A platformer designed to test the precision of your speedrunning skills, OkunoKA Madness combines brutally challenging levels with an adorable alien protagonist and a gorgeous fantasy setting.
You play as KA, a cute blue creature with sticky legs and a long tongue, and it is your mission to save the world of souls from your bitter enemy, Os. The story doesn’t have a huge impact on the gameplay, but the bit of context it offers is nice.
The game itself is a precision platformer in the vein of Super Meat Boy. If you’re into that genre, it’s well worth getting this game. The early levels will feel very familiar. There are only so many ways that you can pick up the same controls and style of movement, after all. You run, jump over things and cling to walls to traverse each platform.
But the levels in OkunoKA Madness soon incorporate the fantastical terrain and obstacles unique to its world. You have to avoid steampunk-style mechanical monsters, armed with an assortment of spikes and spinning blades and flickering lasers. Once you’ve got the hang of getting around obstacles, you obtain the ability to control fire and ice. This allows you to change the solidity of icy and burning platforms so you can either cling onto them or leap right through. This lends a puzzle element to each level that makes you think creatively as well as move quickly.
As well as replaying platforms to beat your own score, there are also online leaderboards where you can compare your score to other players around the world.
OkunoKA Madness is the kind of rapid-paced game designed to challenge your reflexes. After each level, you are given a grade based on how quickly you completed the platform as well as a note of how many times you died before you made it. Each level can be finished in a matter of seconds, but it will take a hell of a lot longer to figure out how.
Over 100 levels are split into worlds. At the end of each world, there is a boss battle. You don’t have an attack option, so you have to use what you know about that world’s specific dangers to get your opponent to damage themselves, dodging and leaping with expert timing to get them to charge directly into harmful thorns. When you win, you are rewarded with a brief cutscene that offers more of a glimpse into the game world.
OkunaKA Madness has a lot of elements that are common to its genre, but they’re very well executed. The world is original, with bursts of bright colours and wonderfully detailed backgrounds that show off the alien landscapes and the monsters that inhabit them.