Okhlos: Omega, the mythological mob simulator


Okhlos: Omega, a world where growing crowds of soldiers, citizens and animals set off to beat the gods and lesser beings from Greek mythology. Why? Because they act like total jerks and the citizens have had enough! Now, I don't think that leveling houses and towns was really necessary, but mobs and collateral damage tend to go hand-in-hand.

Instead of directly controlling individual units, you'll direct where the crowd goes by moving a banner (with your mouse) that your people will automatically gather to. You can issue basic commands for them to attack, spread out, tighten up, or hold steady and block, but there's no fine control of this angry group. The result is chaotic. When you try to squeeze everyone around bombs, spikes and other deadly traps scattered around, there will sure be some casualties.

On the other hand, sending a wave of angry citizens crashing down on a greek god has this great feeling to it. That stays satisfying, which is great, because mechanically there's nothing much else to do in Okhlos.

Each level is broken down into procedurally-generated areas with shops and a boss fight with a god or beast at the end. You'll lose strong people, weak people, you'll pick up wandering replacements, and you'll ocasionally exchange certain types of mob members for others (e.g. slaves for warriors) or claim stat-boosting heroes (like Theseus or Daedalus).

The later ones are especially important to your extended survivability. If your philosopher character dies in battle and you're out of backups, that's the end of your run. Similarly, if your whole mob dies and you can't find any others to build it back up, your fate is sealed.

Being crushed by a god could make it hard to summon the courage to start from the beginning again. The first few stages started to look very repetitive, while Okhlos‘ reliance on luck wasn’t helping matters. A lot hangs on the unit exchange shops, and whether you get offered Heroes or not. Being given a bad hand in this regard is really annoying, as they can be pretty key to success.

There are clearly a couple of elements dragging Okhlos down, what with the controls needing a bit of brain power, and certain bosses leaving me stumped, resulting in repeated sightings of early areas. The majority of the game is really delightful though, with its fun core gameplay wrapped in mythologically-themed packaging that provides a great excuse for some good old ancient humor.

Name: Okhlos: Omega
Developer: Coffee Powered Machine
Publisher: Devolver Digital
Released: August 18, 2016
MSRP: $12.99

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