Ancients of Ooga [Review]

Cannabalism, possessions... this game has it all!

Ancients of OOGA

Sometimes you just need to sit down and play a silly game; a game that makes you feel like a kid.  Ancients of Ooga, a puzzle platformer developed by J. Kentworthy Entertainment, will definitely bring you down to a kid’s level with its all-around goofiness.

You are The Great Spirit of Ooga.  A deity whose purpose is to save the Ooganis from the Boolis.  Why are they trapped in the Boolis’ clutches?  Well in a story drawn out in cave pictures, it is basically explained that they were tricked.  The story is explained to you by an imprisoned Oogani in several pieces after you complete a level.  The Boolis, are not the nicest creatures in the world, and that is probably why their name sounds like “bullies”.  At the beginning of the game,  only one of the chiefs of the Ooganis is still alive, and you must control him.  Your character looks like some floaty skeleton, and in its spirit form, is completely useless.  The Great Spirit of Ooga can only possess actual people, and through them complete objectives.

Most of what you play is from a side-scrolling perspective with the ability to move anywhere in the level possible.  For platforming games like this, it’s definitely a plus that they stuck with no manual camera movement.  The objectives that you face are far from hard, and most of the time you can clear a level very quickly.  This being said, the game is still long as there are many objectives in each level to complete before clearing it.

To help you through these often booby-trapped levels, each different tribe has special abilities; although you have to unlock them by getting to a certain place.  Certain tribes can breath fire, some can walk through thorned patches unscathed, and some can even traverse molten lava (although they can get hurt if they do not hurry along).  As your spirit can possess and un-possess these tribesmen, you will often have to beam back and forth to pass through a chain of obstacles.  Even those that do not have powers can be used for some functions such as unlocking gates by inhabiting them on the other side of said gate.

Ancients of OOGA

The characters in the game are often twitchy, and the animation can be paired slightly to the Crash Bandicoot series.  The jumpy and highly animated nature of these silly creatures can often result in missing a jump or ladder, as the constant movement throws your landing off.  The levels themselves are brightly colored, and usually have a central theme to them dependent on which tribe you are trying to win over.

Ancients of Ooga has a jungle themed soundtrack which mostly consists of bongos and the like.  The creatures sounds are mostly gibberish, with subtitles at the bottom of the screen.  Their voice acting, although nonsensical, is not all that well made.  Character talking does not sound natural and I would almost have rather had them just not talked at all or make some sort of sound instead.

There is a lot to do in the game; with items to collect aside from the normal objectives.  For instance, each level has a set number of bones for you to collect.  The objectives themselves can be a little repetitive; as some tasks for a tribe will be similar in all of the tribes, but most of them are entertaining.  The difficulty of these tasks are not all hard, but trying to complete all of the side tasks can be time consuming.

I think the game would be great for kids as far as the silliness goes, but there is a lot of reading required to complete the game.  It’s a good game for the big kid in any adult, and I think it is worth the $10 XBLA price tag.

Jessica Weimar
Jessica Weimar
Jessica Weimar

MASH Veteran

Jessica is clearly a fan of video games, or she wouldn't be writing for this site. She attends college and like most other staff on the site, has a day job that she despises. She spends most of her free time playing games with her boyfriend.

The Latest from Mash