We’ve had the pleasure of playing Olija through to completion on Xbox, and can emphatically say that this one is worth a purchase. It’s out today on Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, PS4, PS5, Switch and PC, and – if you like action-platformers like Dead Cells, Hollow Knight or The Messenger – we heartily recommend picking this up.
Head to our review if you don’t believe us, where we give it a 4.5/5, with the only misgivings being about the length, and the lack of a decent progression system. Otherwise, this is all pluses: Olija is hugely atmospheric, dense with story and memorable moments, and comes with a combat system that can make you feel like a buccaneering hero.
Olija is set in the apocalyptic archipelago of ‘Terraphage’, an imagined world that fuses Lovecraftian horror with Japanese folklore. You play Faraday, a captain who has been castaway with his crew, and wakes up to find the crew gone. Not one to let your crew get swallowed by mandible-covered creatures, you pick up your sword and start sailing to various islands in an effort to get them back.
On your travels, you will find natives and crewmen, who you can bring back to a hub island called Oaktide, where they set up shop and begin to unlock things you can use. You’ll also come across new abilities for Faraday on the various islands, not least a mystical Harpoon, that only a prophesied saviour of Terraphage can wield. Your destiny is intertwined with the titular Olija, a queen-like figure who roams the islands on a vast ship.
This is a mixture of Metroidvania and narrative-rich platformers like Another World and Oddworld. You’ll have the relative freedom to explore that Metroidvanias have, but every screen reveals a new piece of the story, or a new secret to uncover. It’s a restless, artful game that keeps you on your toes and thoroughly immerses. Go play if you can.
- Explore a mysterious and handcrafted world inspired by sailor’s legends and Asian fantasy.
- Wield the Harpoon of legend and rethink movement through platforming, puzzle and combat.
- Rescue fellow castaways and meet curious characters to learn more about Terraphage and the enigmatic Olija.
- Beautiful melancholic soundtrack inspired by Flamenco, lo-fi and traditional Japanese music.
- Craft magic hats!
Olija is out now on Xbox One and Xbox Series X|S and starts at £12.49 from the Xbox Store. It’s also out on PS4, PS5, Switch and PC.
Olija is a game about Faraday’s quest, a man shipwrecked then trapped in the mysterious country of Terraphage. Armed with a legendary harpoon, he and other castaways try to leave this hostile country to return to their homelands. Through adventurous exploration, narration and razor sharp combat, the player will discover a strange world and its inhabitants, including Olija, an enigmatic lady that Faraday finds himself bound to over time. Inspired by swashbuckling tales and cinematic adventure games, Olija is a story about facing the unknown in adversity.