OVIVO is coming to consoles July 3rd and we are excited about it. If you have not heard about this game, you are in for a treat. Let us begin by introducing the people behind this multi-platform Indie Game.
From the team themselves:
Our history has begun in November of the 2014th when three young people who never developed games, and even were unfamiliar with each other has decided to participate in their first hackathon. We called our team “Theytakingahobbitstoizenhard” because we are nerds and for one night made the first prototype of the black and white platformer.
It was a great experience for us and we got a lot of fun. But even more we, had pleased when our friends have played the game and they really liked it! It has given to us the confidence to continue developing. That’s how OVIVO was born.
We decided to reduce the ridiculous name of our team to more laconic – IzHard. But we didn’t know what to do next: we had neither experience, nor money, nor any representations about game developing. So we have decided to test our good luck and take a part in the international competition Imagine Cup by Microsoft where the first prize was a grant for development of a project. Then we couldn’t even imagine that in half-year we will become the winners of Imagine Cup of the 2015th.
Thanks to this victory, IzHard became a studio and development of OVIVO became her main objective. And we got the chance to make a dream game.
Awards & Recognition
“Audience choice” Games Jam 2014
“1st place in the Game category” Imagine Cup 2015
“1st place” Imagine Cup Media Award 2015
“Best Indie Game” DevGamm 2015
“Best Indie Game” Gamedev Conference 2016
“Best Art” Gamedev Conference 2016
“Best Game Design” Gamedev Conference 2016
What is OVIVO
The team describes OVIVO as:
OVIVO is a mesmerizing platformer with unusual mechanics where everything is as simple as black and white. The journey in the metaphoric world filled with illusions and hidden messages awaits you.
In the world of OVIVO Black and White exist in harmony. Constantly intertwining and replacing each other they maintain balance. The main character named OVO created from these two halves of the world and it has the ability to switch between them. OVO travels through the metaphoric world, overcomes various dangers and collects mysterious symbols. These symbols help you to unravel the story of this world but how you interpret it is completely up to you. The game tells a story about the journey to simplicity where things become ever more complex on the way.
Flow mechanics: In white, the gravity force is directed downwards, in black – upward. Preservation of momentum while transitioning from one color to another allows OVO to float along their border as if it is carried by the flow.
Fascinating art: The metaphorical world of OVIVO is full of hidden images and optical illusions.
Design without words: There is no text in the game and the story is narrated through gameplay and visuals.
Symbolism and puzzles: The game is filled with allusions and hidden messages.
This game is a shining example of why Indie games are great for the industry. This game is just plain fun and challenging. It has many high points to it so let us start with the graphics.
The graphics appear simple on the surface. You notice the limited color palette of black and white right from the start. Seems simple but as you traverse the level you get the sense that there is something bigger behind what you think is a simplistic design. After completing the map it zooms out to where the entire map. It was at this point I realized the world was way more complex than I thought.
After the zoom out you see a beautiful black and white design that made up the map you just played. The start out simple but soon turn into elaborate drawings that tell a story through their design without the use of words. This level design plays a massive part in the gameplay mechanics.
The gameplay is simple when it comes to the controls. Push the stick to the left or right to control the direction you will roll. To switch the color of Ovi you press A. Simple, right? Yes, but the switching is the key mechanic. If you are white you can only traverse the black areas and while black only the white can be traveled. But the color you travel in effects the gravity within the world. One is up one is down.
The player uses the momentum from switching between the two plains to jump when required. I’m not going to lie. I almost lost an Elite controller thanks to this unique mechanic. As soon as you feel you are getting the hang of it and it is starting to feel easy they throw new obstacles types at you, like spikes and flowers to help you reach higher elevations. They even throw gravity vortex things in later that will switch how the gravity in the game world works. It is just enough to keep the game fresh and challenging. I won’t ruin anything but you even get to encounter an enemy at the end.
This is where I would normally list what I didn’t like about the game or issues I found. Honestly, I don’t have any. The one small thing is there is no minimap so you will have to figure out where you are going. Not a big deal cause it does add to the challenge but could deter those players who get frustrated easily and might stop playing. I do not fault the developers for this because it is their design and vision for the game.
If you love puzzle games or puzzle platformers you need to get this game 100%. If you get frustrated easily and stop playing a game because of the challenge, just stay away. I have completed this game but couldn’t find all the story pieces, so I will be able to go back and have more replay time. At the moment I am sitting at 720/1000 on the gamerscore and look forward to hitting that 1000. OVIVO is available on July 3rd for all platforms.
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GamerDad181 “That is all, game on!”