Adventure Corner ~ OU
Welcome to Adventure Corner, a column where members of the RPGamer staff can give their thoughts, impressions, and pseudo-reviews for various adventure titles that don’t come under our usual coverage. Adventure Corner is aimed at delivering opinions on a wide range of titles including visual novels, point-and-click adventures, investigative mysteries, and so forth.
In this edition of the column we take a look at OU, a narrative experience adventure on Steam.
It’s been a few days now since I finished this game called OU in my third time through. That’s how many times I rolled credits before I achieved a sense of completion and comprehension into what I was playing. To be honest, I have not had much to do with purely narrative experiences in game format, and this was one less ludo-, more narrative than most. Still, it’s stuck in my head, and I must share.
Through the many pages of U-Chronia, a dream-like world described as being a “place created between someone and something,” I followed the barefoot patter of the protagonist, a child who wakes up on the final page of a narrative told out of order, as he follows the flame-tailed opossum in charge of guiding him to purpose. Aside from flinging sticky notes willy-nilly, and in the process discovering enigmatic messages of a philosophical nature in the least likely of spots, there isn’t much for the child to do but continue through the pages of U-Chronia and attempt to understand a world that sometimes defies comprehension. That, and occasionally flee from the Saudage Ghost, an ever-hungry being who digests the forgotten into oblivion.
For the first time through, it’s unclear how much, if any, impact the player’s control over the child has on events in the world, and even in subsequent playthroughs there is little leeway between potential endings. There’s simply the journey, and then an ending, and then more questions before the child wakes up at the end of a story not their own, to begin the journey anew.
The panorama of U-Chronia is a beautiful space to be lost within, at the least. Each page of its jumbled tale is painstakingly drawn, detailed, and animated. The inhabitants are a varied lot, though by their natures most of them do not interact that much with the child. As for the music, it continues to live in my head as a lovely background motif of Spanish guitar as I continue my day in a world that is (probably) not the leftovers of someone else’s story.
Can I recommend OU? It is certainly an experience, even if it isn’t the sort of game I would seek out on my own. For those interested, I can only offer this impression of a tale built upon impressions. Let others decide for themselves.
Disclosure: This article is based on a free copy of the game provided by the publisher.