Odium to the Core (Nintendo Switch) Review

By Drew Hurley 16.01.2019

Review for Odium to the Core on Nintendo Switch

Originally concocted at a game jam, this basic little game captured the hearts of its creators and it became their first official full game. Calling itself Dark-1, the developer produced Odium to the Core for PC and mobile, and now, along with the rest of the avalanche of indie productions, it's coming to the Switch. Sometimes the simplest titles can be the most fun, and this is quite literally the most simple of videogames; with only a single button interaction, and a punishing difficulty. But does that simplicity equal fun?

Playing as a Beholder-looking little creature, flying through stages made up of tunnels and passageways to the beat of the music. This starts off very simple to acclimatize to the basic control scheme - slowly floating along to a steady beat, making the occasional slow turn through large bends and avoiding the odd static piece of scenery, but in very short order that difficulty spikes. All in pursuit of reaching the titular core.

The core gameplay could literally not be any simpler. Hold down the 'A' button to turn upwards, release it to turn downwards. As basic as can be, and yet mastering this rudimentary system is surprisingly difficult. Whether to tap for a little burst of alteration to the angle, or to hold for major ones, not to mention some curveballs are there to make things more challenging. For example, there are sections submerged underwater that change how the character moves then there are jets of wind that throw the little eyeball off towards danger.

Screenshot for Odium to the Core on Nintendo Switch

These make the controls more difficult, but the real challenge comes from the obstacles. While the first few levels are deceptively simple once the controls are mastered, the difficulty spikes after them. It's all pretty standard fare for this sort of game. Huge moving sections of scenery fall blocking the path, revolving gears with gaps to fly through, turrets shooting laser beams which are telegraphed to avoid. Once these harder sections are reached, a huge amount of patience or an ungodly amount of natural skill is required. There's no health or lives system; just checkpoints and infinite attempts. Prepare to die. Over and over again. That part of the game will honestly put off many players. It is very challenging and the later "Nightmare" stages are "Throw the controller against the wall" type of levels.

Those who are able to get through all of the stages can go back and try for high scores too. There are little orbs to collect to increase this, and there is also a constant score increasing as the stage moves along that is tied to the controls. Pressing the button more lowers how fast this score increases, incentivizing a more difficult style of play that utilises big arching turns and requires some precise trigonometry. There's more on offer for those in the extreme minority who can overcome everything else. There are plenty of secrets hidden away in stages. Shortcuts to get those top scores, and secret items for unlocking new skins, not to mention an endless mode, fitting with this style of gameplay.

The music is pitched as a big part of Odium to the Core. There are many games out there where getting in tune with the beat makes the experience easier. It flows. Reaching that zone where movement to the music makes everything work. This isn't one of those titles. The music and the environments are tied together in that the moving elements move to the music and the stages actually speed up or slow down with the tempo, but it doesn't feel part of it all in the same way a rhythm title incorporates its soundtrack. Not to mention, that soundtrack is drum and bass, a genre that is somewhat niche. Outside of the music, the graphical presentation looks great. Bright solid colours, clashing with pure black for vibrant, impactful levels.

Screenshot for Odium to the Core on Nintendo Switch

Cubed3 Rating

5/10
Rated 5 out of 10

Average

The developers will likely not appreciate the comparison, but this is like a stylish drum and bass-centric Flappy Bird. That alone should establish just who the audience is. It's a frustrating, maddening experience that will find a niche audience that just loves punishment, but is certainly not for everyone - or even for many.

Developer

QubicGames

Publisher

QubicGames

Genre

Action

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  5/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date None   Australian release date Out now   

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