OkunoKA Madness Review
Welcome to the world of Okunoka, a colorful and quite peculiar world where all sorts of intricate creatures live. The title by Caracal Games is described as a precision platformer on its store page on Steam and this is the most accurate way of describing it. But how well does it deliver on the promise of precision platforming?
Just like most platformer games nowadays, developers either create relaxing platforming experiences for players with a nice story and great visuals, or go for the more intense and difficult to beat stage design that will be most appealing to players that are looking for a good challenge. OkunoKA Madness is most definitely the second. From the first few stages, we can already tell this game is going to be difficult. Couple stages later and the actual “madness” begins with the fail and retry theme taking center stage.
The title feels very much like a much more colorful Super Meat Boy. Unfortunately, it lacks the charm of the indie masterpiece and it falls short on a lot of things that it tries to deliver through its gameplay and content. Let’s take a look at everything one by one though.
First and foremost, the controls; they are just not that great. Unlike most other precision platformers I have personally tried, OkunoKA Madness felt a bit weird to play. Even after a solid hour of jumping around and using the various abilities (there’s more than just jumping in the game), I still didn’t feel very comfortable with the way the character responded to my action inputs. This is a very big deal for a game that tries to push itself as a “precision” platformer.
Next up, I would like to mention the ever so tiring soundtrack of the game. Whoever thought that playing heavy metal music behind a difficult to beat stage was a good idea, definitely did not know how to deliver on that idea. We have seen multiple games that make great use of heavier genres of music, but the looping tunes that exist in this title in particular are just straight up obnoxious only a minute into a stage. It got even worse when I was trying to beat a boss and kept failing constantly, therefore having to listen to the music play in the background non-stop. It got to the point where I literally just put the music volume to 0 and kept only the sound effects in order to have audio queues for when something happens in-game.
Last but not least, the visuals. The visuals may be the only good thing about the game. Despite the fact that they feel as if they were made for a game that came out for PS1, I actually admire the fact that the art style is unique and all the creatures we meet feel different and completely new compared to anything we’re used to seeing. The game manages to build its own character from the visuals alone.
The biggest attraction of the game is the leaderboards and that is probably tailored towards people that want to speed run the game. But let’s be real; people will find any sort of game to speed run and not just ones that were made for that purpose.
Unfortunately though, visuals are not enough to justify spending a whole lot more time with OkunoKA Madness. I can see speed runners loving this game and I can also see more hardcore platforming game players putting time into it, but I find it hard to recommend it to pretty much anyone else. Not because it is difficult, but because it just doesn’t deliver on many things that it tries to be. The game is made to be difficult anyway, so at least that part is done well.
If you would like to try out the game for yourself, you can find OkunoKA Madness on Steam.
You can watch the game’s trailer here.
You can follow Caracal Games on their official website for more updates.
~Constantine “Kelfecil” Christakis
We would like to thank the developers/publishers for providing us with a copy of this game for coverage purposes. As a non-commercial press team, it is our honor and our delight to be able to provide our opinion on it.