Get Your Greek On
Okhlos is an action, rougue-like mob simulator developed by Coffee Powered Machine and published by Devolver Digital. The game is set in Ancient Greece, where civilisation is being ruled by the powerful Olympian Gods who have no interest in humanity’s well being. There is already a rising tension between the humans and the Gods and then suddenly a god’s foot comes crashing down through a school, killing the inhabitants. Enough is enough! As a philosopher you must spread the word of this Olympian tyranny and rally a mob together to take the Gods down!
Okhlos is fun because of the chaos and complete destruction of everything in your path; harpies, cyclops, Spartans, demi-gods; nothing is safe from the fury and ruthlessness of your mob. You control an unnamed philosopher with the keyboard and the mob with the mouse, and frantically click on an enemy to attack. The mob can also block enemy attacks and spread out to avoid dangers or assaults. There is definitely a lot of mass clicking involved, which just adds to the complete madness. The up-beat retro style music composed by A Shell in the Pit encourages the rush of chaos and destruction. (Also, who would have guessed that the lute would go so well with synth?)
Travel through eight ancient lands like Athens, Olympus, and Atlantis destroying everything, and at the end of each level, you get a chance to fisticuffs with one the Olympian gods – be it Artemis, Apollo, Hades or even Zeus. The epic poet Homer will guide you on your journey throughout the many parts of ancient and mythological Greece, giving you the inside info of the various heroes, monsters and gods all sprinkled with witty banter. The mythologies and histories are pretty interesting, so you can have fun and learn at the same time! Wow! …it’s a shame Aristotle didn’t have that ability back in the day.
The strategic side of the game is based around the individuals that make up your mob. You have the philosophers who act as your mob’s lives, warriors to attack, defenders to defend, slaves to carry your items, citizens and farm animals to bulk the mob, and heroes that have special abilities. There are opportunities to trade units to adjust and balance your mob, trading civilians for more heroes for example. You can also buy upgrades or up the capacity of the group. Due to the chaotic nature of the mob, it’s difficult to tell what is exactly going on, and it’s likely that some of your people will get lost, meaning you will have to scout and recruit people.
Like the curse of any rouge-like, if a god, beast, or monster kills all the philosophers in your mob, then it’s back to the Pantheon at the beginning to start again. The cities are procedurally generated, so you won’t get the same layout twice, but the enemies, dangers, and game mechanics stay the same, plus the mass mouse clicking can get quite repetitive. There’s no overarching story or narrative, so Okhlos is definitely going for an old school beat ‘em up; it’s repetitive but satisfying.
Okhlos is a comical and chaotic game with dashes of strategy, but it is mostly just complete madness and obliteration. It gives you a wild rush of excitement but can get a tad repetitive. Overall, controlling a mass of hysteric, angry Greeks (that were essential in the foundation of Western civilisation) and having them create anarchy is great. Okhlos is available on Steam and on GOG for £9.99/$12.99.