Devolver Digital continues its love affair with moody pixelated action games with Olija.
This one has you exploring a mysterious land after Lord Faraday and his crew are left stranded, and it’s your job to find a way back home.
Things become complicated once you come across a cursed harpoon that grants a sort of teleport power; it seems the locals are averse to this weapon.
The game is a balance of simple puzzles, exploration, and combat, with the harpoon central to it all.
Throw it at an enemy or certain objects, and you can dash to that point, allowing you to freely move through various environments. It’s fun to use, and grows in utility; you can use it as a makeshift platform, to navigate through the air, and it eventually can carry a charge, letting you turn on electrical switches.
In terms of combat, harpooning an enemy and then dashing into them for a follow-up is rather satisfying.
Additionally, you’ll unlock various side weapons which, while useful in some scenarios, don’t lend an awful lot to combat, which can be navigated quite handily with your main attacks.
That’s not to say there aren’t some entertaining fights, though, with some creative boss encounters. Unlockable hats grant extra perks too, as well as make you more fashionable.
When you’re not spearing baddies, there are many things to discover: keys to unlock new areas, map pieces that open up the world, and your old crewmates in need of rescue.
As you progress, a safe hub will grow, and you can put money into things like an alchemist that offers health upgrades, a sailor you can pay to go and find treasure, and more. Visually, Olija might not look like much, but you’d be surprised how atmospheric it is.
A handful of bugs aside, this is an intriguing adventure worth taking.