Sunday, 27 October 2013

Free Indie Game: Olav & the Lute


Olav & the Lute
It is a wonderful time to be a gamer. The vast amount of games available is staggering, and new games are being produced every single day. These range from the biggest blockbuster marvels all the way to quirky free independent games. As such, it is always great to find out about a gem of a game that I otherwise would have missed. Olav & the Lute is one such game, and it was The Adventure Gamer that uncovered it for me.

The magical lute, the key to awakening the loom

The game puts you in the shoes of Olav, and you find yourself in a strange post-apocalyptic fantasy world. As you progress from room to room, you find a book and a lute which allow you to create magical effects on the world around you. Strumming a tune on the lute can destroy, burn, poison and more, but by reversing the notes you can repair, freeze, heal and so on.

The silent, slumbering loom.

Figuring out these tunes requires interacting with the world around you, with certain items ringing out with a particular set of notes (helpfully colour-coded for those of us with a certain lack of musical talent). An early puzzle has you looking at a "king-sized key" to receive the tune of locking/unlocking, and using it on the conveniently nearby "queen-sized door".
Playing my way out



The rest of the puzzles require a little more legwork, but I found myself happily wandering around the little fragmented game world. Each location has things to interact with, even though it might not be obvious to begin with, whilst others are purely for atmospheric or humorous purposes.

Two strange men in gas masks, but their fire is what I need

From the various points in the game world you discover the different tunes you will need to proceed. At first this is typical adventure gaming behaviour - why do we solve the puzzle? Because it was there! Later though, the pieces fit together and you learn how to awaken the loom.
The ghost is upset...

For the glass, you learn to fill it from the water tank. For the sword you learn to repair it from the reverse of the destruction machine. For the fire you merely had to find another fire, with those strange men in the snow. Finally you awaken it by reversing the tune you get from falling asleep (because of the ghost?), and so it ends. It doesn't appear to end well for poor Olav though, as awakening the loom causes a cave-in. The last thing you see is Olav being taken back by whatever or whoever put him there.
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Keep Calm and Drink
I have to say, my only problem with the game is how short it is. Understandably so, but I would hope that Shelly Alon and friends would consider expanding on it in future. I'd love to see more varied and interesting puzzles, perhaps ones relying on multiple tunes. The main influence on the game is of course Loom, which I played recently. It's a shame that more games don't experiment a little more with how your character interacts with the world like this one has.

The Loom Awakened
I'd highly recommend this charming little game to any and all adventure game fans out there, and thanks to the Unity engine that it was made with, you can even play it in your web browser without having to download it (although it's a very small download!).

1 comment:

  1. Good review, thanks for writing it. I also wish it offered more to do.

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