Once in a while, it’s good for the game consumption part of the brain to take a break from big-budget shooters, cinematic action games, and even beloved platformers, in order to play a dead-simple, flat-out fun game. An app like Spaceteam comes to mind, with its “shout out commands and press buttons” instructions, and little else except lots of chaotic fun. OLO certainly seems to fit the bill of simplicity, but does it maintain a driving enjoyability throughout?
The best way I’ve found to describe OLO is a mixture between curling (if Curling was actually enjoyable and not just people sweeping with ridiculously expensive brooms), and air-hockey. Each game has you trying to shoot your limited amount of tokens (the titular “OLOs) into a “target zone” on your opponent’s side. Overshoot the goal zone, and your opponent gets your OLO, and vice versa.
The physics system allows other strategies to come into play, such as bouncing your OLO off of the “sides” of the table, or smacking your opponent’s OLO(s) out of the target zone. At the end of the game, after all OLOs have been shot three times at most, or all OLOs are resting in either target zone, the final score is tallied. Whoever has the most OLOs in their opponent’s zone wins. Simple.
That adjective also carries weight in regards to the game’s aesthetics. From the Spartan, yet colorful graphics, the perfect UI, and the well-suiting soundtrack, OLO has a tight coat of polish with no “fat” whatsoever.
The mixture of strategic planning and OLO colliding chaos adds up to a nice little game altogether. Two player (same-screen) and two-player online are decent methods to pursue challengers, and the developers even added a four-player mode for those players who want to take OLO to a new level (Note: The writer did not play the four player mode for this review.) The game overall could do with more screen space, like that of an iPad, but the game still plays fine on an iPod Touch 5G.
OLO delivers a simple and perfectly compacted experience best in short bursts. I can imagine those looking for a dinner-night-out replacement to games like Hangman and Tic-Tac-Toe will be the most pleased with this app.