Odama is probably one of the most different games that I’ve ever played and I’ve played plenty of games in my time.
The aim of the game is to control your army whilst protecting a sub-section who is pushing a bell across the battlefield and through the enemy gates, sounds simple enough. Well let me tell you that it’s not that easy and here are the two main reasons why. The first being that the battlefield is actually a pinball table with the ‘Odama’ of the title being a pinball and your main weapon in the game. At the start of each level you fire the ball as high and as far as you can into enemy territory and try to destroy as much of the enemy army and barricades as possible whilst trying to avoid your own army. Just like a pinball table you have flippers at the bottom of the screen with which to hit the ball back up and if you miss you lose.
The second reason is the microphone which is used to command your army. As the game progresses you gain more commands and you have to tell your army what to do with commands such as ‘push forward’ to get the guys with the bell to try and shove through the army. Off what I played I managed to open up push forward, move left, move right, retreat and rally. Rally is used on the second level to rally your troops to pick up and move a ladder which is needed to push the bell up a hill. The main problem with using the microphone is that you also have to press X on the pad at the same time which means you need to let go of the flipper buttons which means that while you are speaking into the microphone your ball is still moving around the screen hitting things and getting nearer to the bottom of the screen. Eventually though with practice it does get a lot easier and if you ever get a chance I would recommend having at least one go of Odama.
Within the 15 minutes: Trying to complete the second level.
Will I play it again? I will actually.