System: Nintendo Switch (also available on Steam (Windows))
Developer | Publisher: room6, G-mode | yokaze, G-mode
Age Rating: USA E | EU 3+
Price: USD $19.99 | UK £17.59 | EU €19.50
Release Date: August 31st, 2023
Review code used, with many thanks to G-mode
Nowadays, when people purchase a video game, a few factors come into play to engage the player and make them get the most out of it. OU is a game focused on its art and narrative, keeping the player entertained and interested for a while. But certain minimal features sometimes make the experience a bit slow.
“Between somewhere and someone.”
The game plot is set in a place called U-chronia, a beautiful pen-drawn world that exists in past memories. You play as OU, a boy who wakes up without any memories of who he is or what’s his story. Zarry, an opossum with a flaming tail, appears at the beginning and guides OU so he can find his story.
Some beings in the world affect the story and change the course of the journey. The Saudage Specter (saudage meaning something similar to nostalgia) follows OU in certain moments, trying to eat him. “La Llorona,” a weeping woman that symbolizes tragedy. There is Gemini, an exact version of OU, but slightly different. And finally, there is Seer, a tall woman with a brush. Other than them, there are a few more creatures.
The game’s mechanics are very simple, which can be good or bad, depending on the type of experience you are looking for. The game loop consists of moving forward with Zarry and interacting with objects in the environment using throwing stickers found throughout the levels. Each level is quite short; sometimes, there is nothing to do but praise the beautifully made background.
Only later in the game do you find an objective to follow and, eventually, a new action to interact with the surroundings. As I mentioned, these mechanics are straightforward and simple enough to focus on relaxing and engaging more with the story and soothing music. But if you are looking for a more dynamic experience, then OU might not meet those expectations.
Visuals and Sound
Without a doubt, the visuals of this game are one of its biggest strengths. Using stories from children’s literature and a pen-drawn style, the art of this game is captivating. It reminded me of the Studio Ghibli style but with its personality. The soothing atmosphere and beautiful colors make the experience worthwhile.
Regarding the music and sound effects, they were matching and relaxing to the game world. It is lovely guitar music playing in the background, but it can get monotonous if you plan to play this game for a long time without a break. Still, it is beautiful and soothing, which adds to the experience.
Having mentioned OU’s factors, to also refer to certain things that made my experience a little dull or uninteresting, there are the following: Between dialogues, actions, and almost every animation movement, there was a long delay on everything. In short, the story moved too slowly sometimes, needing a way to fast-pace the texts or skip animations.
The first time I finished the game, it still felt less satisfactory than expected. That is because this is a game to finish more than once, which adds value to the journey if you do all the endings. But this can also give the player a wrong impression if, after one playthrough, they need to get hooked enough to go through similar/same levels again.
Having finished OU more than once, it is a beautiful and worthwhile experience if you are looking for a game focused on its art and plot, with relaxing, uncomplicated gameplay. There is also to consider that it is a bit pricey for the hours you can get from it. But if you do get it, get through all the endings to get the most out of it.
Final Verdict: I Like It a Lot