Toga party gone wild.
Set to land this Summer from Coffee Powered Machine and Devolver Digital is Okhlos, the ultimate angry mob action strategy game, perfect for a relaxing afternoon. While angry mobs may sprout up for many reasons, in Okhlos, it is all about the gods of ancient Greece.
If you have ever found yourself cursing the gods for whatever fate has befallen you, then you may be able to relate with the unnamed Philosophers at the heart of Okhlos. It is one of these Philosophers that has simply had enough of the gods’ seemingly uncaring attitude towards humans, and decides to incite an angry mob to deal with them once and for all. Set in ancient Greece, these are the gods of Olympus, and their mythical creatures, that have to be dealt with. So build up you mob and lay waste to everything in your path.
The controls are as simple as can be. The player controls their Philosopher directly with the keys, whilst the mob that they incite is controlled with the mouse. This makes it easy to keep the Philosopher out of the action, as angry mob members can always be replaced, but lose all of your Philosophers and it is game over. A few other keyboard buttons are used for various different items, but the reality is that Okhlos is very easy to pick up and play.
The strategy comes from actually forming your mob. Move the Philosopher close to any average citizens, and they will join the mob and start wreaking havoc. But there are different types of units that can bring different abilities to the mob, ranging from your average peasant to slaves which can carry useful items, for the likes of healing and such. There are both attacking and defending units, and even various animals that can be used to fill out the mob. Then there are the hero units, of which there are over a hundred, each of which brings something special to the party, such as poisoning enemies or simply increasing the number of units your mob can allow. Shops can be found between levels that allow the player to swap out some of their units for different types, further adding control to your mob’s make up.
The levels through which the player will guide their mob are procedurally generated, offering a different experience each time, but generally follow the same pattern. Players will guide their Philosopher and the mob through each level, taking out all of the present enemy units and destroying everything in their path, to unlock gates that allow access to the next level. This goes on until they face an actual god, which is great fun, before moving onto the next Greek city. It is absolute chaos, especially once the mob grows in size, but there is something quite relaxing about the wholesale destruction.
With a seemingly confused release date, Okhlos is currently listed as launching this Summer on Steam, although looking around on the ‘net will reveal all manner of different release dates, most of which have passed. Still, I would guess Okhlos will be out soon, as the game seems pretty complete to me.
Checking out the pre-release of Okhlos has been great. I love the retro styling of the game, and the gameplay is refreshingly straight forward. That is not to say Okhlos is a breeze, as things get tricky quite quickly and having to watch both the mob and your Philosopher can lead to moments of “damn, I didn’t see that coming”. With similarities to both Pikmin and Rampage, if you fancy controlling an angry mob and sticking it to the ancient Greek gods, then keep your eyes peeled for Okhlos on Steam, for PC, Mac and Linux.