Odium to the Core - Nintendo Switch - Impressions

In the week leading up to Christmas I got to mess around with a fairly engaging indie title named Odium to the Core which actually launched on December 25, 2018 for the Nintendo Switch. 

Recently founded Macedonia based developer Dark-1 labels Odium to the Core as a, "single-button, music-based challenging side-scrolling game with a beautiful but dark monochromatic art style", and while I agree Odium to the Core has a beautiful Limbo-esque art style, I wouldn't actually call the game music based though it does feature a terrific soundtrack.

Odium to the Core tasks you with guiding some sort of alien like tadpole life form across a two-dimensional level using a single button to avoid walls and traps. Seldom does the rhythm of the music play a part in your survival but when it does it is well done. For instance certain traps can only be dodged on the beat but other than that I found myself just enjoying the music rather than trying to stay in-sync with it. For the most part I was just guiding the character on my own trying to follow the red dots on the screen which snap off in-time snare drum hits when touched, but their path is merely a suggestion and not a requirement.

I found the game to be incredibly difficult but not necessarily frustrating. When I actually focused I could do well and when I died it was my fault. The levels contain fair challenges. I thought some of the levels could have used more checkpoints especially once I noticed the level design pattern of placing two difficult sections of traps between most checkpoints. My biggest suggestion is to add a checkpoint after each difficult section rather than force players to memorize two sections at a time. 

There are short and simple cut-scenes between every couple levels. I didn't feel they did much to push the narrative but then again, I thought Odium to the Core's atmosphere was compelling enough without much of a narrative anyway. 

I'm not sure what I was expecting but I was surprised by the quality and game-play of this title and I played it a lot longer than I thought I would. I haven't finished it and I'm not sure I will, but I did manage to play through the first ten out of sixteen levels. As difficult as it was, I was hooked on this game for a couple hours. It's difficulty demanded my full attention and getting through some of the tougher spots with it's great soundtrack blaring was zen-like. 

Odium to the Core is only $4.99 on the Nintendo Switch store and I definitely recommend it giving it a shot at that price. Multiple difficulties. A day-one patch adds an Endless mode.

- Matt

Watch The First Fifteen Minutes of Odium to the Core below!

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