HomeReviews3.5/5 ReviewOrten Was The Case Review

Orten Was The Case Review

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If you could replay the same day over and over again, what would you change? Would you have a tea instead of a coffee? Would you spectacularly quit your job, or steal a car? The chances to change the timeline would be endless. 

Games have been playing with this idea for a while now, excelling with the likes of DEATHLOOP and Returnal. Orten Was The Case is another game that deals with the Groundhog Day syndrome. This time around you play a kid who can replay the day over a small period of time, trying to solve a mysterious case in the process.  

orten was the case review 1
The weirdly wonderful world of Orten

Ziggy is the main protagonist of this game and he lives in the town of Orten. He wakes up from a heavy night where he can’t remember anything, left with a strange mark on him. As he progresses through his day doing some tasks with his friends, the town explodes and everyone dies. Ziggy then replays the day, again and again, with the main objective being to stop the catastrophic event from happening. 

I loved the characters and atmospheric storytelling of Orten Was The Case, as it puts you in charge of a sort of down-and-out kid, into the shoes of the hero. The writing is fun and smart and the mystery you try and solve is clever, involving corporations and strange cults. I also liked how you can examine your clues from each day in your notebook, attempting to find the correct chain of events to complete the day. 

The gameplay works like an old-fashioned point-and-clicker mixed with an action-adventure game. You play in the third person and control Ziggy around the little town of Orten. You go on quests and follow clues, hoping to understand what the best time loop is. There is some platforming to be had, but it’s very low level and sometimes this isn’t the best part of the game. The same goes for the small amount of combat you have to partake in. It works, but isn’t as rewarding as the exploration and quest-hunting sides of the game. 

orten was the case review 2
Get hunting

Exploring the town and following clues is where the fascination is found. It’s in here where you can get lost in side quests or characters you meet, before being lead somewhere else. It’s a great place to explore and try and work out the goings on. I loved the timeloop concept and it works very well in a condensed area. In other games like this, I’ve felt a bit overwhelmed as what to do, but with Orten Was The Case the journey is focused and the narrative tight. 

The visuals run a strange hand-drawn and captivating style. It’s like being submerged into an animation festival in Belgrade, and watching the winner for that year. The characters look wonderful and are very unique, as is the whole structure and layout of the town. Attention to detail in things like posters or furniture add to an amazing world; it’s one that you will very much enjoy ambling around. 

However, the sound is missing a voice cast and that is a shame as I think Orten Was The Case needs it. It would allow for more of a connection with the audience, helping bring the characters alive. Instead, we get a sort of audible nonsense language. I could have done with something more substantial. The soundtrack is very good and builds and swells with the action on screen though. 

orten was the case review 3
Strange visually

There is a very good narrative found in Orten Was The Case with a great concept and a huge puzzle within a puzzle to solve. I loved the hand-drawn animation and the town of Orten itself, what with its strange and wonderful characters. However, for the good, I do think that the adventuring and platforming isn’t quite as successful, feeling a bit rough around the edges. I’m not personally a fan of the combat either; it just doesn’t feel right with the type of game this is.

But saying all of that, Orten Was The Case is a fun little indie with some brilliantly creative ideas. You may well have a wonderful time with it.

SUMMARY

Pros:
  • Timelooped fun
  • Animated visuals
  • Exploration
Cons:
  • Platforming
  • Combat
Info:
  • Massive thanks for the free copy of the game, Woodhill Interactive
  • Formats - Xbox Series X|S (review), Xbox One, PS4, PS5, PC
  • Release date and price - 29 November 2023 | £12.49
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Gareth Brierley
Gareth Brierleyhttp://www.garethbrierley.co.uk
I am an actor and a writer. I act quite a bit on stage, a little bit on tv and never on tuesdays. I have had some of my writing published and have written for TV and stage. I have been playing games since they begun and don't seem to be getting any better.
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<b>Pros:</b> <ul> <li>Timelooped fun</li> <li>Animated visuals</li> <li>Exploration</li> </ul> <b>Cons:</b> <ul> <li>Platforming</li> <li>Combat</li> </ul> <b>Info:</b> <ul> <li>Massive thanks for the free copy of the game, Woodhill Interactive</li> <li>Formats - Xbox Series X|S (review), Xbox One, PS4, PS5, PC <li>Release date and price - 29 November 2023 | £12.49</li> </ul>Orten Was The Case Review
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