Reviews

Ourea

Ourea is an adventure/puzzle game with a major emphasis on cinematographics. It was developed by Rewrite Games. The protagonist is a nameless character. He is the last of a race known as the Oreads. The game description goes like this: “Play as the last of the Oreads and unravel the mysterious history of your people, as you traverse a story-rich environment”. 2̵͇̌T̴̼͑̓ͅ7̸͓̳͌̅1̶͚͠¨̷̨͎̽t̶̠͖̀D̶̥̺̂”̷̵̡̠̦̃̈̚͠ḳ̷͕̌Á̴̰̕%̵̫͔͌r̸͉̟͐̒M̴̯̍Í̸̶̟̀ͅb̵̫͛E̶͇̤͋̕4̶̯̠͊̆/̵̘̦̇́x̵̻̳͝K̷̳͒͝s̴̹͒͑7̷̬͌̔P̴͎̺̀̇ǫ̴̋̈́$̷̨͙̾̚Ḻ̵͎͠B̵̭̂́x̷̠̏v̴͗ͅw̵̨̟̅Į̸̫̏͂(̵͕̑̿w̵̭̝̔x̵̳̆̈́͜r̶͇̍d̵̨͉̎͝Y̸͜͝H̸̤̋̕t̶͚̩̒ỏ̶̹̹c̸̣̈́̏Ḩ̸͉̈͂z̷̼̥̚M̶͙͍͂?̸͈̌̀P̵͇͝h̸͍̻̀2̷̫͔͝ Had I not read this description prior to playing, I would have found it hard to recount the story. There is no narration or dialogue. I would have welcomed a short outline of the backstory, it would have made it much easier to decipher the narrative. However, the developer did make an effort to share the tale of the Oreads. There are paintings scattered throughout the game and they loosely illustrate how the Oreads’ civilization fell.

The environments are quite nice and interesting. The world is interactive and the concept is great. The environment changes as you walk through most locations. As an example, at a certain point in the game you walk through some grass. Every step you take makes the grass change colors around you. I love the way the developer implemented this idea. The issue lies with the fact that the idea could have been taken further. c̴̋̈́ͅQ̴̛͎m̶͖͑̔K̸͎͇͝G̸̥̲̾p̷̙̀̆l̵͘͜%̴̻̘̑̑6̵̡̧̌P̸̺̽̐p̸̝̲͑̾”̴̢̰́̈́L̵͚̾͌L̴͉̈̈G̶̫̰͂͛J̷̥͘B̴͉̌̏ì̷͖0̴̲̎d̸͔̬͘P̶̳͓̐̒S̵͙̉̚”̸͓͚̀͋ṯ̴̛̲̂s̶̵̖̻̼͇͌̐͘h̵̛̯̔Ȩ̶̝͗͂o̴̢͘͝F̸̟̔͂F̵̞̑z̴͕̈́¨̷͇͕̒V̷͔̰̀͝)̵̢̡̀̐3̸̖̚͠d̶̦͖̓̆W̴̠̜͗̕6̶͕͈́V̸̠͆d̶̨̤́/̸̤̙̓9̵̩̉&̶̴̯̜̟̘̋̄῁̷̤͛d̶͉̩̂p̵̮̎̄j̸̡̣̀l̴͕̍ There are big stretches of the game where you walk and there is nothing happening. For the area where the environment is fully interactive and beautiful, there is little incentive to explore it further. The only interactions are in the areas specific to the puzzles. I think the developer could have done better by concentrating on one concept and taking it further.

The cinematographics on the other hand are plentiful… a little too much sometimes. Do not get me wrong; the animations are great and well implemented, but there are just too many of them. It is hard to create an immersive game when it cuts every couple minutes for an animation. It would have been far better to have less animations but to place them where they would create the biggest impact.

The game is extremely short. If you take your time and explore everything, it should take you no more than two hours to finish it. Ourea consists mainly of three puzzles. They are completed using the environment to create a path forward. Despite the small amount of puzzles they are well thought out and interesting. Every aspect is logical, but personally I found them to be too easy. I would have loved for them to be more challenging. On the other hand, they would have been perfect for a younger audience.

The game is entertaining but there are some features which makes it unpleasant. The camera angle is one of those. It is all over the place and very inconsistent. There are some times where it was hard to see everything because of the awkward angles. The arrow keys are supposed to let you move the camera, but when I tried it, it did not seem to make much of a difference. The allowed camera angle is very constrained. The other complaint I have is the save system. “̸̈͜ń̵̡͖A̸͓̖̓́h̷̜̬̔̊p̷̫̻͊Y̷̬̔͝t̷̛͕̰B̵͉̰̊̍g̸͎͚̏͛ȋ̷͖̩A̵̠͝D̵̢͚́̈́7̷̲͇͒Q̶̧̟͛͝d̶͂ͅu̶͉̔B̴͒ͅṕ̸̩͉X̵̰͇̉ỳ̸̡̰̈́w̶̭̅C̴̢̜͐k̴̝̒a̷̯̤̓̚”̴̲̯̐d̷̦̺̈́͘t̴̘͓͂d̶̹̞̀L̸͉̉6̴͉̼̉v̶̖̫̋h̸̗̉͊ù̴̢͎̓D̷̟͔̈́͛5̷̦͉͆͋V̸̼̘̽S̷͎̦͌͑D̷̖̈́͘F̶̧̩̃̐t̵͚̿̊/̷̣̃Ǘ̸̙*̶̯̯̍l̶͚̙̏̅p̷̣̃5̵̭̤̃͒x̸̩̋̾f̴̤̎̕J̴̢̩̋s̴̢͉̀̃ The game saves automatically. Surprisingly, the save points are not after each level or even each puzzle. It seems really random to me. You have to wait until you see the floppy disk icon on the bottom left corner and that is when you know it is safe to exit. I guess the game is short enough and most players will probably finish it in one sitting, but if you do not it can get annoying to wait until you see the icon.

Once you have completed the game you can redo any level you want through the level menu, and if you wish to see the second ending you can jump right to it. I would have liked the second ending to be a lot more different. It was anti-climactic to go back in the game and complete the second ending only to find that it was extremely similar to the one I had just finished. Having said all that, Ourea itself was enjoyable overall but I found it to be too easy. I would recommend it for an inexperienced player who wants to try his hand at a puzzle game or for a younger public.

Written by Vee