Ookibloks is a fun action puzzler with cute visuals that carries its origins on its sleeve. Full review ahead.
Ookibloks by Skyboy Games first came out for mobile devices and sported touch controls, but you wouldn’t be able to tell because it works much better using gamepad or keyboard controls. In fact, joystick control would also be a great option, because this is a game that’s clearly been inspired by the classic arcade-style puzzle games from the late 80s and early 90s that required precision controls.
Gameplay-wise, I found Ookibloks to be inspired mostly by the many “ice-sliding” games that we’ve seen over the years. You know, the type of game where you get to a platform or exit by sliding between platforms in the right order – and of course you’re unable to stop moving after you hit the ice, at least until you hit solid ground again. In Ookibloks, it’s definitely not ice (in fact, the visual style can mostly be described as “tropical”), but the mechanic is similar. Playing a small monkey, you leap around the level trying to collect bananas while avoiding the enemy – a gang of evil crabs and other animals.
The enemies make this a very different game from the traditional ice sliding puzzle games, because the action becomes a lot more frantic. You can take them out by dropping fruit on their head and then bashing into them while they’re dazed, but they’re usually best avoided. Aside from animals, you’ll also encounter a variety of traps that you need to steer clear of.
The cute visuals (and its mobile origins) may make this feel like a casual game at first, but the action is too hectic for that. It’s too bad the game hasn’t completely shaken off its mobile roots though, because more could have been done to add gameplay depth/diversity and there’s a limited amount of lives in place which stems from the free to play model that the iPad version had – but which feels out of place here. It’s a fun game and worth picking up, but perhaps it doesn’t quite justify the leap from free to play to an asking price only a little under 10 euros/dollars.