App Reviewed on: iPhone XR
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Ordia is one of those games that has a really firm sense of identity. It’s not groundbreaking, but it’s not trying to be, either. There’s something to appreciate about that. It’s a colorful, tight, and well-executed platformer that uses familiar tricks in pleasing ways, and it smartly doesn’t overstay its welcome. What Ordia may lack in originality, it makes up for with perfect execution.
The platforming in Ordia is vertical. You play as an organism rising up from some primordial ooze by leaping and grabbing onto nodes that will eventually lead you to an exit. It’s almost like rock climbing, but instead of reaching up to the next handhold, you’re launching your entire body upward to make it to your next step on your way to the summit.
Mechanically, this plays out much like an Angry Birds game. Your little, round creature can catapult itself in any direction you at the tap, drag, and release of a finger. If you aim appropriately, you’ll be one step closer to your goal. Otherwise, you might fall for a bit before catching yourself, or hit an obstacle that can kill you and force you to restart from your last checkpoint.
Look before you leap
Launching yourself from node to node in Ordia feels great, so much so that you'll likely be tempted to pull and release with abandon to climb quickly. In early levels, this is probably fine, but Ordia quickly gets pretty tricky and starts demanding precision. Spikes, predatory worms, wind tunnels, and more await you the further you get in the game, with each one posing different threats depending on whether they're acting alone or in concert with another hazard.
To make things even trickier, Ordia also has 10 collectibles in every level that you may be tempted to go after. There's no requirement to chase these buggers down, but they are awfully tempting and can lead to some more interesting challenges along the way. Similarly, there are times in Ordia when completely optional time trial levels unlock, which can add even further challenge to the game. These additional elements certainly make Ordia harder, but it's nice how easy it is to ignore them if you're more interested in just playing the core platforming.
Just within your reach
The way you can flow between taking on Ordia's tougher components and just having a more chill experience is reflected across other parts of the game as well. The perhaps the most literal instance of this is Ordia's look. It uses a colorful, cartoony aesthetic seen across many mobile titles, but the game has an animation style that makes the whole experience feel ultra smooth. This is further enhanced by the game's haptic feedback and little audio cues for when you're lining up shots.
Ordia extends this “go with the flow” approach to its level progression. Whenever you beat a level, you can move on to the very next level, or opt to skip one ahead instead. Everything in the game seems tailor-made to make sure you have a smooth and satisfying experience, and Ordia really nails things in this regard.
The bottom line
Playing Ordia feels like enjoying some comfort food. It eschews ambition and originality to instead deliver something familiar, comforting, and completely satisfying. Everything in the game serves a purpose, and that purpose is to give you the smoothest platforming experience possible.