Bite Sized Reviews: Little Odyssey

  • Author:
  • Date:

Bite Sized Reviews: Little Odyssey

There’s something oddly relaxing about doing something so mundane.

Even taking something as simple as ‘Fantasy Delivery Boy’ into account, I’ve found a strange kinship with games that make boring concepts addictive to play. Death Stranding took that idea and dialled it all the way up to what I call ‘Batshit Insane’. It’s a game that I’m still trying to understand. I’ve had difficulty getting into Death Stranding, although that is because I chicken out of the anomalies that hunt me down. Having to deal with them when trying to make deliveries while carrying a baby in a glass tube isn’t my idea of a fun Saturday night. I prefer cosy nights in, making sure my death colony in Rimworld thrives.

Back to Death Stranding. Despite all my struggles getting into the game, the way it turns travel into a deep game mechanic is fascinating. Managing weight loads for balance and navigating mountainous terrain should not be as engrossing as it is, but I’ve been surprised before. When I just need something simple to relax, I do ‘dull’ things in games. Euro Truck Simulator 2 is a great example: driving across the world while listening to podcasts or random stuff on YouTube is a great way to unwind. It’s not the only one for the ‘truck sim’ vibes I love. I’ve played X4 Foundations a great deal over the past year, largely roleplaying as a wealthy explorer. I’ve racked up dozens of hours just sitting in my spaceship while my pilot ferries me across the galaxy like an unpaid taxi driver. I’m weird. I find things like that fun.

That was a long introduction, huh? Little Odyssey is a strange little game that scratches the ‘mundane but engrossing’ itch. And that’s the reason why I rambled about glorified delivery boy games earlier! The work of single developer Simon Fita, Little Odyssey launched on Steam last week. I hope it gets some attention because this is a meditative zen game if there was one. You also get to ride a giant pet turtle. And you can pet him. That wins awards on its own.

The core of Little Odyssey is incredibly simple. Set in a small desert world, the player is tasked with exploring this strange landscape with their turtle companion. Besides that, this is the primary goal of the game. The graphics are cute and while they aren’t particularly amazing, the ambience of the world is fantastic. I really felt like I was part of the Tongs Delta. The graphics combine 2D character models with 3D environments, and it works better than you might think. Combined with the sounds of the world, playing Little Odyssey is rather absorbing!

As for game mechanics, it’s a little deeper than one might expect. The main gameplay revolves around small delivery jobs and upgrading the adorable Turtle mount, but you have some things to consider. Cargo space is limited, so you need to be careful what contracts to take when travelling from village to village. As the Tongs Delta is a desert world, water is scarce and valuable. The cute little Turtle needs his water sips as much as you do, so Little Oddysey does provide some additional challenges to consider. Despite these extra roadblocks, the game has no time constraints. The game plays to the pace of the player, which is just as well. Turtles aren’t well known for being racing cars! Simon has balanced the relaxing heart of his game with just enough mechanics to make the journey exciting. While the game is simple in design, it is surprisingly engaging.

Interaction with the turtle and other villages across the world continues. They’re all basic with a few lines of dialogue, but it is worth talking to them. Sure, some NPCs tell jokes my dad would be proud of, but they always bring a smile to my face. Riding the turtle around the world while listening to the howl of desert winds is immersive and satisfying. Little Odyssey has nailed these little moments. Of course, I keep him happy with little pets. He deserves them.

It is a little more intensive technically than I expected. While it’s perfectly playable on modest hardware, I found my old laptop struggling a little, especially heat-wise. That’s more down to my ancient machine’s internals than anything in Little Odyssey, but it is something to think about. There aren’t any real ways to tweak graphical options, and there’s no way to go into settings from the main menu as of yet. I would like the developer to add these in, as it is a basic QOL feature.

In terms of stability, I haven’t come across any bugs right now, but I did run into some weird crashes when testing it on my Steam Deck LCD. While playable, it ended up crashing a couple of times. One time it forced the Steam Deck to completely reboot, losing all the progress I had. One of the reviews on Steam recommended switching to Proton 9.0-1. After some last-minute tests, I can confirm that Little Odyssey works as intended while using the specific Proton version. While it lacks controller support, it plays great with the Keyboard and Mouse control settings in Steam OS, and there are already several community profiles to try out.

I need to play more Little Odyssey, but as early impressions go, I’m enjoying myself. It’s deeply relaxing to play, and the pet turtle is adorable. Games are improved with cute animals. While the gameplay is simple, that’s the whole point of the game. There’s just enough management to keep me engaged while I explore the world and deliver packages to people across the Tongs Delta. It needs more quality of life features in the settings, and perhaps a few more ways to interact with the world, but this is a solid little game.

A charming and cute exploration game that’s surprisingly engagingLacks some quality of life features. I would like to see more graphic settings
You can pet and ride a giant, adorable turtleController support not implemented yet
Excellent sound design sells the ambience when travelling through the worldSurprisingly intensive on hardware
Low price tagSteam Deck requires the Proton 9.0-1 version while playing this, or you will crash

About the Author

TheThousandScarAuthor/Blogger/Cartographer/Streamer/Narrative Game Writer/I play far too many games. |

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

SassyGamers © 2019 - 2024