That said, there’s an awful lot to love about Little Orpheus. It’s a game that’s filled with nods and winks to classic Saturday morning adventures, and there’s a deep charm to the experience as well. It’s almost impossible not to like Ivan, even when he’s not doing what you’re trying to tell him to do.
Plus the graphics here are absolutely stunning. There’s a living, breathing world outside the confines of the linear gameplay, and sometimes you just need to stop for a moment to soak it all in. Credit sequences bookend the levels, giving Little Orpheus an episodic rhythm; it belies the fact that when you’ve finished one section, you can move straight onto the next.
Little Orpheus is a bright, bold, often hilarious platformer. It rests on its laurels here and there, reusing gameplay elements and ideas, but then it’ll surprise you with something unique and exciting, and you’ll buy back in completely. The controls are by no means perfect, but following Comrade Ivan Ivanovich through the bowels of the Earth is still a hugely enjoyable way to spend a few hours.
There are plenty of moments in Little Orpheus where you’re going to have to stop and gawp at the gorgeous vistas. The way it uses light and shade to draw the eye really is a thing of wonder, and even on a small screen, it’s hard not to get lost in the vibrant colours.
While the controls aren’t perfect, Little Orpheus is still packed full of joy and adventure.
Genre: Platformer | Format: iOS (tested) | Developer: The Chinese Room | Publisher: Sumo Digital | Price: Free (Apple Arcade) | Release: Out now