There used to be a sad Saturday night TV show (Animal Man?) in which an American actor could transmute himself into various different animals. It was popular and TV chiefs realised that there was a market for tat action series featuring sun-tanned, sinewy, silver-tongued heroes. These guys were always on the right side of the law, never had much luck with the ladies, and had a variety of stupid powers. Odyssey could quite easily have taken its inspiration from this old relic of syndicated pap. Though it's no crime if the spin-off is better than the source of an idea.
Following hot on the heels of the 32-bit version of Exile comes a game which looks to share a lot of the other game's code. Odyssey is another good-looking platform romp from Audiogenic, in which your task (if you choose to accept it) is to defeat your uncle, the tyrant who has slaughtered your father -the King - and taken over his castle. To do this, you first have to discover the power locked inside various crystals and harness it, using your late friend the wizard's guidance to overcome the obstacles placed in your path.
You begin the game as a human and I doubt that you'd be rejected from Airwolf auditions. You're mean, lean, and keen to bust ass (or something), armed with a sword, lovely flowing locks, and your wits. You must explore some of the islands on which the crystals are secreted. No easy task, this and made more difficult by the minions employed by your evil uncle to stop you from re-usurping him. There are all manner of elves, trolls, gnomes, and traps in your path to reclaiming the throne. Many respond to a quick assault from your trusty weapon, though violence is not always the best way to proceed.
Globes may be lit up en route to record your last point of safety. You can return to the last lit globe if you die, which saves a certain amount of swearing and joystick-against-knee beating. The key objective is to find the crystals. Once obtained, you are able to transform into different creatures and use their unique powers to make your way into, over and through things which were previously closed to you.
After a few minutes of exploration it becomes apparent that there is a lot more to Odyssey than meets the eye. One thing which Audiogenic has always been good at is making players think as well as react, and Odyssey will certainly do that. Puzzles are always solvable, but often taxing on your character's health, and your grey matter, to defeat. Thankfully there is no time limit to make life more crappy than it already is and, when that damn intelligent boulder has run you down for the eightieth time, you're going to be thankful for small mercies.
Odyssey looks okay, pretty, even, but it's great to report that more attention has been placed on getting the playability just right. It's no pushover, but a competent player could possibly complete this during a week of very late nights, which is about right. Odyssey has that "Oh come off it, ref, that eagle was way offside!" quality about it that makes computer games so damn compulsive. The best ones, anyway.
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