O.G Willikers - There are small load times: This is not a deal breaker for me (Princess KK really doesn’t care at all) but I do find it odd that such a small and simple game has a more notable load time on my SSD than some AAA high production releases with big open worlds.
Princess Kuchi Kopi - It seems like mob mentality, but there is some light strategy: When I first started playing Okhlos, I could tell right away it was a fun game, but not if it was a quality game. I thought it seemed like it was going to be pure mindless madness. Yet over time, I found myself adapting certain small strategies. When do you charge in versus guarding? Which civilians should make up my mob? Which items to carry or what heroes do you start as? These are all small choices but they do make a difference and as I learned the ins and outs, I moved past my own kill, kill, kill mentality and instead tried to manipulate the games mechanics to my favor.
OGW - It can be a little experimental at first: There were some small things left out in the tutorial and dangers that are tossed at the player early on without explanation. For example there is an enemy that has the ability to heal every other enemy on a map just by existing. His heal rate is high enough that until later play throughs its almost impossible to kill other enemies before taking him out. Yet, how would you know this til you run into it. There are numerous instances like this and some will flat out get you killed. The optional bosses especially may steam roll players new to Okhlos.
OGW - There are some funny jokes and light history to break things up: Wait, HOW did his arm get so big? OOOOO I got it! Dude was wanking it, they totally meant he was wanking it! Okhlos has a sense of humor at times that will put a smile on a lot of people’s face. Another example would be the description for Oedpis “He ruins family reunions!” For those more dry of soul or intellectual in nature, there are also a number of interesting little references to things like the Odyssey.
Princess KK - Some light rogue like elements: As you complete runs, you unlock new heroes to add to your starting mob for minor effects like a pushback or boosting a random stat. While playing after every stage you complete, there will also be a hero exchange option. You can trade in several of your less useful civilians for a named hero with special effects. These elements do not suddenly turn Okhlos into Binding of Isaac or Dungeon of the Endless, but they go a long way in adding variety that makes new runs interesting.
Princess KK - One of the coolest ending credits ever: At the end of the game you find yourself in a hall on a red carpet. The carpet is lined with wooden billboards that list the games various areas of production such as the audio/visual teams as well as the games various units standing on the carpet. Each unit represents a team or a person who actually worked on the game and as you add them to your mob, you get a pop-up letting you know the teams/person’s name. If you want, you can then choose to only pick up units for areas you are interested in, or just run straight to the end because you don’t give a flying minotaur’s butt about who made the game. We both really enjoyed this creative way of presenting the credits!
OGW- Some bosses are not hard, just frustrating: Several of the bosses rely less on damage and more on status attacks. The problem with this is that I often felt like these attacks were serving more as annoyances and hurdles than true threats. They tended to drag out the battle without really increasing difficulty. The difficulty I did find often came in the next level, since after beating the boss a lot of times my mob was at a third of its usual size. The size reduction was not because citizens were dead, but because I beat the boss while they were not part of my merry band of violent doers. This makes it so defeating certain bosses is a lot like taking a vacation with an impatient dad, members not in your mob get left at the last gas station.
OGW– Rogue-like elements are strong with this one: Rogue-likes, by nature, all have randomness, but the degree of randomness varies. In Okhlos, the randomness overall is fair, but every once and awhile can be really brutal. The main cause of this are a few really tough enemies like soldiers who kamikaze themselves wearing explosive barrels or optional bosses you might not know to avoid on your early runs.
OGW - A truly unique game: The closest comparison either of us can think of would be a cross between Pikmin and Katamari Damacy as you essentially are leading a chaotic ball of humanity around stages destroying things and collecting more minions.
OGW - Those who suck at Twin sticks need not apply: Princess KK found she had trouble with Okhlos due to the fact she was inexperienced/not great with twin stick games. It was a lot for her to wrap her brain around trying to multitask directing a mob with one stick, her own actions with another and still timing blocks or item use properly. Thankfully, the base challenge of Okhlos sits in a place where she still was able to button mash/recklessly attack attack attack through a fair chunk of the game!
Princess KK - Audio was frantic, catchy, up-beat, retro, bouncy: This is some of the most enjoyable music we have experienced in a while. Many of the songs really got OGW tapping his foot or smiling. Most importantly, the music did a great job of keeping the go-go-go, push-push-push, kill-kill-kill mob mentality going. Some of the mob noises got annoying REAL fast though.
Princess Kuchi Kopie- Holy. Freekin. Majoly! Chaos does not describe this game well enough! Okhlos is fast, fun, mob chaos at its best! Since I did not play video games when I was younger, except for a few on the Genesis, I was not really used to the clunky pixel art. But while charging my mob in Okhlos or running away like chickens with our heads cut off, I did not seem to even notice what the art was. I was just way too busy trying to control the madness. I was decent at this game but if I would have had the video gaming experience of twinstick games, like O.G Willikers, I might have actually stood a chance at this game! This was also one of my first ventures into a rouge-like video game. What fun! I really enjoyed the fact that the stages changed on you and you never knew what enemies you were going to face. Though, the first 3 times I played, I had HORRENDOUS luck. There were men that blew up right away—I had no idea they were there, so I lost like 28 out of 30 of my mob…3 FREEKIN’ Times!! OGW was watching, laughing as he had already played around 12 games and only once or twice had ran into the exploding enemies! But Okhlos was still such a blast! I also enjoyed the creativity that the developers had with this game—Hades is supposed to be dark and scary (He’s the freaking God of the Underworld), yet when he takes his hood off, he is just a regular looking guy in his mid-50’s with grey hair and some pretty cool glasses! This game may be my new game to play when my ADD and anger have collided—what could be more therapeutic than taking an unruly mob, running around like crazy with them and destroying everything in your path? Ah therapy I can actually get behind!
O.G Willikers - We have been blessed to play so many great, unique games recently! Ellipsis, Concrete Jungle, 80 Days and now Okhlos joins that fine company. In nearly 30 years of gaming, I can think of many games that I have played that share some of Okhlos’s mechanics, but I can honestly say I have never played a mob simulator! Sweet baby Jebus is running an angry mob more enjoyable than I ever could have possibly believed! It is so fun at times running an angry hoard that I just got caught up in their frantic, smash, smash, kill, kill mentality and forgot to use some of the games deeper inner workings! Those inner workings some may never even pay attention to as they get caught up in that kill, smash mentality which is just so fun, but Okhlos is still a game of skill, so it will be to their detriment.
Players need to learn how to block properly for MOST enemies (some are better to just attack relentlessly), they need to learn proper hero tradeoffs (which are worth it and which are not), they need to learn when to use or store items and how to control the mob’s morale. Without these skills, any player who just chooses to attack, smash, and kill will find themselves bottoming out by the third or fourth stage. Personally, I feel like that’s a respectable distance to let players attack senselessly and that to finish the second half of the game you SHOULD have to sack up and show some skill!
All in all, I enjoyed Okhlos enough that I will return to it from time to time until I finish unlocking all its content. Even after unlocking all of the games content, I can see myself still returning because there just really is nothing like this Katamari meets Pikmin mob simulator!