What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Abyss Odyssey is a downloadable side-scrolling action game in which characters fight with bladed weapons and magic. There's no blood or gore, but combat is frequent, and some fighters are human or humanoid. Also, some female characters appear to be naked, though it's difficult to make out much beyond the sides of their breasts and hips. Teens with an interest in mythology may be interested in the game's exploration of Chilean folklore, which includes depictions of traditional warlocks and other magical creatures.
What kids can learn
- cultural understanding
Thinking & Reasoning
- meeting challenges together
Engagement, Approach, Support
Shifting tones from dark and ominous to swirling, light, and floral, the game's art nouveau design will inspire art-minded players. But its unforgiving and at times repetitive play design may turn off players who are easily frustrated.
Kids will learn about Chilean folklore by absorbing stories as they're presented over the course of the game. They'll also need to formulate strategies and will have opportunities to work with others as part of a team.
No external supports are provided, and the game doesn't always explain everything clearly. Some players likely will need to go online in search of player-generated tips and tutorials.
What's it about?
Set in Santiago, Chile, in the late 1800s, ABYSS ODYSSEY puts players in control of a hero who plunges deep into a pit teeming with fantastical foes. In reality, all the enemies are constructs of the consciousness of a powerful warlock. At first the game seems to be a standard action platformer with a fantasy twist, but it turns out to be much more complex than that. It combines elements of fighting games (via a surprisingly complex combat system) with the sort of character growth more common in role-playing games. Its rogue-like level design -- which means that each level is created by computer algorithms and will never look the same again, even on repeat visits -- brings to mind endlessly challenging games such as Spelunky. Plus, the online mode allows players to join together, teaming up to take down some of the game's harder bosses.
Is it any good?
Abyss Odyssey is a fever dream of a game. It feels like it was crafted by a designer who mashed all his favorite, seemingly disparate genres together and then wrapped them up in a stunning turn-of-the-century motif, creating a bizarre, beautiful, and defiantly unique interactive experience. It works -- most of the time. Diving into the Earth one randomly created chamber at a time and taking on whatever foes happen to lurk there can be a lot of fun -- and stressful to boot, given that death is semi-permanent. If your hero dies, you take control of another character and must try to return to a checkpoint to restore your hero to life.
That said, some players may take issue with the way the game is meant to be played. Losing progress can be frustrating -- even more so once you realize that the designers actually intended for players to die frequently and keep fighting the same enemies simply to level up their heroes. What's more, the interface is a bit finicky, making it difficult to attack with precision and avoid traps with deftly timed jumps. These issues make it harder to appreciate the blazing originality of the rest of the experience. Abyss Odyssey likely will find itself a cult hit among a particular audience of gamers. Others simply won't get it and will be too frustrated to bother trying to understand.
Families can talk about...
Families can talk about the depiction of female characters in games such as Abyss Odyssey. Why do you think this game's designers chose to make some of the game's characters seem naked? Does it add to the story, or did you find it distracting?
Most cultures are rich in folklore, though it tends to be disregarded in modern life. What did you like about the Chilean mythology described in this game? Did you notice any similarities between it and the lore of other cultures?