so i’ve recently realized that, like many gamers on the internet, between and humble bundle over the years, i’ve wound up with way more games than i really plan on playing. so i’m trying to dig into some of those, and i’ll be discussing some of my thoughts on those here!

alright right up front, i wanna say that i didn’t finish this game. i really prefer to finish games before i talk about them fully, either 100%ing them or at least reaching the credits and finishing the “intended” experience of the game, but i feel like i can talk about this game without having technically finished it.

recently, my partner and i had a date night where we played Ollie & Bollie: Outdoor Estate, by the Sokpop Collective. we were looking for co-op and local multiplayer games and it looked extremely cute, so we gave it a shot (the game can be played solo with an AI controlled player 2, but i have not gone back to try it. my perspective is with a human partner, and that would likely stay the preference either way).

Ollie & Bollie has a simple premise: fix some broken stuff in this park. it’s part exploration game, as you meander around this very cute environment, and part puzzle game and you figure out the best approach to some of these broken objects. but there’s something not covered by explaining the mechanics of the game, and that’s part of what creates such a charm while playing it.

the characters in this game are extremely fucking wobbly. like, every step they take is solid and determined and shakes the entire mass of their being, and every jump feels like it could lift them into space before they plop back down into place. and the control are simple – move, grab, jump, interact, but that grab allows you to pick up both tools… and your partner player, which happens a lot, intentionally and unintentionally. there’s just enough weirdness and potential for chaos that trying to fix any of the broken items in this little world caused my partner and i to lose our shit as we hobbled around and tried to corral sheep or cut down a log. the experience was extremely funny and absolutely made our date night.

i will say: we did encounter bugs. partway through a small visual error stretched a rope across the map, and i’m pretty sure our attempts to fix the shed were broken in a way that kept us from completing it, before a crash halted our session a little early. that being said, i definitely got full value out of the game and it’s easily worth the asking price.

Ollie & Bollie: Outdoor Estate – 9/10