Journey, Flower, Abzu and Firewatch. These are some of the beautiful “wandering” games I’ve played in my day; I love a slow walk across a pretty land. I’m not a particularly fast paced man, I like to go slow and with the flow so yes, I love a game where the goal is just to enjoy the view. Then game pass came along and gave me a wonderful gift.
Taking place across a wider variety of environments than most other games of its ilk, Omno is a beautiful slice of adventure as you take control of a suspiciously Morph looking character in a world dominated by nature and stone architecture. Your lead character who for the sake of easy typing will henceforth be called, Geoff, wakes up alone in a swamp surrounded by creatures all framed with a light mist. In most other games I’d hate a swamp level, but here I found myself fascinated and curious to look around. Omno runs on a very basic engine that makes all the environments you explore pop with colour and light effects so even what should be a disgusting swamp is a treat for your eyes! After the swamp you get to adventure to more biomes including deserts, tundra and forests all of which are magical.
Anyway, back to the adventure, Geoff carries with him a staff which is hand for finding your way, though much like the Pirate Code, the pathways and maps shown are more like guidelines as you can wander about in any which direction only stopped by the natural barriers of massive cliffs or water. Geoff can freely jump about and interact with objects around him with a particular emphasis on the animals you encounter. As you progress little Geoff also begins to master new techniques including dashing, gliding and teleporting which can all be used together to really zoom across the map and reach the out of the way areas. To me the highlight of movement come from Geoff’s ability to surf down hills which lets you fly through wide open areas and allows you to see even more of the world in a more unique way!
All the animals you find are friendly and simply want to investigate this strange round creature before them and checking out each one will yield a reward of light and their name being added to your bestiary, though honestly, they’re all so fascinating that you’re likely to look at them without any reward anyway. I was especially fond of some rabbit like creature I encountered in a tundra zone who ran at the sight of me (just like all the ladies amirite?!) and then would return soon after and peek at me from a hiding place.
Of course, it’s not all nature cataloguing and jumping, there are also puzzles that require your attention before you can move on to the next area. None of these puzzles are too difficult which is ideal in a game that is overall a relaxing experience. Most simply involve pushing a few blocks around into the right space or using your staff to power up machines to make platforms or gates move of their own accord. Geoff is carrying around so intense power really!
At the end of my time with Omno I had found a certain inner peace. There is very little in this game besides the pursuit of a calming adventure and a suggestion to go at your own pace, I often found myself marvelling at the simple things like the sound of the wind whipping at Geoff’s scarf or the sound of his footsteps in sync with the gentle music. If you need a break from the hustle and bustle or time away from more intense gaming, then Omno is the way forward!
I give Omno
Meditative humming / 10