Oddworld Inhabitants‘ Oddworld: Abe’s Oddysee was a revolutionary experience when it launched in 1997. My parents bought a state-of-the-art PC with Windows 98, and that game came with the machine. I’ll never forget being frustrated with the puzzles but feeling accomplished every time I succeeded. With Oddworld: New ‘n’ Tasty on Nintendo Switch, all of those same emotions reemerged to varying degrees. Just Add Water created a stellar remake that respects the original while adding improvements to streamline the experience.
Saving Mudokons, one group at a time
Players control Abe, a Mudokon, who is enslaved at Rupture Farms. He learns that his entire race will be harvested for food at the hands of the evil Glukkon race. With this information, Abe decides to save all the Mudokons and escape from Rupture Farms in the process. There are 299 Mudokons scattered around the environments, some in plain sight, and others in secret locations. Depending on how many Abe is able to save, players can unlock two different endings. Despite the simplicity of finding Mudokons, rescuing them is a different story.
Abe can command other Mudokons to do what he likes. Whether that’s to follow him or stand still, they will listen to his words. This is important because Rupture Farms is littered with enemies who will shoot them down without hesitation. Abe and his fellow workers can die almost instantly. Stealth and proper timing are needed to survive. Knowing when to command the other Mudokons is the key to survival. Our hero also has access to grenades to cause trouble and can flip switches to activate traps. Outside of this, getting past enemies requires tricky tactics. Fortunately, Abe can use smoke and quiet footsteps to sneak past enemies.
A more forgiving experience
Sure, Oddworld: New ‘n’ Tasty is a tough game. The puzzles are challenging, and the enemies are worse. However, what makes the remake a more accessible experience comes down to saving and checkpoints. In the original, you could only save at various locations. New ‘n’ Tasty allows players to save when they like. Having this function means you’re able to save before challenges. I died more times than I’d like to admit, but close checkpoints and manual save spots were godsends. While there’s skill involved, Oddworld: New ‘n’ Tasty is a game about trial and error. Deaths are very much the player’s fault, and it never feels unfair. Each failure was my own doing, but I kept getting back up and tried again.
The only real negative in terms of gameplay is that Abe is occasionally hard to control. If you move too fast, he tends to slide a little, and that’s unfortunate when movement needs to be precise. Additionally, having to stop and press up on the analog stick can be annoying to climb when being chased by enemies. There’s a learning curve when it comes to mastering movements.
Revisiting Oddworld and looking good at the same time
Oddworld: New ‘n’ Tasty is definitely an old-school game, but this time, there’s a new coat of paint. The original’s sidescrolling elements are still there, but the developers switched things up in the remake. Instead of walking through plenty of prerendered screens, the camera follows Abe as he walks through environments. The visuals are excellent, with character models looking wonderfully appealing. The audio is top-notch, and listening to Abe interact with the Mudokons is hysterical. The franchise has always been charming, and New ‘n’ Tasty is no exception. I often stood in place, listening to Abe banter with those around him.
Oddworld: New ‘n’ Tasty is a faithful recreation of Abe’s Oddysee, with many reworked mechanics and added Mudokens to save. Fans of the original should enjoy the changes Just Add Water implemented, while newcomers will be charmed by Abe’s antics. The franchise has been influential since the late ’90s, and New ‘n’ Tasty proves that the gaming sphere is better with more Oddworld titles in your library.
Release Date: Oct 27, 2020
No. Of Players: 1 player
Category: Action, Adventure, Puzzle
Publisher: Oddworld Inhabitants
Developer: Just Add Water
A review code was provided by the publisher.