Day 183: Oozi: Earth Adventure Ep. 1

Posted: 2011/05/11 in Indie Games

I’m purchasing an Xbox Live Indie Game (XBLIG) every day, seeking out the quality titles that got lost in the shuffle and are not well represented in the top 50 lists on the Xbox Dashboard. Today is day #183, and today’s game is “Oozi: Earth Adventure Ep. 1”.

Oozi: Earth Adventure Ep. 1 was “suggested to WMD by a user on Twitter”, and I’m glad he did. The game is a fantastic revisiting of the mascot platformer era that brought us the likes of Sonic, Bonk, Mario, Cool Spot, Rayman, and so many other characters that console manufacturers and publishers used to brand their studios. Yet this game costs 80 Microsoft Points, a pittance compared to mascot games of old, and has a flavour all its own.

First, from the developer (AwesomeGamesStudio):

“Oozi: Earth Adventure is where classic platformer gameplay meets modern visuals and hand-drawn art. 5 story mode levels, 7 extra challenge levels for hardcore gamers, time limited arcade mode and dozens of enemies. All that for only 80 MSP!”

The game has you running and jumping when the game begins, but over time your bag of tricks will expand to include double-jumping, and even a butt slam. Controls are good, but the excellent level design is what most stands out. Presentation is also0 very strong, with animation that has a lot of personality and music that did the job of creating atmosphere without ever grating on my nerves.

The game’s progression is good, ramping up the difficulty closely in line with the player’s growing experience and newfound abilities, and the game incorporates these abilities into the makeup of the enemies and obstacles in your path to encourage you to experiment with them (such as slamming the ground to flip over enemies that you can’t hurt directly). The game has a story mode (that, yes, does end on a cliffhanger). It also has a score challenge mode where you try to collect as many stars as possible (while destroying enemies and not getting hit), which adds to the replay value for those who are into collect-’em-ups but is best avoided by those who prefer platformers for the pure joy of running, jumping, and exploring.

If I have a gripe it’s that, as the “Ep. 1” in the title suggests, intended to be an episodic series and the game is a bit short. For a title that costs $1, give or take, and has so much going for it, that’s hardly a damning indictment for a game of this quality. There’s still a lot of value here and I’m eagerly awaiting episode 2.

Click here to download “Oozi: Earth Adventure Ep. 1”, and then please come back after playing to rate the game.



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Comments
  1. I enjoyed Oozi too. My one criticism is that the boss fight has no sound. The usual music is there, and Oozi himself makes his accustomed noises, but the boss itself does everything in total silence. An odd experience.

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