes in Oddmar, the narration seems stilted, and a lot of character development is assumed in an awkward way. This isn’t a huge complaint, as the game doesn't really need a story to be great, but it is curious that there’s just so much story in Oddmar, and almost none of it is as charming and polished as the actual game is.
The bottom line
As a platformer, Oddmar is among the best ones available on the App Store. It takes tropes from the genre and rearranges them into tight little packages that feel great to run through. It may not be the most original game out there, and its story may leave a little to be desired, but don’t let that stop you from enjoying this phenomenal platformer.