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Odyssey (Amiga)

Odyssey Amiga
Genre: Action
Perspective: Side view
Visual: 2D scrolling
Gameplay: Platform, Puzzle elements
Setting: Fantasy
Published by: Audiogenic Software Ltd.
Developed by: Unconscious Minds
Released: 1995
Platform: Amiga

Many years ago, so long ago that all memories were already erased, and all records were lost in the darkness of time, there lived a powerful king who ruled over seven islands inhabited by strange creatures and shrouded in powers that could only be controlled by the king's faithful assistant - a wizard. The king had a son who was to become the heir to the throne and the countless riches of the kingdom. But the king had an evil brother who wanted to take the throne and was not going to stop at nothing to achieve his goal. Once he hired bandits who stole the wizard's spell book and killed the king, but the wizard managed to escape and shelter the young prince with him. Year after year they lived in exile, the boy grew up, learning the tricks that the wizard told him. This continued until the wizard realized that he was already too old and taught the prince everything he knew himself. Then he said: "Go for the inheritance that is rightfully yours. You must visit each of the islands of the kingdom, and only then will you be able to meet your vicious uncle. And although he will use the spells from my book, you can outwit him with your skill and It takes both courage and endurance to win, but you must win and avenge your father!"

Odyssey is a late game for the Amiga, the genre belongs to adventure platformers. And although there are only seven islands in it, the game is very difficult and long, full of mysteries and exploration of the world. First you choose one of the islands you want to get to - first you need to go through the three "outer" islands, which are marked with one of the three crystals, then the inner islands and at the very end - the castle of the evil king. Each of the islands, as a rule, is represented by an above-ground part with platforms on which you can jump, and an underground part - an extensive system of caves and stone catacombs. The most remarkable thing here is that all levels are teeming with life, and the creatures inhabiting them really live on their own: they can react quite neutrally to the hero, doing their own thing, or they can get angry - then you should be especially careful! On your way you will meet harmless green and beige people, small stone people, breaking up into even smaller people who, despite their small size, are quite capable of standing up for themselves, dwarfs with huge swords, including female ones, spiders and bats that can to press levers and buttons, and many others - the world is really very diverse and interesting.

The prince is armed with a sword, which he can quite successfully resist most creatures, but he is practically powerless against arrows. The hero's health bar is not too long, but it recovers over time (but not only - you can find, for example, apples, although they are rare). Therefore, often, instead of running ahead with an already ending health bar, it is better to wait a few tens of seconds and continue more calmly. Lives in the game are also replenishable (the icon of white crossed swords adds one life, in the interface they are marked with red circles), and their number is quite balanced. In addition, you can save or load the game on the main map.

The goal of the first part of the game is to find three crystals that give the prince certain abilities - a stone man, a bird or a grasshopper. After the ability is found, it still needs to be "fixed" by picking up a sphere, the view of which is briefly shown at the very beginning of the island. On subsequent islands, there will be even more abilities, and riddles and opponents will become more difficult. Here you have to find three keys that will help you get through the wizard's castle and reach the main goal.

With all the advantages and interest in the passage of the game is not without flaws. So, in underground passages it is quite possible to get stuck in such a way that it will be impossible to get out, including due to accidental button presses by spiders and other creatures. Conversely, they may accidentally open a keyed door that would otherwise require the entire level to reach. But that's why it's a living world. An even greater immersion in the game occurs if you play with the sound turned on. The sound of footsteps on the stone surface, the howling of the wind and the clanging of the sword when struck, and especially the exclamations of "Uh-huh!" stone people, when they notice you, are simply gorgeous. Unfortunately, the game has no musical accompaniment, except for the intro, which is very frustrating. But both technically and audiovisually, this is practically the only gripe. The graphics in the game are very nice (though ECS), everything is carefully animated, a lot of small details are pleasing to the eye. The game has smooth scrolling and movement of the hero, convenient control. Only one problem arose for me (it is possible that this is due to a specific version of the game): when the hero turns into another creature, and then back, his sprite starts to disappear, which greatly hinders, but does not make the game impassable (after some time it passes).

I can only conclude one thing: Odyssey is one of the pearls of the Commodore Amiga heritage, covered with the dust of oblivion, caused not by the quality of the game itself, but by objective circumstances associated with the rapid curtailment of the Amiga games market by 1995. This does not in the least prevent us today from extracting such a treasure from oblivion and plunging into the world of the Odyssey, full of magic, funny creatures and amazing transformations.