- Developer: Pavel Kostin
- Publisher: HeroCraft
- Release Date: 04/02/2021
- Price: £12.59 / $14.99
- Review code provided by HeroCraft
Introducing: Odysseus Kosmos Nintendo Switch Review
Careening through space in an abandoned vessel, Odysseus is desperately trying to keep the old ship together with a smile on his face. The lazy engineer’s sole companion, a talking robot named Barton, is excellent company for such an expedition – if a bit naggy. Let’s fly into our review of Odysseus Kosmos for the Switch.
Between eye-catching pixel art and a witty eShop description, this indie is sure to turn your head if you’re a fan of point-and-clicks and Sci-Fi adventures. However, once you get your hands on the Switch port of Odysseus Kosmos and his Robot Quest, there’s clearly a huge crack in the hull.
Most of the game is set inside of the abandoned ship. Through well-animated cutscenes backed by gorgeous music, we learn that the crew of this vessel left on an expedition several years ago; Odysseus and Barton have been in orbit waiting for them ever since. Now, it’s yours to explore as you fix up issues around the ship – from feeding lab rats to reconnecting broken antennae.
Much of what you’ll be doing is routine maintenance and repairs like that. Thankfully as the story progresses, your goals become a little more lofty, and so the mundane tasks still pay off. The puzzles themselves vary a bit: most are your classic search-and-find quests where you explore the environment and combine unlike items to concoct wacky solutions, while other more literal puzzles might have you moving computer parts into place.
Some of the puzzle solutions make absolutely no sense, but you can usually figure them out by exploring all of your options and reading “Oddy” and Barton’s banter. Although there’s no voice acting for the funny dialogue, the text does come with light mumbling in the voice of the speaker.
Each part of the story is divided into episodes, with the Pilot and Episode 1 serving as tutorials. These first levels feel like an escape room, but eventually we gain more access to the ship and its cavernous rooms full of sometimes-useful junk. We also gain more information about what’s going on, and witness some anomalies with time and space as a result of being close to the black hole. It all culminates in a finale that will leave you with a few questions – but a sense of completion nonetheless.
Getting to the finale is the tough part, as you might become frustrated with the controls before you can get to the meat of the game. Players cycle through interactable points with the trigger buttons – a clunky alternative to point-and-click. This would have been a great opportunity to implement touch controls; I’ve also seen similar titles get past this issue with the joystick. In rooms where there are tons of little items to inspect, this issue is a major pain.
Once you do interact with an item or part of the environment, you can either interact with it, use an item on it, or observe it – your typical options for this classic genre. Again, the limitations of the console port show here, as combining items and using them on the environment feels like a task in and of itself. Thankfully, the controls are always visible at the bottom of the screen.
Shiny as Chrome
A quick note on the aesthetics – they’re excellent.
As you enter new areas in different Episodes, it becomes clear that the gorgeous pixel art which might have drawn you in is consistent throughout. Although character animations are very simple, the attention to detail in each room doesn’t disappoint. The music will often catch your ear in cutscenes, but it takes a relaxing backseat as you explore.
As we wrap our review of Odysseus Kosmos, there are a few things to consider. This title, with its pretty pixel art and adorable space story, should undoubtedly go on your list if you’re a fan of Sci-Fi and point-and-click adventures. That is – the original PC version should be on your list. It’s hard for me to recommend this Switch port, simply because of the clunky controls.
I can’t express enough how much of a pain it is to cycle through items over and over to find the one thing you need – and how much of a pleasure this game is when you aren’t contending with that major issue. If you’re willing to overlook that problem, then perhaps Odysseus Kosmos and his Robot Quest could find its way onto your eShop wishlist after all.
- Sharp pixel art and animations
- Witty dialogue for every interaction
- Plenty of episodes with good story
- Cycling through interactables is a pain
- Unintuitive puzzle solutions