Little Orpheus (Apple Arcade)

Most of the time I just play puzzle games on iOS devices as for anything larger I usually want to have a controller available. Now that iPadOS actually supports controllers like the Dualshock 4 controller (PS4) I wanted to give a different kind of game a try.

Little Orpheus is a rather simple jump’n run. The story takes place in a fictional 1962 when a certain Ivan Ivanovich (absolutely not related to that Ivan Ivanovich 😉) is put into a Soviet rocket drill and sent through the Earth’s crust in order to see if there is live below it. Things go quite wrong and Comrade Ivanovich is stranded in a world that looks as if the dinosaurs from Jurassic Park had invaded and destroyed Atlantis. Oh, and the atom bomb that the was also aboard has gone missing…

Yes, below the crust there is also an ocean

That whole story is told as an eight-part TV show (complete with CRT-TV look) narrated by our Comrade during an interrogation with a Soviet general after showing up on the surface of the Earth three years later. And if you think that this small part of the story sounds highly implausible, wait for the rest, and the reaction of the general. It’s absolutely hilarious and the humour in there is largely responsible for me having enjoyed the game so much! It’s basically a Soviet Munchhausen with dinosaurs. What more can you want?

OK, perhaps more interesting puzzles (we don’t go far beyond the most simple switch/lever puzzles), more precise controls (sometimes jumping doesn’t happen right when you hit the button), and simply an experience that feels a little less on-rails. That being said, the simple controls never reached a point where I got frustrated because I had missed a jump or something like that. The save-points are usually very close to tricky passages and the loading times once you’re inside a level are really short.

Another highlight of the game is its presentation. The voice work is top-notch, the graphics are top-notch, and the frame rate never takes a noticeable dive on my 5th generation iPad.

If you like jump’n runs and don’t mind one being slightly too easy, definitely give this one a look. The humour alone made me rush through it and then being said once I was through 😅

Over the years I've written quite a few reviews 🙂 You can find them at /reviews/.

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