Ori and the Blind Forest

I sporadically browse /r/gamingsuggestions subreddit. Quite often I have seen Ori and the Blind Forest recommended. After watching videos and seeing screenshots available on game’s Steam page, Ori and the Blind Forest landed on my wishlist. It did not take too long until I managed to snag a bundle, with a generous discount, which included the game and its sequel.

Ori and the Blind Forest is an adventure of a small spirit named Ori. The game starts with an introductory sequence shedding some light on Ori’s origins. During the introduction we witness a decline in a balance of the eponymous forest. Soon after the introduction, we are thrown into a whirl of exploration and combat in a dangerous forest on the quest to restore the forest’s balance.

This. Game. Sounds. Looks. Is. Stunning!

There is not much to talk about visuals and audio of this game. They are amazing. If you would like to watch the trailer give it a go!

I found the soundtrack really immersive. In fact, right as I am writing this post, I am listening to the soundtrack available as a Spotify playlist!

When it comes to the visuals, I have really enjoyed the vivid colors of the game. Every location has its uniqueness and climate, and they all look amazing. See for yourself in a spoiler-free gallery below!

Ori and the Blind Forest is a metroidvania platform game. Simply put, it includes a vast world you can explore, however there are areas not accessible until a certain progression in the game has been made.

What instantly stood out to me was that Ori’s movements are controlled with WASD keys and mouse. For comparison, I have played Hollow Knight (the same game genre) where the character is controlled only with the keyboard. I think that combining mouse and keyboard added a nice feel of dynamism to Ori and the Blind Forest.

Moving on to the interface, I cannot say a bad word about the world map. It is very detailed and as beautiful as the scenery of the game, as shown below.

On the other hand, I have found the resource interface hard to track. It is located at the bottom of the screen, and from my experience it blended with the environment a lot. Quite often I have found out that my HP was low by getting a fatal blow.

Speaking of which, Ori and the Blind Forest provides a quite unique way to save the game. A second main resource, other than the health points, is energy. At a cost of one energy orb a Soul Link can be created - a mark from which Ori will continue its journey upon death.

Soul Link

The Soul Link mechanic was both useful and annoying. The usefulness came in being able to save right before a dangerous location. This made repeating harder parts of the game less tedious. However, as I mentioned, creating Soul Link requires energy. And energy is depletable! Therefore, if you place Soul Link in an unfortunate place with last energy orb, then you are out of luck! I have found myself in such situation. I was low on health (respawning at Soul Link does not restore health) and I basically had to perform a run through a lengthy agility sequence without taking any damage.

Abilities, skills, and stats

As you might have noticed on the screenshots above, the number of orbs at the bottom of the screen varies. Those orbs are energy (blue) and health (green) that I mentioned earlier. Throughout the game both energy and health capacity increases. It pays off to take a detour and look for (possibly hidden!) areas that increase resources.


Apart from energy and health, there is an experience collected either by killing enemies or from resource stashes. The experience can be used to gain abilities in one of the ability tree’s branches which are combat, efficiency, and utility. Abilities, among the others, include increased attack strength, health restores on Soul Link creation, and showing all collectibles on the map. However abilities are not crucial from the game progression’s point of view. They serve more as a conveniences.

Ability tree


Skills, on the other hand, are quite a big game changers. There are 11 different skills in the game that include: wall climbing, double jump, dash, gliding, and my personal favorite… bash. What I found cool was that after an acquisition of every skill it had to be used to get out of the location where it was acquired. This allowed practicing the new addition to the arsenal.

Why, though, was bash my favorite skill and how does it work? Bash can be used on an enemy, a projectile, or an environment element. Once used, the target is hurled in a selected direction while Ori is launched in the exact opposite direction. This opened so much possibilities! Throwing enemies enemies on spikes? Or shooting them with their own projectiles? Bouncing between flying enemies and staying in the air? All of that was possible with bash! Moreover, there were couple sequences where Ori had to stay airborne by using bash on consecutive targets. These sequences often took some tries before I have gotten the timing right.


Ori and the Blind Forests tracks your game progression in the menu. This includes:

Here is my own maxed out progression:


This screenshot was taken after I have finished the game for the second time. After beating the game, I loaded last save and paid a visit to all undiscovered locations. It turned out there was a plenty left to see, including two skills I have initially missed!

All in all, the game is not very long. It took me just over 9 hours to max out completion and acquire 80% of achievements available on Steam. But as you can see it took me some deaths to do so…


Personally, I have found some parts of the story quite confusing. Once I have finished the game I had to read up on it. As it turned out, the plot has some understatements leaving it open for an interpretation. That being said, the confusion did not affect the gameplay in a significant way.

Other than that, apart from the slightly inconsistent difficulty (or just me being bad 😅), Ori and the Blind Forest was an excellent journey. The game includes unique mechanics, a colorful and vast world, and an excellent soundtrack to top it off.

I can recommend Ori and the Blind Forest without a hesitation. I am looking forward to playing its sequel - Ori and the Will of the Wisps!