Oceanhorn: Monster of Uncharted Seas (2013)(VG) ★★★☆☆

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★★★☆ ☆  – Worth a Playthrough!

Use all of your wits and skill to unravel the mysteries of the ancient kingdom of Arcadia and defeat the sea monster, Oceanhorn.

Platforms: iOS, PS4, Microsoft Windows, Xbox One, PS VITA, Android, Nintendo Switch
Playtime: 10-15 hours
Genre: Action adventure

An enjoyable old-school spirited Zelda clone, with charming art direction and fun (yet familiar) gameplay. You play as a boy on a quest to find his father and destroy the sea monster, Oceanhorn.

The narrative progression is in the form of island hopping, with challenges and quests on each of the land masses that pop up on the world map. This is a good looking game when in play mode but the cut scenes suffer from some terrible animation and the story isn’t very engaging. The voice acting is mediocre but the music is wonderfully nostalgic and reminiscent of old-school JRPGs. Another problematic area is in the level design. Since the game refuses to hold your hand or even provide a quest log or journal, this makes for some frustrating amounts of back tracking or redundant island hopping. Even with these delays, ‘Oceanhorn’  is a fairly short adventure, taking an average of about 10 hours to complete. There’s a fair bit of replayability for completionists in the form of each of the islands’ three challenges or expanding the game world further with DLC islands.

On mobile devices, this is a highly recommended little adventure.  For other platforms? Worth a playthrough, especially in preparation for that solid looking sequel on the horizon.

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