The French gaming company Ubisoft announced a new title late November: Ode, a musical exploration adventure, is the latest game from the experimental incubator at Ubisoft Reflections, producer of Grow Home, Grow Up and Atomega.
The main idea of the game is to provide an environment with many musical possibilities – as you progress in the game, you explore new possible notes and create a composition in each level.
Producer Anne Langourieux describes it as a “musical exploration where you gradually bring a world to life through music and light.” It’s a game where you figure things out for yourself in a fluid, organic way – it’s all about exploring and experiencing the game’s beautiful worlds and sounds.
When you start the game, you’re dropped into the first of Ode’s worlds and left to find your own way. You take on the role of a special fallen star named Joy – a small squishy-looking character inside a ball that allows her to travel about freely and turn the environment into a musical lightshow.
Joy rolls through the world gathering fallen stars. These spherical orbs tag along behind Joy and can be drawn in or released with the mouse buttons or controller triggers. Everything Joy or the fallen stars touch plays a musical note and comes to life through light and color.
With almost total freedom to explore, the combination of light, movement and music creates a sense of true exploration, transformation and pure harmony.
Worlds of Emotions
In the game, players ascend through fantasy worlds, revealing melodic landscapes to which they add layer upon layer of music to create a crescendo of sound and light. Once you’ve brought life to a whole world, audio cues will lead you to a point where you can leap to the next level.
The game features four main worlds, and the genesis of each came from a distinct emotion – a particular aspect of joy.
This first world is based on the emotion of Naivety.
Past this, players will discover three larger worlds based on Excitement, Desire and Pure Joy – each bringing their own unique styles and soundtracks, and each evolving the game’s mechanics.
Pure Joy World
Hardcore Gamer review:
“With four worlds that are unlocked through linear game progression, there is a clear end to the game, but this is one of those titles that is more about experiencing and enjoying the journey instead of reaching the endpoint.”
“As a unique mix of platforming, exploration and music, Ode could be marketed as being ideal for young children due to its safe subject matter and sensory stimuli, but it can be enjoyed by anyone.”