OMNO is by Studio Inkyfox in Bielefeld, Germany, and is the work of Jonas Manke. It took him five years to piece the title together.
The result is an atmospheric, third-person platformer with lots of puzzles. But the idea is generally to have a wistful time on it all amongst the mist. Onwards!
OMNO and the Importance of Fog
Back in the Nintendo 64 era, fogging was often used in games to ensure there weren’t any game lagging issues. Fog was used to notorious effect in Turok Dinosaur Hunter (1997).
These days, fog is usually in place as a nifty aesthetic. And it works a treat here.
OMNO isn’t intended to be an ultra-challenging jaunt. It’s more of a relaxing, spiritual kind of experience. It’s basically the third-person equivalent of the whimsical Elli and titles like 2017’s RiME.
Serenity is the name of the game as you waltz amongst a dreamy landscape, completing some quite basic puzzles and adventuring.
Although OMNO is a good game, we have to state the obvious—it’s generic.
There’s this genre of relaxing indie games exactly like this one. And OMNO does very little to distinguish itself in any way. Everything is familiar, from the graphics to the music.
Puzzles are very basic. The platforming can get annoying. And there’s really not that much going on in its world. By which we mean there are no enemies, there’s no combat, and no big plot surprises.
Your character just wakes up and you take him on a journey of discovery.
Those gripes aside… you still can’t help but enjoy OMNO. It’s a game custom made for 7/10 scores across the board.
Manke styled it to be a comfort blanket. You can slip it over you and bask in the lovely familiarity whilst cooing like a (professional) moron.
The world he created here is quite compelling, with some genuinely enchanting moments. There’s a lot of fog, but you really can’t help but just view the whole experience as a meditative one.
OMNO’s soundtrack, by composer Benedict Nichols, ramps up the therapeutic elements. It seems to be channelling Gareth Coker’s work in the Ori and the Will of the Wisps soundtrack.
Nichols doesn’t break any new ground here and the soundtrack can really be viewed as one long composition that gradually evolves.
There’s little variation between numbers. But it does its job effectively.
OMNO, then… well. Something drew us towards it. Probably the knowledge it was going to be a relaxing time of it.
And its highlights remain with exploring some of the lush environments the developer created. And just chillaxing. It’s for stressful days when you want to take your mind off things and bask in some chill.
You have to give credit when it’s due. OMNO achieves its unambitious sense of serene with subtle panache.