Omno Review – A serene journey of discovery

Omno is a lovely game. Rather than teach the player from the first moment, it promotes a sense of exploration. The main character is a silent onion-headed avatar, in a new land, filled with creatures and puzzles just waiting to be discovered.

Omno evokes comparisons with Journey due to the style, and gameplay. It’s a serene journey that avoids combat, while still giving the player a fantastic sense of wonder as they explore each new area and land. It combines music, graphics, and gameplay to evoke the sense of the unknown throughout.

Omno’s focus is on minimalism, using only a few words to teach the player the basic mechanics of the game, whether it be a button press required or a new ability. Throughout the game, players will earn four different abilities, such as a fast dash allowing players to cover distances in moments.

Omno’s main gameplay is focused on giving players a large area to explore. There’s an object that will fill in the player’s map to help find glowing orbs but otherwise, it’s up to the player to search the area. Each orb will expect players to use their abilities as best they can to solve small and interesting puzzles. After finding three of the glowing orbs, a final puzzle will activate and allow players to move to the next location, while the game will also allow players to continue to explore the current location.

Each location in Omno contains four to six of the power orbs, as well as three glyphs that have a small amount of writing on them, and a series of animals that can range from required to solve a puzzle, to just interesting creatures to interact with. If players want to fully complete an area (and earn an achievement) they’ll have to discover everything, though most of these discoveries can happen from a casual trip throughout the land.

The puzzles in Omno are well designed. Each ability and area present a new theme for the game to dwell on, and I was impressed that each area felt like it explored an idea for its puzzles, but each puzzle and area felt diverse and different. There are 11 areas, and a new ability is earned every two areas. That sounds like the game would be forced to repeat the same idea, but again, Omno can create fresh takes on common designs.

However, with all of that information, the most amazing thing about Omno is its development. This is a game created by a single developer from Germany named Jonas Manke. The more I read about the development process the more impressed I am with the final product. While he worked with a musician for the beautiful ambiance, everything else appears to be from his work and Omno is incredible due to that.

Yet, there are a few small issues. The in-game UI, particularly the bestiary, really doesn’t fit with the theme and look of the game. It feels like it was a placeholder attempt that may have needed a second pass. Similarly, the writing in the game didn’t feel necessary and after finishing Omno, again this mostly in the form of the glyph objects. The glyphs could have been changed into something else for players to find, essentially some other form of collectibles.

Truthfully I did have one major bug appear in the game. As I was about sixty percent through the game, I had to restart the game due to a sound issue, and Omno lost my save file. While Omno is only about four hours long, I have to say I was more than a little peeved at that. Yet I still returned to see the remainder of the game, because Omno is still a beautiful serene tale, and before I reached the same point it had lulled me back into its gorgeous experience.

Ultimately the journey of Omno is incredible. It’s an exquisite experience that should not be missed and one that I’m glad I sat through though. Even though I played through it one and a half times, I still will say every moment was worth it, and I recommend it to everyone.

I give Omno an arbitrary

8/10

I’d rank Omno lower due to the lost save issue, but I trust the developer is working hard to get all the kinks out of the game, and I don’t believe that specific issue would happen frequently. In hindsight, the one game I did ding because of a horrible bug, Yakuza 0, is the one review I wish I could rectify, so I will call out the issues here, but still give Omno the score it deserves once its issues are resolved.

If you enjoyed this and want to see more from me, you can check out my youtube channel at
https://www.youtube.com/c/KinglinkReviews

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