Rating:
EU Release Date: Sept 19, 1997 (Original)
Jul 23, 2014 (Remake)
Developer: Oddworld Inhabitants (Original)
Just Add Water(Remake)
Publisher: GT Interactive (Original)
Oddworld Inhabitants (Remake)
Total play time: 1:28:00 (Level 1)

Cover ArtOddworld: Abe’s Oddysee was a platform game in 1997 for the PlayStation and PC. The game focuses on a strange creature called Abe, a Mudokon slave in the Rupture Farms meat processing plant. After discovering that the farm bosses want to turn the Mudokon species into snacks, Abe begins an escape attempt, taking as many of the others with him as possible.

The gameplay is really quite straightforward. You move around the levels, getting the others to follow you to the escape portals while avoiding the armed-guards, traps, bombs, holes, motion-detectors, carnivorous creatures, gas clouds, electric beams and meat saws. Simple.

In order to escape, you have to use your head. To move the other slaves, Abe has a limited set of vocal commands – “Hello,” “Follow me,” “Wait.” But the guards are searching for you and Abe has no means of attack, so avoiding death for you and your kin is not as easy as firing first. Instead, you have to use the environment and Abe’s special ability to possess other characters to survive. But even this seemingly brilliant ability has its limits; when other guards know you’re possessed, they’ll not hesitate to shoot you – and anything else in their path. And the game won’t just let you forget about that poor Mudokon you dropped through a trapdoor or had shot by the guards – the total death toll shows on billboards all around the factory and affects the outcome of the entire game.

Nearly twenty years later, the gameplay is still great but the graphics are starting to look more than a little dated and the sound quality is not the best. But fear not! If you think this might have been the game for you, then there is good news. In 2014, a remake titled ‘New ‘n’ Tasty’ was released with almost identical story and gameplay, but it is more than just a remaster; they rebuilt the entire game from the ground up. With extra levels and altered puzzles, the remake is definitely worth a punt, whether or not you ever played the original.

Screenshot

Official screenshot comparison.


The best thing about this remake is that it doesn’t diminish the original game at all. It is almost exactly how you remember it, but with graphics that don’t make you want to pull out your eyes and tweaks to the gameplay that only enhance its jeopardy and wonder. What’s more, the game’s message is entirely unchanged and still as relevant now as it was in ’97. Although executed with humour, the game hits out at consumer culture and way that people – massive corporations in particular – are willing to crush the little guys in order to make a profit. So stand up for the little guy. Get Abe and his fellows out of the farm. Show The Man who’s really the boss.

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