Puzzle games can go one of two ways for me; they’re either extremely frustrating or incredibly compelling. I’m pleased to report that OmoTomO falls into the latter category.
A puzzle game featuring two snake-like plant creatures trying to make their way to the pots filled with water in a small zen garden, OmoTomO is very straightforward to play. Taking control of both OmoTomO creatures at once (or, in co-op mode, one creature each), you’ll use only the Joy-Con’s stick to move them in a specific direction. They’ll move along the pattern of pebbles until they hit a wall, obstacle or another part of themselves (or the other creature), so careful planning is required if you want to get each of them to the correct spot in the stage. It has the feel of mobile phone classic Snake, with failure occurring if your creature is unable to move; you can, at this stage, reset the level with a single button press and try again.
The presentation is wonderful; it has a very peaceful, appropriately zen feel, the action taking place entirely within the little garden environment (even the menu screen is part of the ‘case’ that the game takes place in – it’s very cleverly done), across four seasons. There’s also a beautiful ambient soundtrack that features calming birdsong and other nicely chilled out effects.
From a gameplay perspective, it’s simple but soon becomes challenging, layering on small elements to add a little more complexity as you proceed – as all the best puzzle games do. Having a co-op mode is a great addition, though do be advised that good communication with your partner is key!
There’s one issue I have – and that’s the lack of an undo button that would allow you to reverse a single move; it seems that the only way to proceed once an error is made is to reset the stage entirely – this can lead to lots of work being undone, particularly once the puzzles start to become more and more complex.
However, OmoTomO is a pleasant surprise; a relaxing puzzler that can be enjoyed either alone or with a friend, with a nicely paced level of challenge and 50 stages to work through. Though the lack of an undo button that could take you back a step at a time would be welcome, levels aren’t so long or difficult that this becomes too much of an issue. I love the general aesthetic and overall feel of the palindromic OmoTomO – this is one I’d highly recommend if you’re looking for a more leisurely paced experience than the usual action-based fare.
Many thanks to Forever Entertainment for providing the OmoTomO code for review.
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