Have you played Limbo yet? No? Well, worry not as developers from MTV Networks have brought a similarly dark-themed puzzle game to Android devices with their latest release, Oscura. We have already reported that Oscura is pretty similar to Limbo. Today, we go hands on to see if it is just a cheap knock-off of the highly popular PC/console game or does it bring something new to Android. If you don’t know what Limbo is then let me tell you that it a critically acclaimed Indie puzzle game developed for multiple platforms like PC, Mac, consoles, etc. It has won more than 90 awards and has gathered best ratings from top gaming website like Kotaku, Joystiq, etc
I’ll tell you right off the bat that this game has a pretty slow gameplay just like Limbo–I don’t like that much. One difference between them are the objectives; in this game you have to collect as many stars/shards to complete a level. Each level is comprised of different types of puzzles and obstacles that make the game somewhat difficult for a beginner. [I’m stuck at level 4]
Your character is a forest monster or something similar with a flame in its hand. As you move through the level, every lamp in his path is lit up. You have to collect stars to fill-up your Sands of Time meter. The Sands of Time meter is pretty similar to Bullet-Time from Max Payne as it slows down the time and gives you an advantage to complete some obstacles as quickly as you can. Still, the gameplay is unique and intuitive but the only downside is that the game only has 12 maps, more to come with future updates but just 12 levels make it a rather short game.
As I already mentioned the game is heavily inspired by Limbo and is visually identical to it. The game packs the same dark theme and 2D environment that has been rendered in Stylized 3D aesthetic. The game is not colorful or bright but the blacks are perfect and crisp. You will enjoy the game more on a SAMOLED display with richer blacks.
Oscura packs mysterious background tune that blends really well with the gameplay and enhances the overall experience of the game. The whole tune is composed to give the game a dark theme. Other sounds effects also add to the overall gameplay and make the game much more immersive.
Initially I was disappointed by the controls, however, the game lets you choose a different control scheme so in the end I was happy. There are two types of controls, on-screen buttons and touch based. On-screen buttons are easier to understand and are more responsive. Also, buttons are sized accurately and well place. As for the touch based controls, they were a nightmare. You have to touch either side to move your character in the respective direction and if you want to jump then you have to tap the opposite direction. [for example: If you’re going right then press left to jump and vice versa]. The touch based controls are very difficult to understand and you will mess-up too often.
Oscura is a perfect alternative to Limbo on a mobile device. It is one of the best side-scrolling games available on the Play store. For a price of $1.99 it is a must buy for anyone who enjoys puzzles and some real side scrolling action, don’t forget the amazing visuals.