Generally favorable reviews - based on 26 Critic Reviews

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 17 out of 26
  2. Negative: 0 out of 26
  1. Mar 1, 2021
    Olija is a fun and engrossing action-adventure game that has you fighting foes and solving puzzles with a magical harpoon. A little on the short side, but a fun experience that leaves you wanting more.
  2. Feb 2, 2021
    Olija is incredibly cinematic, despite its minimalist approach to art style. The game still feels fantastical thanks to an incredible attention to detail with both the visual and sound design. In addition, Olija tells a heartfelt story with important themes, while keeping satisfying gameplay at the center of it all. It becomes even more impressive when you realize the game was practically developed by one person, Thomas Olsson of Skeleton Crew Studios. Olija is a pleasant treat and likely an early frontrunner for one of the best indie titles of 2021.
  3. Jan 28, 2021
    Olija is a unique, intriguing adventure that brings players to a strange land. It isn't long but its length is enough. The visuals and atmosphere are first-rate, as are the combat and level design. All of that makes it an easy game to recommend.
  4. Jan 29, 2021
    Overall Olija is a good game. I just wish it was longer. I finished a fair portion of the game in around 5 hours and I can’t imagine I would have spent much longer had I decided to get all the collectibles. However, I think $15 is the perfect price for Olija; I much rather have a short good game than a long mediocre one and being left wanting more is a much better problem to have than never wanting to touch a game again. Just know that Olija is a concise but strong experience and a great way to start off 2021.
  5. Jan 28, 2021
    Olija is a game that thrives in its Asian fantasy atmosphere and well-realized gameplay. The story and soundtrack are artistic and evoke special moods, while the combat and exploration are a neat and interesting package. The journey is short and sweet and only held back by a few stumbles in its narrative delivery.
  6. Jan 28, 2021
    I was bowled over by the level of quality of all this one person has achieved. Olija is clearly Olsson's personal work, and its story, of Europeans lost in mysterious and frightening Eastern waters, in part reflects his own experience of moving from his birthplace in France to Japan to be with his wife. But I felt sometimes a disquieting air of orientalist fantasy, as we encounter an inscrutable culture headed by the beautiful Lady Olija, who we chase into submission. But I also loved the clash of rough and ready mariners facing a strange and terrible world of corrupted beauty. I only wish their voyage was a little longer.
  7. Jan 28, 2021
    Because despite the strength of Olija's tone and mechanics, it is a very moody game. There's not a lot to say in indie platformers that hasn't been done elsewhere and so it all comes down to execution. I don't think the story or characters or themes of Olija will stick with me for a long time, but I will remember the game nonetheless. I will remember the world actually, as if I was the one braving mosquito filled bogs and slimy tombs. Thomas Olsson and Skeleton Crew Studio aren't telling stories so much as they are crafting worlds. That's what kind of game Olija is: a world you can get lost in.
  8. Edge Magazine
    Feb 25, 2021
    Faraday's enthralling quest is up there with the best games Devolver has published to date. [Issue#356, p.105]
  9. Feb 11, 2021
    Olija is a god game built for a specific audience. If you loved classic exploration and combat titles on the PC from the ’80s, then this experience has plenty to offer. The graphical style will be charming, the gameplay challenging enough but not impossible to master. The narrative is not too engaging but it will keep players interested. Unfortunately, there’s little to bring in those who simply lack those gaming memories. The pixelated look can easily be judged as hard to understand, stifling experimentation and making it hard to enjoy the exploration. The harpoon mechanics are solid but they cannot sustain the game on their own. More care to make it accessible for a wider range of players would have made the entire experience more attractive.
  10. Feb 4, 2021
    This game made me feel like a swashbuckling stranger in a foreign land for a couple of evenings, and left me wanting more. What’s there is lean and sometimes exquisite, but there wasn’t time to fully explore the different weapons (or try on all those dapper hats) before Faraday’s adventure came to an end after around six hours. I could have spent twice as long exploring this beautiful and mysterious creation, but I’m grateful nonetheless for the journey I’ve had.
  11. Feb 1, 2021
    Subverting my expectations, Olija has earned its place as one of the most haunting, and surprising games I’ve played in quite some time. I cannot recommend this game enough.
  12. Jan 31, 2021
    Its staging has steadily transported us, while its cleverly designed boss fights have us fully engaged. Only, by the time we have fully assimilated its mechanics, Olija has stopped. As soon as the last gear is unlocked, the end credits take us back from the gaming systems that were only waiting for a final level to shine brightly. We would have liked to be able to test our abilities in one final twisted climb, defending ourselves from an ambush with uncertain outcome or in a final duel at the top like Genishiro Ashina de Sekiro.
  13. Jan 29, 2021
    It’s not all seamless, exactly how it’s blend of home-base to expedition works takes a while to become apparent – leading to some confusion. The combat too and dashing about is a little imprecise (even when using a d-pad) which can lead to some frustrating boss encounters. In the end, through brevity, variety, and focus, Olija is a rewarding slice of action, contemplative fiction, with great action-adventure design.
  14. Jan 29, 2021
    We hope that Skeleton Crew Studio will not stop at one game, and we'll learn the further story of relationships between Faraday and Olija in the sequel.
  15. Jan 28, 2021
    Olija's best asset, truly, is its brevity. Its story is impeccably paced. Its mechanics never wear out from overuse. From start to finish, it finds new ways to gently goad you into using the harpoon in different ways, until it says its piece. I was taken with how emotionally resonant and mechanically pleasing it could be in such a short time. Succinct and satisfying is a rare combination, and it makes Olija a rare treat.
  16. 75
    The product of a one man team, Olija is a tight and entertaining seafarer’s voyage that manages to be memorable despite not bringing anything particularly revolutionary to the table. Instead, it’s in the atmosphere and tone that Olija excels, proving that the deep blue sea isn’t full of just terrors.
  17. Jan 31, 2021
    If one could sit back and honestly be happy with a six-hour experience with beautiful voice acting and music, non-frustrating gameplay, and most importantly, is fun from start to finish, then Olija definitely a game you want to check out and one we can easily recommend.
  18. Feb 21, 2021
    Quotation forthcoming.
  19. Jan 28, 2021
    Olija enters a crowded genre and its gameplay does little to revolutionize the scene, but it still manages to stand out with a unique visual style that greatly contributes to its intriguing, atmospheric tone. Anyone interested in the story should go in blind, as a sense of mystery adds to the experience. The Devolver catalog has often curated the best in niche indie games, and Olija is another good addition for those looking for a unique, moody, maritime experience.
  20. Jan 28, 2021
    Olija is a short-lived odyssey, and it would’ve been great if there were additional difficulties or any sort of incentive to replay its brief, four-hour campaign. But as a bite-sized 2D action adventure, it leaves a very strong impression thanks to a magical harpoon that makes fighting, moving, and discovering secrets especially rewarding. Its combat in particular packs a surprising amount of depth and flexibility, even if its enemies and bosses never really stepped up and demanded that I engage with that depth to defeat them. Much like Faraday himself, I don’t see myself ever returning to Olija’s mysterious world, but it’s an adventure I won’t soon forget.
  21. Jan 28, 2021
    Olija is truly a great experience, a delicious and clever Pixel Art Swashbuckler video game that offers a great setting, gorgeous visuals, a world and a story to love fondly. But sadly, it is really too easy and too short.
  22. Jan 28, 2021
    Obviously, that means that I can’t call this a bad game because it isn’t. It’s objectively a good sort of game. But it’s not a game that really lit me on fire in any way. I almost feel like part of me would have preferred a more flawed title in some ways, something that felt like it was reaching a little more in an area other than just raw presentation…But some of this might just be me being cantankerous. I can’t say Olija is all that great, but it’s definitely a solid game that aimed at what it wanted to be and hit it squarely. It’s unlikely to be anyone’s favorite game, but it is – at least – doing its own thing with no small degree of confidence.
  23. Jan 28, 2021
    Overall, I’m still quite pleased I got the opportunity to review Olija. Devolver has a knack for publishing quirky and unique fare, and that tradition continues here. I just wish it wasn’t so short. Because the world of Terraphage is a fascinating one, and I really wish I could have gotten more lost in it. But those complaints aside, this is still a very solid game worth checking out. Here’s hoping the next project by Skeleton Crew Studio is a bit more robust.
  24. Jan 28, 2021
    I can't say that Olija is a complete misfire. The way that the characters and enemies are animated in this pixel art style is superb. The world of Terraphage is fantastically bleak and it says a lot that my biggest criticism that I wanted to spend more time there. Unfortunately, the combat mechanics and story lack the depth that I wanted them to have. There are some good ideas here, but Olija is a voyage that ends far too soon.
  25. Jan 28, 2021
    Olija doesn’t do enough to be regarded as generally good, but at the same time doesn’t frustrate to the point of truly damaging the experience. Had Olija been without its frantic, harpoon-wielding combat, the story might’ve been different. Then again, the similar emphasis on a story and a world that feels neither purposeful nor refined, could’ve had the result land in more promising waters too. Perhaps this middling indecisiveness is the real conclusion to draw from a game like Olija. A short, platforming-of-sorts release that doesn’t commit to any one definable trait and ends up a scatterbrain of ideas that don’t gel or add up to anything remarkable. At the same time, providing little to evoke any manner of meaningful investment. That’s not to say there isn’t enjoyment and moments of delight to find here, but there’s something equally dispensable about Olija‘s design and equally “seen before” with its tone, that doesn’t hit home as effectively as it may want to.
  26. Jan 28, 2021
    Olija’s atmosphere is spot on and despite its huge pixels, the game manages to channel Hugo Pratt’s fabled Corto Maltese graphic novels that take place in similar exotic corners of the world. The gameplay also works most of the time, but as is often the case with indie games, the authoritarian developer has gone overboard. The less is usually more but here, the style simply went over the substance and 12 hours of playtime more than overstays its welcome considering the game's ultimately shallow bounty.
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  1. Feb 3, 2021
    An action platformer game with some metroidvania inspirations and a charming but dark atmosphere. It is short, very short,but it is also a high quality indie game.
  2. Jan 28, 2021
    Really, Olija is proof that you can have a tense and satisfying action game without a punishing level of difficulty. Its harsh world made me feel uncomfortable — but it never made me mad.
User Score

Mixed or average reviews- based on 4 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 1 out of 4
  2. Negative: 1 out of 4
  1. Feb 22, 2021
    Agradables gráficos pixel art, excelente música, gran jugabilidad. El estilo del juego con esa atmósfera oriental me trae recuerdos deAgradables gráficos pixel art, excelente música, gran jugabilidad. El estilo del juego con esa atmósfera oriental me trae recuerdos de clásicos como Saboteur (de 8 bits) o el primero de los Prince of Persia.
    Es recomendable jugar con mando, aunque configurando a medida los controles también puedes usar el teclado + ratón de forma aceptable.
    La dificultad no es muy elevada, y aunque el guardado es automático los puntos de control son constantes así que cuando mueras no te verás obligado a repetir extensas zonas, lo que evita la frustración al menos entre los jugadores menos habilidosos o pacientes.
    El único "pero" es su poca extensión, no solo en los que dura el juego en sí sino también en otros aspectos como el número de tiendas e ítems que puedes adquirir para mejorar tus habilidades.
    Pero sus divertidas mecánicas, así como una historia muy sugerente, te mantendrán atrapado hasta el final.
    Full Review »