This is something new, we don’t usually do it but Oddmar was so bloody good it needed to be done. This is Oddmar, on iPhone. Our first but hopefully not our last mobile game review and after just watching the intro, then moving about for 30 seconds I find it incredible that this is a mobile game!
Oddmar, ginger beard, axe and shield toting, a Viking, a loner, outsider… ridiculed and laughed at by his Viking peers for being unworthy. Unworthy of Valhalla. He must overcome his self doubt and prove himself a true Viking.
Developed by MobGE and published by Senri, Oddmar was released on the 19th of April (a day early in fact) for the reasonable price of £4.99 at the iPhone App Store.
The greedy Viking chief singles out Oddmar, orders him into the forest to loot and burn it to the ground. Not because he has faith in Oddmar, but because Oddmar has never been on a raid or defended the village and also because he despises him. Isolated and orphaned, Oddmar has nobody in his corner, not even his best mate who went missing years ago. The forest he goes. All of the above is animated and narrated in gorgeous fashion.
We begin with what at first looks like your typical side scroller, a platformer in the same vein as Rayman, Mario or Sonic etc. Oddmar must traverse the gorgeously crafted landscapes of he Viking realms – Midgard, Alfheim, Joyunheim and Helheim – scenery of dense forest, dark caves and snowy mountains with boss fights at the end of each realm and dreamscapes filled with cavernous amounts of gold – Scrooge McDuck style. The beautiful crafted art style compliments the Nordic theme exceptionally well and the 2D/3D landscapes are stunning.
The adventure is read you by actor Julian Casey putting many A-list voice actors to shame. Voicing all characters in the story in the way a dad would be reading a bedtime tale to his children. With pounds of enthusiasm and flair, I feel the game was a real treat – a present to myself.
Even though platformers are a dime a dozen, Oddmar shines brightly because it does it so well and keeps you on your toes by turning things around often. The first few levels are the standard fair (running left to right) for the genre but then it shakes things up by having to climb higher and higher to avoid the rising spikes or descending thousands of meters into the depths of the goblin tunnels. The dreamscapes are short challenge runs within a stage and are brought about by getting burped on by some purple goblin. In which you are forced along, to the end of the gauntlet by a horde of vikings giving chase aside from one such scape, this one is made of trickery – platforms disappear and walls appear to throw you off.
Riding a wild boar or a squirrel with wings, riding your shield down the water rapids or mechanised platforms… it’s a sure bet that Oddmar safely escapes any sort of stagnation.
Movement and combat. Wouldn’t be a Viking game without some scuffles eh. There are five weapons to unlock, all with different properties – an axe, sword, hammer, spear and double-blades axe – and four shields each with some snazzy elemental effects. Left and right movement is done with the left thumb, jumping and scaling walls is done with a flick of your right. Combat is a one touch combo system tapping your right thumb – this keeps things uncomplicated and easy to pick up. These controls are finely tuned and responsive which is absolutely vital for gaming on any touchscreen.
We follow Oddmar’s journey of vindication, redemption and exultation, coming into contact with friends new and old, curses, illusions… gods. A stellar game that would be at home on any platform, it’s so good the fact that it’s on a mobile device nearly absurd. Credit where it’s due, MobGE are a talented team.
Brilliantly beautiful, whimsical and charming, Oddmar is a pure pleasure to play. The musical score is perfection, voice acting is sublime and the gameplay is spot on. Although micro transactions are the norm these days and mobile games are rife with them, usually helping to support free to play games. Oddmar however is not free to play and features no micro transactions… I know not many buy people buy mobile games but I cannot fault this little gem.
OVERALL: 8.9/10 – GREAT
Written by Michael Jones.