Metascore
88

Generally favorable reviews - based on 47 Critics

Critic 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 14, 2016
    100
    D-Pad Studio has crafted a sublime, pitch-perfect adventure. Smart, gripping, joyful and expansive, Owlboy sets the bar sky-high for future 2D platformers.
  3. Nov 4, 2016
    100
    An amazing platform experience from top to bottom. From the gameplay to the art to its style of wit and storytelling, Owlboy takes notes from the long history of its genre and combines them into a stellar journey.
  4. Nov 3, 2016
    100
    Aside from just being one of the best indie platformers or retro throwbacks in recent memory, it’s easily just one of this year’s best games, period. Aside from playing like a dream and having flight-based gameplay that’s an absolute delight, it evokes the old quote of “You’ll laugh, you’ll cry” through an absolutely astounding and moving story with several lovable characters and a fascinating world to discover.
  5. Oct 27, 2016
    100
    Owlboy is a special game. Almost a decade in the making has certainly allowed for a rarely seen amount of polish and effort in an industry brimming with day-one patches and rushed deadlines. I'm at a loss when trying to think of critiques, honestly. I can't even say that I wish there was more of it because what is here is just so damn satisfying from start to finish, and I wouldn't want to ruin that.
  6. 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.
  7. Nov 1, 2016
    95
    Owlboy is a phenomenal adventure that succeeds in telling a captivating story with interesting characters and enjoyable gameplay.
  8. Oct 28, 2016
    95
    Make no mistake, I unabashedly love this game. It’s a beautiful, near-perfect blend of old-school whimsy and new-school innovation. I’d never heard of Owlboy before it re-emerged earlier this year, but even if I’d spent nearly a decade anticipating this release, I can’t imagine that the finished product would have left me unsatisfied. It’s one of the best 2D platformers I’ve ever played.
  9. Nov 2, 2016
    93
    Owlboy shines thanks to surprisingly varied, Metroidvania-style gameplay and a charming cast of unlikely heroes whose bittersweet journey is among the best I’ve experienced in recent years. Its remarkably detailed pixel art makes every scene more breathtaking than the last, but it’s the relationships between characters in both story and gameplay that makes Owlboy something truly special.
  10. Nov 6, 2016
    92
    After nine years in development Owlboy is finally out and it's a masterpiece!
  11. 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.
  12. Dec 1, 2016
    90
    Owlboy is a charming game, with amazing graphics, interesting story and great heroes. It's also quite long, providing more than 10 hours of gameplay. D-pad's title definitely shines, as one of the best projects in saturated world of indie games in recent years.
  13. Nov 30, 2016
    90
    Simply put, Owlboy deserves all of the plaudits and awards it will inevitably receive. It may have been almost a decade in the making, but the effort and determination of this small studio oozes from every pixel. It’s not often that a 2D platform game can mesh together with such a wonderful story, but Owlboy hits a sweet spot which is no doubt down to sheer graft more than luck. Let’s hope that we don’t have to wait another ten years for its successor.
  14. Nov 17, 2016
    90
    Owlboy is the product of much work and iteration, and while a lot people have been waiting a long time, their patience has been well rewarded. This is the perfect game for anyone who enjoys the nostalgia of late 90's platformers. Owlboy is full of character, and features a level of polish that justifies the long development process.
  15. Nov 10, 2016
    90
    Owlboy is a joy to play from start to finish and, on top of that, a sensational audio-visual experience. It may be just a hunch, but I think this great adventure will be remembered fondly as a classic in years to come.
  16. Nov 10, 2016
    90
    Funny, engaging, touching and extremely enjoyable. Owlboy is a great mix of adventure, platform and metroidvania which tells the story of Otus, an unforgettable and lovable underdog.
  17. Nov 8, 2016
    90
    Every pixel of Owlboy's composition imparts a soaring level of care. Its impression upon 2D platforming parallels the comfort of a handmade blanket or the pleasure of devouring made-from-scratch cookies. Owlboy's sympathetic characters and gorgeous construction devours any suspected immunities to the charms of handcrafted artistry. It's a one-off rarity that somehow escaped the assembly line.
  18. Nov 7, 2016
    90
    This excellent platformer is catchy and sticky. Gameplay is constantly evolving, so you do not have time to get bored. The visuals are great, the gameplay is great and to top it all off it has a great soundtrack. An absolute must-have for platformer fans, but not only for them.
  19. Nov 4, 2016
    90
    Owlboy not only has the hook of a new idea to mix up the genres it mettles in, but the fundamentals to follow up on it. Its sense of movement is fluid, its momentum is strong, and its characters are engrossing. The tone might be saccharine at times, but when so many other games go for either oppressive grittiness or eye-rolling irreverence, I’m willing to accept that.
  20. Nov 4, 2016
    90
    Owlboy is a fantastic adventure with enjoyable gameplay.
  21. Nov 3, 2016
    90
    It was definitely worth the wait. Owlboy is not only a fantastic piece of pixel art with some great to support it but is also an engaging game, very well crafted, never boring, with an interesting and moving story.
  22. Nov 3, 2016
    90
    Owlboy is sure to be a classic, and you’re doing yourself a disservice by not at least looking into it.
  23. Nov 2, 2016
    90
    This is more than a treat for fans of old-school games; Owlboy is a heartfelt experience that will touch anyone with an affinity for great art and storytelling.
  24. 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.
  25. Nov 1, 2016
    90
    Paired with a well-written story and varied soundtrack, Owlboy does something that a lot of pixel-art games don’t – it elevates the medium from the bare requirements.
  26. Oct 31, 2016
    90
    Owlboy was an incredible experience in every sense. Visually and audibly, it was a masterpiece. The characters were lovable, especially the protagonist, Otus. The story was compelling, and each new chapter gave something new and challenging to the players. D-Pad Studio clearly put a lot of love into this game and it paid off immensely.
  27. Oct 31, 2016
    90
    A superbly crafted 2D adventure that is a near perfect blend of new and old influences, in terms of both gameplay and the stunning visuals and music.
  28. Oct 31, 2016
    90
    This lovely looking, great sounding platformer has a surprisingly deep and engaging narrative. It is well crafted to the point of surely being one of this year's finest.
  29. Oct 29, 2016
    90
    Owlboy is one of this years biggest surprises. It's a fantastic game, with beautiful graphics and amazing music.
  30. Oct 27, 2016
    90
    Owlboy may have a few annoying navigational hangups, but none are enough to counter the overwhelming magic of the adventure at hand. Beautiful in both a visual and aural sense, littered with lovely characters, and home to a number of jawdropping combat encounters, Owlboy is a game almost ten years in the making that doesn’t show a trace of development hell.
  31. Nov 22, 2016
    88
    Owlboy is a brilliant but short trip: a gorgeous journey into a touching story, dressed up in a metroidvania suit.
  32. Nov 30, 2016
    85
    Owlboy just sets the new standard for neo-retro videogames. Glowing with variety and compelling characters, Otus and his adventure succeed at evoking the games of yesteryear as much as they make a bold statement: pure 2D gaming is back for good.
  33. Oct 27, 2016
    84
    Owlboy is itself as joyful and powerful an example of such art as I can recall. That it also happens to be an exceptionally well-crafted and tasteful videogame made by a very small group of people may not entirely be a coincidence.
  34. 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.
  35. Nov 19, 2016
    82
    Thanks to its beautiful pixel art, charming characters, diverse environments and great design, Owlboy lives up to the expectations, even though it is far from perfect.
  36. Nov 11, 2016
    82
    A beautiful adventure platformer with a cheerful pixel art veneer, but with very modern themes.
  37. Nov 4, 2016
    82
    Owlboy is an old style game with beautiful and colorful graphics. The game has a lot of variety in its mechanics and the result is a great experience.
  38. Feb 10, 2017
    80
    In development for nearly a decade, Owlboy has somehow managed to get every single thing right. From amazing storytelling to great characters, detailed pixel-art visuals to fluent gameplay, everything in this game is just the way it should be. Easily one of the best 2D platformers ever.
  39. CD-Action
    Jan 12, 2017
    80
    Owlboy lacks a real challenge and a spark of genius that would elevate this enjoyable, extraordinarily pretty platformer to genre’s Olympus. [13/2016, p.56]
  40. Nov 19, 2016
    80
    Owlboy is an interesting platformer. Focused on the cooperation between the members of our heroic team, it offers a substantial number of well designed environmental puzzles, and a rewarding progression.
  41. Nov 18, 2016
    80
    Many indie games aspire to offer a retro journey but very few of them succeeds so highly as Owlboy. We cannot think of a greater praise for Owlboy other than to say that it gives the impression of an utterly beautiful gem from the 16-bit era that somehow stayed hidden for 25 years only to be discovered now.
  42. Nov 9, 2016
    80
    Barring the occasional frustration, D-Pad Studio have created a wonderful and satisfying tale filled with superb characters and marvellous presentation.
  43. Nov 1, 2016
    80
    I can lean back and pick out plenty of things about Owlboy that frustrated me, but its failings shrink in the face of its triumphs. I have no excess of affection for the 16-bit genre retreads but even as Owlboy lacks the tightness or consistency of many of the games it sits alongside, it’s far more approachable, far more endearing, and far more unique.
  44. Oct 27, 2016
    80
    Owlboy is what you're waiting for. If you've been following this project, the outcome won't disappoint you, and if you haven't, you can discover a beautiful game full of retro feelings.
  45. Feb 22, 2017
    71
    All in all, it's a decent platformer worthy of your 10-20 hours of free time. But, as far as metroidvanias go, there is so much stuff to improve in the potential sequel, for example, a map, a teleport system, a bag of collectable items and lots of well-hidden secrets.
  46. Edge Magazine
    Jan 5, 2017
    70
    With a smart, wry script, a warmly uplifting narrative and a likeable cast, this is a game with its heart in the right place, even if some of its other parts feel a little out of whack. [Jan 2017, p.123]
  47. 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.
This publication does not provide a score for their reviews.
This publication has not posted a final review score yet.
These unscored reviews do not factor into the Metascore calculation.
  1. What a treat. And a surprisingly deep one, with compelling moments you’ll want to talk about. It’s a pleasure to control, it has impeccable difficulty balancing to keep you moving forward while always feeling like you’re being skillful, and all in the prettiest of pretty pixel graphics. Triumphant.
User Score
7.6

Generally favorable reviews- based on 234 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 30 out of 234
  1. Nov 15, 2016
    5
    So much time and attention has been spent making this game visually gorgeous, with an impeccable pixel art design. Mechanically, it's OK too -So much time and attention has been spent making this game visually gorgeous, with an impeccable pixel art design. Mechanically, it's OK too - solid controls on offer with varied and somewhat unique ideas.

    The problem is the game forgets to be the one thing any game NEEDS to be at its' core to be a success - and that is actually fun to play.

    Too many levels are the same thing - pick up a friend, shoot a few things or whatever, and solve puzzles. The combat barely ever changes, and the puzzles all seem samey with each stage having one puzzle that sets it out, but you then do that like ten times in the space of fifteen minutes.

    Everything just feels far too confined - there's only one way to do anything in the whole game, and you do it over and over again. It reminds me strongly at the faults in Final Fantasy 13 - one massive, visually impressive corridor that you trundle along doing the same things time and time again.

    It's irritating too, as I really wanted to like this title. As it stands, it's one of those that's worth a punt if it ever drops down to around a fiver at most.
    Full Review »
  2. Nov 8, 2016
    5
    The game plays well and is mechanically consistent, and the graphics are superb. The main problem with this game is the action is stopped farThe game plays well and is mechanically consistent, and the graphics are superb. The main problem with this game is the action is stopped far too much to watch boring dialogue and in-game cut-scenes. The game holds your hand too much, and it is too linear. There's a lot of running to new locations killing some enemies on the way, then stopping to watch boring cut-scene, repeat over and over.. There are cool boss fights, but they're not exciting enough to merit all of the forced dialogue you have to slog through. The story is alright but the characters are not interesting. There's too much story and not enough actual game. The developer designed a game for people that like story-driven experiences with minimal effort to complete. Owlboy is exactly what I do not want my 2D games to play like, too easy and boring. If you grew up on Nes/Snes/Genesis games, and you like games like Super Metroid and Castlevania: SOTN, chances are you're gonna be bored. It looks pretty, and some people (casual gamers) are going to love it _because_ it's easy and hand-held, but I personally want to play games, not watch them. Full Review »
  3. Nov 12, 2016
    5
    This review contains spoilers, click full review link 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.
    Full Review »