Publisher: Badland Publisher
Platforms: PS4, Switch, Xbox One, PC
Reviewed On: Switch
Release Date: 29/06/2021
Reviewed By: Keith Lavelle
Review Rush was kindly supplied with a review code.
It is not every day that a game will come along and the visual style is the one of the major draws for wanting to play. I knew nothing about the game going in to Onirike, besides the fact it looks weird enough to be a Tim Burton film. I had to try.
In Onirike you will play as Prieto in his dreamlike world of the Orb. You are part of a circus, but do not feel as if you belong, as you act and behave differently each night. Whereas the others all repeat the same actions over and over. Prieto is set on finding out his place in the Orb. In order to do this, he will need to help some inhabitants to bring them peace while finding his true nature and place in the Orb.
For Prieto to find his place, he will need to explore the Orb and find the key fragments throughout this dream world. We can collect the key fragments in any order. With the story dynamically changing depending on what Prieto is currently doing.
I have to mention here that the narrater is fantastic. The story is told from a narration point of view, and she does a great job of setting the tone and the mood, but also the different voices for each character.
The gameplay in Onirike is a mix bag, with some aspects feeling better than others. The three fundamental problems for the game these are, the camera, the somewhat floaty controls and there were some frame rate drops.
The camera can be janky, and when jumping for example, the camera can make it harder by moving. This makes judging the jump harder than it should be. This is made as equally hard with the floaty jump that seems to make Prieto stay up for a little too long.
Now the bad is out of the way, lets move on to the rest of the game.
Onirike is an open world platformer that has you on a timer. It is not as bad as it seems; I had the same thoughts as you…. I have a timer. This is going to suck! To my surprise, it is not as bad as it seems and it plays in to the story and the two main mechanics of the game.
Throughout the Orb are gypsophila flowers (or Baby’s Breath), these flowers will stop the residents on the Orb form disappearing completely. As you explore the effects of the gypsophila flowers will wear off and Prieto will eventually turn invisible, then disappear all together. In order to bring him back to having a form you need the gypsophila flowers. Outside of the circus they do not grow. Luckily for us, Prieto, when awake, can collect them and plant them wherever he needs them on the Orb. With just one button and they instantly grow. Doing this is the most important mechanic in the game.
As I stated, Onirike has has two mechanics that use the gypsophila flowers. There is the ability to turn Prieto invisible. This is majorly important. In the Orb are monsters called the devour of souls that will attack and well devour the soul of anything it touches. And the only way to get past them unspotted is to go invisible, then when out of danger turn visible again with a gypsophila flower. The other ability is a dash that will see Prieto shoot forward to escape the Devours this will use up the flowers power and if used to long will render Prieto invisible.
I really thought that collecting and planting gypsophila flowers would be tedious, but it feels like second nature after an hour or so. Onirike is not perfect, but the story and the narration kept me coming back for more. The story genuinely shocked me; I was not expecting it to grip me like it did.
Overall, I enjoyed my time with Onirike, despite the controls and camera issues. I found the story enough to keep me engaged. With a weird and wonderful world to explore, it is something different indeed.
I feel the graphics will put a lot of players off this one, but it is in my humble opinion worth a shot.