Orn the Tiny Forest Sprite LadiesGamers.com

Orn: The Tiny Forest Sprite Review ( Nintendo Switch)

Game: Orn The Tiny Forest Sprite
Genre: Action| Adventure|Platform
System: Nintendo Switch ( Also on Steam)
Publishers|Developers: FIVE12 Games
Age Rating: EU 7+| USA E
Price: US $8.99|CA $ not available| AU $ 15.00| £8.99|€10.99
Release date: 24th January 2020

Review code used many Thanks to FIVE12 Games

FIVE12 games a two man indie games development team based in England, has released Orn The Tiny Forest Sprite on the Nintendo Switch. Orn is a 3D side scrolling platform game inspired by both classic and modern platform games.

Light and Dark

Orn the Tiny Forest sprite’s storyline is the usual good versus evil or dark versus light tale. Nalu a dark lord is threatening to destroy all the light and leave nothing but darkness. The Ancients descended from the heavens above and drove Nalu back to where she came from. They knew that would not be the last they had seen of Nalu though. Orn the Forest Sprite is sent to collect Soul Stones which will help seal away the Dark Lord forevermore. Unfortunately the story doesn’t expand too much from what I described above during further gameplay.

As the player, you take control of Orn through five chapters which are all open to play once you finish the tutorial, which does an adequate job of explaining the control layout to the player.

Abilities and Runes

On Orn’s journey he collects three Runes: Terra, Frost and Darkroot. These runes grant Orn special abilities. The Terra Rune enables Orn to Dash, to make an earthy platform appear between some gaps and it also makes plant enemies wilt and decay. The Darkroot Rune helps Orn pass through hollow barriers that appear in his path and finally the Frost Rune helps Orn past a fiery obstacles plus it lets you warp.

All the abilities are mapped by the game to the directional buttons and when they work they are interesting. Note the “when they work” that I typed above. Because more often than not when you press a direction button nothing happens. Having an ability not work while you’re playing Orn isn’t brilliant if you’re relying on  it. For example, Orn was floating on a raft down a river, and he came upon a barrier. I pressed the Darkroot rune to remove said barrier. However, the ability fails to work and Orn is pushed off the raft and into the river. Game over for me….so sorry Orn: not my fault!

Jump and the Magic Meter

With a platform game you know you’ll have a lot of jumping to do. In that respect Orn the Tiny Forest Sprite is faithful to the genre as Orn has plenty of gaps to jump over. One of the first items Orn picks up on his travels through the forest is a Moon Drip which turns out to be a magical fruit.

It gives Orn the ability to Jump and also places a magic meter in the top left corner of the screen which reduces when Orn jumps.  I can hear you thinking: that’s not to unusual in a game! However, the one fruit that Orn found is the only one in the whole game, you don’t collect fruit to replenish or fill up the magic meter after you jump.

Nope, No Collecting of Fruit!

Instead of doing my best to find more of these delicious Moon Drips, I had to constantly press the Y button to fill the meter, every time Orn jumps over something.

It goes like this, press, press, press, Jump, press, press, press to fill the meter up again to jump! Strangely, using the Runes does not deplete the magic meter. So instead of depleting it by using your magic, it depletes by jumping!

It’s the most maddening and exasperating way to Jump I’ve ever come across in a platform game. If you miss a jump, and you will as there are lots of gaps to cross, you’re sent back to the last Shrine Stone. That Stone  is a checkpoint where Orn spawns with, you guessed it, an empty meter. The Shrine Stones are few and far in between so you end up in a sequence of re-spawning, mashing the Y button to fill the empty meter, jumping, dying, spawning, mashing and seeing the same section of the game over and over.

In my opinion it would have made more sense to use the magic meter to power up the runes. Using it to power a normal jump is a strange choice in my opinion, especially since you have to constantly mash the Y-button or you can’t jump.

Lush Colours

With an art style influenced by Japanese and Mayan culture and cell shading that’s full of bright lush colours I have to admit that the art style does remind me of Okami, which has a similar style.

Even though I do like the art style and the look of the game overall, the game environments can hamper the gameplay as the foreground blocks your view of Orn and he disappears behind something. Maybe is a deliberate move on the part of the developers though. It makes the game harder if you can’t see the character you are meant to be controlling. It also added to my feeling of irritation over the jump-meter….


Visually Orn the Tiny Forest Sprite looks good, with the bright lush colours in Japanese style. The idea behind the platformer of progressing through the levels clearing away all obstacles using the runes is a nice one. But sadly, the way you fill up the jump meter, and the problems it causes spoils the gameplay for me.

There is an update due out for Orn The Tiny Forest Sprite between the 3rd February – 21st February 2020 that “will be focused on improving game and character special ability performance.” It should be said at the time of writing this review, Orn had not received its update. Hopefully it changes or improves the use of the magic meter.

If you have stayed with me, reading until now, I thank you! You will have probably already guessed what my score is for Orn The Tiny Forest Sprite….

Final Verdict: I Don’t Like It I Don't like

One comment

  1. Christ, I’m glad I saw this review before shelling out money for this. I was drawn in by the visual similarity to Okami, which is definitely one of the best ever – I thought that the influence from such a great game might lead to another great, or at least good, game.

    Welp. Guess not.

    Forreal, you’re doing the world a service lol.

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