Indie Game Spotlight: Oceanhorn: Monster of Uncharted Seas

Posted by | March 30, 2015 | Feature, News, Opinion, Video | No Comments

Do you ever get that weird feeling of déjà vu when you’re playing a new game?

Taking a page from the classics isn’t a bad thing when it’s a REALLY GREAT classic you’re riffing on. If you’ve ever played any of the games in The Legend of Zelda series but wish you could enjoy them on PC or Mobile, you’ll find a lot to love in our latest indie pick, Oceanhorn: Monster of Uncharted Seas from developer Cornfox & Bros.

In Oceanhorn, you’re a young island adventurer who embarks on a quest to follow in his missing father’s footsteps, discover what happened to him, and uncover the mystery of a diabolical creature called Oceanhorn. Your journey takes you across some beautiful but fairly dangerous terrain. You can fend for yourself pretty well once you get ahold of your Dad’s trusty sword and shield.

Traveling by both land and sea, you’ll battle monsters, work to solve puzzles, hunt for treasure, and befriend a broad range of intriguing characters that live on the islands dotting this vast oceanscape. Gameplay is challenging but forgiving, leaving you lots of opportunities to respawn nearby if you happen to dive headlong into danger a bit too eagerly.

Most of the adventure takes place on land, where the sunlit island overworlds seem docile compared to the trap- and treasure-filled dungeons below the surface. But you’ll also get a chance to chart a course for the high seas by hopping into your boat and tooling around the area by water. This offers a great change of pace, both visually and gameplay-wise, from fighting monsters and tinkering with blocky puzzles.

While Oceanhorn has its own distinct personality and offers a neat adventure full of clever story snippets and encounters, it wears its Zelda influences on its sleeve, drawing heavily on classic structure from the iconic series. The colorful and vibrant mix of ocean exploration and island dungeons offers a very specific nod to The Legend of Zelda: Windwaker on GameCube and its Wii U remake. Whether you’ve played those games before or not, that’s a good thing.

You’ll collect cool items that let you progress in your mission, battle tricky bosses, and solve brain teasers as you go. Overall, this colorful landscape is well designed and bursting with personality. It may cover plenty of familiar territory that many gamers have seen before, but it’s a fun, upbeat homage to some of the best gaming experiences around, and it’s definitely well worth your time and attention.

Nathan Meunier

About Nathan Meunier

Nathan Meunier has been slinging words about video games for close to a decade, writing for more than 40+ publications ranging from IGN and Nintendo Power to What They Play and Official Xbox Magazine. Now he makes games, too! You can read more of his freelance writing, check out his books, or scope his other assorted creative projects over at NathanMeunier.com.