OMNO review (PS4)

A charming 3D puzzle platformer developed by Jonas Manke (Studio Inkyfox) and published by Future Friends, OMNO is here for both PCs and consoles. We’re reviewing the PlayStation version.

From its Kickstarter roots until now, OMNO has clearly been a labor of love for Manke, and after years of mostly solo work the efforts have definitely paid off. Much like games like Limbo and Flower, his game doesn’t feature a narrative or dialogue to tell its story, yet it all comes across with a tremendous amount of charm and style.

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Instead of following some kind of story premise, you just start out in an enchanting alien world and are left to discover and uncover it on your own. There aren’t any real dangers or combat in the game, but you can pick up little spheres and these seem to open up additional areas as long as you also solve the puzzle and platforming challenging that stand in between you and those spheres.

None of these puzzles or platforming sequences are especially unique if you’ve played games in the genre before, but the relaxing pace at which you explore the game’s world creates a nice flow that is hard to leave behind. When traversing OMNO things can feel a bit slow, but this is where your magical staff comes in – you can stick it into the ground in front of you to make it act like a rail that you can grind on for faster travel.

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On top of just progressing through the game and uncovering what the world has to offer through puzzles and platforming, there’s also an exploration and collection element in seeing all of the game’s animals and adding them to your bestiary. While that may sound like a chore to some, the animals in OMNO – like the rest of the world – often look enchanting, with many of them resembling dinosaurs. And who doesn’t love dinosaurs?

OMNO doesn’t provide the narrative platforming thrills of a game like Ratchet & Clank or the satisfaction of solving fiendishly clever puzzles, but its mellow and mostly frustration-free approach to both genres is a very enjoyable one that’s hard to put down. A great way to unwind for an evening or two, and a very impressive solo effort from Jonas Manke.

Score: 7.7/10

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