Probably the first thing one notices about Okabu is it’s artstyle (similar to games like Wind Waker). It’s colorful and generally cute style seems generally well-received, but there may be those who are turned off by it. Though the story is also quite simplistic (you play as a pair of Cloud Whales who are trying to battle pollution to save their homeland and then join forces with humanoids who are also at war with the polluters), I wouldn’t write this off as “just a kid’s game.” Don’t get me wrong, it’s probably a great game for kids, or for parents to play with their kid (though do note that it’s largely a puzzle game), but it would also be a good game to play with a friend or partner who only plays games casually, or a relaxing, casual game for more serious gamers. Okabu doesn’t try to appeal to one audience, and I’m a fan of that.
There are four different environments (or “worlds”) that players progress through during the game. You start at Lake Waka, then move on to Karibu Valley, Noko Woods, and end at the Doza Fortress. Within each world there are several individual levels which take, on average, about 15-25 minutes to complete apiece. This makes for a pretty long game, so you’re certainly getting your money’s worth contentwise. Each level require players to complete a list of objectives (e.g. destroy all the enemy dozabots in the village, put out all the fires, de-pollute the area, etc.). Aside from grabbing collectibles or going for scores (e.g. killing all the dozabots in the level), there aren’t really any side-quests or anything of the sort. The game is very linear, which didn’t bother me, but may bother some.
As for the gameplay itself, players control one of two Cloud Whales. The Cloud Whales have their own small set of abilities (e.g. picking up liquids and raining them down on the ground or enemies), but often they mostly serve as mounts for the Yoruba (the humanoid race) heroes. There are four heroes total in the game, each with their own signature ability. For example, Monkfish has a handy plunger that can open things, flip switches, and allow him to operate certain devices marked with his signature target sign. Picolo, on the otherhand, can play a haunting tune to lead along animals or people to do his bidding (I know, creepy, right?).