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Orbo's Odyssey is Psychonauts meets Sonic Adventure, and you can shoot your character like a bullet

Pondering the Orbo

A screenshot of Orbo's Odyssey, showing the squishy humanoid main character being fired through the air above a surreal green and yellow city of block-shaped apartments.
Image credit: Feverdream

Comedy platformer Orbo's Odyssey is a game about being locked in your boss's office. Here are some things I might do if I were locked in my boss's office (sorry Katharine): approve expense claims, sift their browser history for blackmail material and oh, who am I kidding, what I'd really do is perch on the desk, quiet as a churchmouse, waiting to be let out. Orbo's boss keeps an... atypical office, however. It harbours product portals that take you to alternate worlds, hewn from the same seam of weirdness as Psychonauts.

There's one that looks like the waterfront from Silent Cartographer - well, if you discount the giant garden gnome - another that resembles a Half-Life lab, complete with purple-veined monoliths, and a third set in a molten sherbet-painted city. Accompanied by coworker Peeb, Orbo must scour these pocket dimensions for the pieces of a prosthetic arm he can use to unlock the door. It's unclear whether these locations feature straightforward enemies, though the Steam page does give away the presence of a vexing Dracula infestation, and there's talk of "entities beyond human comprehension" loitering in the forgotten reaches of R&D.

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Orbo himself has many fine qualities - bushy doodled-on eyebrows, a healthy pink pallor, an unrivalled command of state tax code - but his key skill is that he can fire himself like a .50 calibre bullet, whether to complete a fly-through-the-hoops time trial section, or solve a terrain puzzle by headbutting something/somebody very hard. Each level is scattered with momentum-boosting props, such as circus cannons, which gives the trailer footage the feel of a Sonic Adventure clone that's got its wiring crossed with Human: Fall Flat. There's a pinch of Analgesic or thecatamites-style collage in there too - eerie photoshopped faces, pixellated tree snapshots. It's definitely an aesthetic I want to sink into.

Orbo's Odyssey is the work of Feverdream, whose members include John Ellis, "a 22 y/o nightmare engineer working on startling new experiences for the modern age". It's out in just under a week on 21st August. If all this rubs you the right way, you might enjoy Katharine's thoughts on the equally, though differently strange-looking Airhead.

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