Owlboy Image
Metascore
88

Generally favorable reviews - based on 47 Critic Reviews What's this?

User Score
7.6

Generally favorable reviews- based on 260 Ratings

Your Score
0 out of 10
Rate this:
  • 10
  • 9
  • 8
  • 7
  • 6
  • 5
  • 4
  • 3
  • 2
  • 1
  • 0
  • 0
  • Summary: Owlboy is a 'hi-bit' adventure game, where you can fly and explore a brand new world in the clouds. Pick up your friends, and bring them with you as you explore the open skies. Overcome obstacles and greater enemies in this detailed adventure.

Trailer

Play Sound
Please enter your birth date to watch this video:
You are not allowed to view this material at this time.
Owlboy - Demo Launch Trailer
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 44 out of 47
  2. Negative: 0 out of 47
  1. LEVEL (Czech Republic)
    Dec 12, 2016
    100
    A unique adventure that will help you to remember the best arcades of the last century in every bit of the game. [Issue #269]
  2. Nov 11, 2016
    95
    Owlboy is a 2D metroidvania platformer that gives you the best time; you’ll love how fluid the controls are and how they work really well no matter who your buddy is. The story is touching, interesting and full of great narrative, told through plenty of hugely expressive characters all worth knowing. I’m glad I got to play this, and it’s come at a time when I wasn’t expecting it. Owlboy will surprise you and it will move you beyond belief.
  3. Oct 29, 2016
    90
    Owlboy is one of this years biggest surprises. It's a fantastic game, with beautiful graphics and amazing music.
  4. 90
    Owlboy packs a fantastic amount of retro charm and genuine heart, with wonderful and creative gameplay to back it up. This long-awaited indie darling may be one of the year's best.
  5. Jan 27, 2017
    90
    Owlboy’s deceivingly simplistic delivery belies an enviable narrative, tourniquet-tight gameplay, and a cast you’ll fall in love with. Don’t miss it.
  6. Nov 14, 2016
    83
    There are slight gameplay issues like the control scheme. But that is secondary against the beautiful art design and the quality of storytelling.
  7. Dec 13, 2016
    70
    Owlboy looks amazing and has a soul, but the story is a let-down. The gameplay gets interrupted all the time, which is frustrating.

See all 48 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 25 out of 49
  2. Negative: 8 out of 49
  1. Nov 2, 2016
    10
    I LOVE Owlboy!! I'm only a few hours into this gorgeous adventure, but Otus stole my heart with the first flap of his capewings. TheI LOVE Owlboy!! I'm only a few hours into this gorgeous adventure, but Otus stole my heart with the first flap of his capewings. The pickup/throw/teleport mechanic is incredibly clever, and gives it a hint of puzzler feel on top of the incredible story telling. The dialogue is witty yet doesnt try to be something it isnt. The controls are intuitive and a breeze to grasp, yet it doesnt feel like I've already mastered everything it can throw at me. If you have any sort of light in your soul, and love a good soundtrack behind an amazing adventure, you cant pick up Owlboy fast enough!! Expand
  2. May 30, 2017
    10
    Owlboy is a masterpiece. I started thinking this around 3-4 hours in. The pacing is fantastic, the environments are varied and never getOwlboy is a masterpiece. I started thinking this around 3-4 hours in. The pacing is fantastic, the environments are varied and never get stale. The story is deep enough and dialogue isn't drawn out so the action is never bogged down. There is also quite a bit of humor with the little penguin henchmen who work for the shopkeep. Had me laughing more than most games.
    Combat for the first few hours of the game wasn't very difficult though it was still very enjoyable and from then on it ramps up in difficulty. The gradual difficulty curve I found to be very smooth so no fight ever really felt out of place. There are zones where you can't just rush through or you will be punished for sure (enemies chase you outside of their screen).
    My only gripe is the "twist" in the very end is a bit silly and left me thinking a majority of this conflict could have been resolved much earlier if the characters would have communicated better.
    Great game, I played through it in one day which is very uncommon for me. The last game I spent a whole Sunday playing was Breath of the Wild and before that... who knows.
    Expand
  3. Jun 18, 2018
    9
    Owlboy was released recently for XBox and PS4, which made me go search in my game library to see if I already own it. I found it and spent 10Owlboy was released recently for XBox and PS4, which made me go search in my game library to see if I already own it. I found it and spent 10 hours delighted with the game. Simply gorgeous.

    I think the introduction says it all, but I suspect you're expecting to listen a few more lines. Owlboy has been in development for almost 10 years and went almost unnoticed when it was released on PC. It is a puzzle platformer in which we solve some relatively easy puzzles to advance. Otus, our main character, sees his land attacked by pirates and creates a group of friends, consisting of characters once devalued by their peers, to try to save their world. It has to be said that it is a very well written story, with well characterized characters, each one with its own history, more or less detailed to the point that we sincerely care about all of them. Even some of the side characters or villains are extremely well represented. It's a linear story, with a small twist at the end, but very well set and explained. My only problem with the story, and not wanting to spoil it, is the final battle. In addition some of the dialogues become rather extense, although I believe that little or nothing could be excluded from the final product.
    Graphically the game was a surprise. I expected a Shovel Knight-like artstyle but the way they used the pixelart in this game, combining it with high-resolution graphics, immense details on the movements and expressions. The construction of worlds and scenarios goes far beyond the games that try emulate retro games. For example Otus does not speak but the facial and body expressions details are more than enough to perceive all their emotions and we can even imagine a whole dialogue just with them. Recently I spoke about the attention given to detail in Sea of Thieves and Owlboy is another great example of how to build a world and how to use art to do something well made.
    The game soundtrack does not disappoint and remarkably follows the tone of each. When we are quietly exploring the world the music is calm and relaxing, and when we are in a fighting section or when we need to do fast movements the music becomes more intense and dynamic. I liked the sound effects for each one of the movements and actions of the characters and even the sounds for the dialog boxes, and although nothing is extraordinary, undoubtedly a competent job was made.

    How do you play this? I tried to play it as a twin stick shooter, but at one point I got tired of it because it's so much easier to simply use keyboard and mouse. There was nothing fundamentally wrong with the configuration of the controller, but when the game reached a difficulty spike, I did not have enough skill to overcome a boss or a more demanding section, so I choose for the easier solution... change the controller.

    In this game we control Otus which as a standalone character does very little. He flies, twirls, and spins. The secret and charm of the game is that he can pick up any of his three friends and take advantage of their different abilities to progress through levels or areas that we would not have access to without them.

    Although the amount of enemies is not great, combat rarely seems repetitive because the way they appear, leads us to use different techniques to overcome them in each of those moments.
    The puzzles are relatively simple and often obvious, which means that you have the feeling that boss battles have a remarkable difficulty spike and required me numerous attempts to outcome most of them. The fact that the controls were somewhat confusing, which made me do multiple mistakes also did not help. In sections where we have time to think there was no big problem other than the frequent annoyance of picking up the friend rather than picking up an item or picking the wrong character, but during quick sequences a mistake ruins everything and in those times it becomes frequent.
    There are lots of collectibles and hidden areas that reward both exploration and the repetition of some of the areas when we gain access to new characters. Defeating enemies in a certain way also gives you access to new items.

    In a nutshell the game is this. A lovely world with characters with whom we can easily create a relationship. Graphically it managed to impress me by the way they included so many detail in the pixel art. A very engaging story. A game and also an experience that I highly recommend. Now available on all platforms, if you have the opportunity to play it do not discard this game.
    Expand
  4. Apr 27, 2017
    8
    A nice platformer with fun flying mechanics. The graphics looks nice and the sound is also good. But I had the feeling that the story couldA nice platformer with fun flying mechanics. The graphics looks nice and the sound is also good. But I had the feeling that the story could have been deeper and more characters could have been further developed throughout the game. Other than that, I recommend this title. Expand
  5. Dec 15, 2017
    7
    The art is beautiful, but you may find it boring if you're used to playing action loaded games. The gameplay is a bit lacking, it's not hard,The art is beautiful, but you may find it boring if you're used to playing action loaded games. The gameplay is a bit lacking, it's not hard, not interesting, neither is it new. it feels like it's just there to have something to do while looking at the beautiful graphics and enjoying the music. Expand
  6. Nov 12, 2016
    5
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. Alright, I just beat Owlboy after 7 hours of play (too much of which was cutscenes for my taste). I did not 100% it, though I did do some of the extra content.. It was alright, but highly disappointing. Wait for a sale.

    George Weidman (Super Bunnyhop on Youtube) described this game best: "I love you, but sometimes you're a piece of ****

    TECHNICAL PERFORMANCE:

    I believe the game at on point exited to desktop suddenly without warning. However, I can't replicate this. What I'm certain it did was minimize itself at points without warning, despite me only using a 360 controller. This happened a couple of times, and may have something to do with using a second monitor.

    There were a couple of framerate hiccups that frankly shouldn't have been there considering the style of game, but it wasn't anything harmful to the experience.

    You have some options for graphical settings, though not many. Understandable for the style of game.

    PRESENTATION:

    Lots of wonderful, stunning pixel art that I appreciate thoroughly. Animations are also nice, though there are unfortunately not many of them to see. Characters can emote, and Otus is a precious cinnamon bun, but after the 50th time he gets spooked or looks dead-eyed you kinda wish there were more things they could do. However, what's there is very nice.

    Menus worked alright, UI was fairly minimal and unintrusive. You have options to change parts of the UI, which is appreciated.

    There was a surprising amount of the screen going a single colour (white or red) due to shooting an enemy or something, and I found that pretty jarring.

    GAMEPLAY:

    This is where Owlboy just tanked for me. The first couple of hours were enjoyable, even if largely scripted. The ability to fly is nice, though it ultimately may have done the game more harm than good. In Owlboy you can fly indefinitely without consequence, which must have posed many problems for level designers trying to make a challenging 2D "platformer".

    It is more of an exploration-based game like Zelda or Metroid, but the only real exploration is done in the game's dungeons. There's some rudimentary puzzle solving, stealth sections, and shooting enemies, standard stuff. However, I never got into a flow like you might in a Zelda dungeon, where you start being unable to do very little to progress and by the end, can do everything in it. It didn't feel like Metroid either; I never felt lost, I never felt I had to explore much more than one or two screens over to find my next path to progress. The level design isn't particularly complex or elegant.

    Case-in-point, there was a section where you pass some deadly moving blocks into a room with a giant screw blocking your path. I'd never seen anything like it prior, and couldn't figure out the solution. There was a terminal window in the room, but all it said was a bunch of vague stuff about the story. I tried to leave the area, but found the deadly moving blocks would kill you no matter what timing you used, so all I could do was try the screw again. I did end up progressing, but from what I could tell, nothing prior taught you how to do it, and the solution was not even slightly in-line with anything shown before. That's poor level design, even if I'm just bad at puzzles.

    The real boss fights, while good when present, were far too scarce. Several "boss fights" were nothing more than waves of common enemies thrown at you, which was disappointing. This also exacerbated what I feel was the absolute biggest problem: the shooting. It's laid out like a twin-stick shooter, but the weapons at your disposal either don't feel remotely satisfying to use, taking far too many shots to kill, or are just impractical for combat. A shotgun you get halfway through has a preposterous cooldown, which is awful when it's used for several repetitive puzzles. Most of the game you'll be mashing a single button to shoot, just because they found it necessary to give your gun a 3-shot burst if you don't do that.

    Combat isn't just repetitive and time-consuming, it's also frustrating. When you get hit, the whole screen stops moving for a fraction of a second and you get flung in a seemingly random direction. If you hit a wall or an enemy, you also slide along that wall for a period of time. This looks good to a viewer, but when you're playing, it just feels like the controls are being yanked from your hand.

    CLOSING:

    I'm sure you can get something like double the time I spent out of this game, but I'd never want to do so. The game works fundamentally, but it's just not very fun after a while. The art is beautiful, but the game lags behind, trying to compensate by shoving story beats in your face.

    If you want pretty art and a bland game that might have you dying more than you expected, but not because it's difficult, go for it. I'd wait for a sale.
    Expand
  7. Nov 16, 2016
    0
    Imagine:

    - a Metroidvania with a straight, linear, structure - a platform without challenging screens - an adventure without puzzles - a
    Imagine:

    - a Metroidvania with a straight, linear, structure
    - a platform without challenging screens
    - an adventure without puzzles
    - a walking simulator without a compelling story

    put those all together, and there you go, you have Owlboy.

    for the first 4/5 minutes of the game, the only thing you do is:

    - click space for 50/60 times
    - walk around one screen on the right

    while listening to a cliched and depressing story about the main character being a complete disaster.

    This game will probably appeal the same audience who likes typical Disney stories of loser-turns-hero, and/or maybe those ones who feel warm and fuzzy when they see pixelated graphics; the problem is that there are much much better games for every single genre you can frame this game to be.

    Owlboy fails to be anything, because it doesn't try to be be anything.

    It's definitely one of the most overrated games I've ever played.
    Expand

See all 49 User Reviews

Trailers

Related Articles

  1. The 20 Best PC Games of 2016

    The 20 Best PC Games of 2016 Image
    Published: December 20, 2016
    We rank the highest-scoring computer games released during 2016.