Oddworld: Abe’s Oddysee

Developer: Oddworld Inhabitants
Platforms: PS1, PC
Released: September, 1997

Let’s be honest, is there any one reading this who DIDN’T have that little purple demo disc (Demo 1) when they first got their Playstation?!

That demo disc had a few games on it (Hercules and Kurushi stand out), but I think it was Oddworld: Abe’s Oddysee that was the real treasure. It was surreal, it was wacky, and most importantly, you could fart in the game. What’s not to love? Even to this day, one of my flatmates says “I dunno” in the exact same tone of voice as ‘ol Abe in homage.

The plot/platform:
Our boy Abe is a Mudokon (which is Oddworld speak for skinny green fellow). He works at Rupture Farms, a gigantic meat processing plant with his fellow Mudokons. When he learns that the Glukkons (the cigar chomping antagonists of the game) plan on turning his race into a meaty snack, he decides to escape, while rescuing as many Mudokons as he can.

Oddworld is a platformer at first glance, but a puzzler at heart. Whereas you’ll have little trouble making jumps and the like, the real trick is in trying to save your co-workers.

So, odds are a vast number of people have played the first level on the legendary purple demo disc (ahh back in the day….remember those good old days when you could say you’d played Crash Bandicoot, because it was the coolest game out there at the time? We miss you ’90s…). If like me, you played that level to death, you’d be forgiven for thinking that the game may continue as such, and turn out to be a casual and simple affair. Oh how wrong you are…

Like many a good puzzler, Oddworld has you rack your brains consistently, but never feels unfair. You might find your squidgey green guts flying at the screen for the fiftieth time in a row, but you’ll be far more likely to say “One more go…” than “Well I better get back to that assignment then!”. One of the most enjoyable sections of the game, I found, is the possessing of Sligs (your most common enemy, and yes, your character has mind control) and getting them to do your dirty work. Even if you don’t manage to pull off whatever it is you were trying to do, there is a great feeling of satisfaction in making them self destruct.

You will also have to talk to other Mudokons throughout the game as well, and this is also fun, albeit for a limited period. You’ll probably wear out the novelty of farting in front of other green fellows in five minutes, but still, it’s nice to have the option, should you grow weary of blowing yourself up.
The game is consistently difficult, from the very beginning, and it gets even harder. Once you figure out the method however, it gives the impression that the second playthrough will be considerably easier, though still a challenge, thankfully.

The visuals of Oddworld are one of its stand-out points. It looks, even for a game that is fourteen years old at the time of writing, beautiful. The graphics are simple, but charming. Each species have distinctive designs, making them individually intriguing. And the backdrops, while sometimes quite drab, can be wonderful to behold. The escape from Rupture Farms, for example, takes place with a bright blue night sky in the background, while the characters in the foreground are only visible through their silouettes, as seen below:

Overall, Oddworld: Abe’s Oddysee is a rewarding experience. It’s not going to appeal to everyone, that much is certain. There is almost no running and gunning to speak of, and some might find the simplistic 2-D platforming somewhat dated.
But if you can look past this, what you get is a solid 6-8 hours of hardcore puzzles which, once you’ve torn your hair out and examined them from every angle, will feel like a genuine achievement once they’ve been solved.

Awful Rating: 7/10

“Stay here…Follow me” – Abe


  • The first time I played the full game of Oddworld: Abe’s Oddysee, and not the demo, was at a friends house. He had just gotten very upset with me, because I think I had broken his couch. He left in a huff, leaving me in his living room. I noticed the game atop his dresser and turned it on. About half an hour in, my friends dad arrived and told me he was delighted to see someone playing the game, because he had bought it, but no one played it. We continued our discussion until it began to revolve around chess, which we subsequently played. At no point did he ask where his son was, or what had happened to the couch.
  • Librarians frown upon people who chant like Abe, even if you tell them it’s a concentration exercise.
  • On the last level of the game, which I lost a considerable number of times, I gave the controller to my sisters friend, who played through exceptionally well. She is the first lesbian I ever knew, which forces me to conclude that lesbians kick ass at puzzle games

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