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Omori is out and looks destined for mega fandom

An illustrated image from the RPG Omori, showing three sleeping kids and one lying awake, drawn in a colourful palette.

Omori seems like it’s riffing a bunch of games I’ve never played. It’s a topdown RPG about a group of friends, living in a small town and tumbling into a strange fantasy world that alternates between colourful and creepy. You, a learned reader, might look at it and reference EarthBound or Undertale or Yume Nikki. I, an idiot who has not played those games, have simply been looking at its ‘overwhelmingly positive’ Steam reviews and watching Twitch streams while slowly realising that this is something we should all be paying attention to.

From the streams I’ve watched, the experience of playing it seems to be a traditional mixture of combat, light dialogue choices, and small puzzles. The combat pits you and your pals against a menagerie of nightmare creatures, but while the Steam page is covered in content warnings, I’ve not seen anything gruesome or indulgently dark. It’s serious about its serious themes, and lighthearted in abundance to balance it out.

What’s intriguing to me is the particular details of its world, and the lovely characters within it. It’s the kind of game that seems easy to spoil though, so I’ll spill no more.

Omori was initially Kickstarted back in 2014 with a projected release date of 2015. Development took longer than expected, as these things are prone to do. I’m more interested in it being the first game by Omocat, a company that otherwise produces fashion and merchandise featuring illustrations similar to those in the game. Omocat was originally just one person, and they said in a statement on Twitter that once the Kickstarter funds ran out, it was clothing sales that funded the rest of the game. That’s a creation story I’ve never heard before.

Omori is out now (it was released in December 25th – bold) and costs £15.49/$20/€16.79 via Steam. I would bet all the money in my pocket* on it being a cult smash people are raving about before the end of the year, and hopefully we’ll have a review on the site soon.

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Graham Smith

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