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Review: OFF





Table of Contents

Quick Information

Rating: Pretty Fun
Gore & Brutality Magic Sex Civility Religion
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Additional Notes
This game is free!
Age Rating Suitable for teenagers
License: Freeware
System used: Martha
Available From: OFF wiki
Soundtrack: Included in the folder named "Music"

Game Screenshots


The Judge, being cryptic as ever


Fighting evil Spectres


Sometimes things are just weird

General Comments

OFF is a French Indie game that has gained a sizable fan following. In fact, it's thanks to its fans that there's an English translation. In my opinion, OFF is a real work of art that I would recommend trying at least once. Just don't read up about it much before you play it; the ending is much more powerful when you don't know what's going to happen. That said, the ending is not pulled out of nowhere. Once you've played through the game, you'll be able to look back through the story and see all of the breadcrumbs that forshadowed what was to come.

Many people have claimed that OFF was a major inspiration for Undertale, with some going so far as to say that Undertale is a spiritual sequel to OFF. After playing them both, I'm not sure I'd go that far. The two games are quite different when it comes to their plot and gameplay, with the biggest similarity being their almost entirely monochrome battle scenes and an unexpected interface screw near the very end.

Unlike Undertale, OFF is a turn based RPG. Most of the time, you can use the game's Auto battle mode to let your team do the fighting for you. When you select the Auto mode, the computer controls both sides of the battle, letting you passively watch the fight unfold. It may seem odd to skip a large part of the game like this, but the battles aren't really the focus of OFF anyway. I'd say more about the plot, other concepts you'll encounter and so on, but that would risk introducing spoilers.

Instead I'll just recommend trying it if you like creepypastas or scary games in general. OFF does contain content that will leave you disturbed -- it is a horror game, and it doesn't try to hide this detail!

Pros

Classic turn based RPG gameplay
Turn based RPGs are pretty much a dime a dozen. They were some of the first RPGs, and in recent years they've been waning in popularity in favor of real time RPGs. The return to classic form is a bit of nostalgia for fans of the older genre, and new players may find a new type of game to enjoy.


Strange, surreal world
OFF takes place in a world that can only be described as bizarre. Very little of what goes on makes logical sense. Rivers of meat, mining smoke, and riding around on ducks are only part of the strangeness. Of course, it doesn't help that the characters in OFF are as essentric as their world.


The player is a part of the game
Several recurring characters are aware that this is a video game, and that you, the player, are guiding the Batter's actions in their world. In some cases people in the game address you, the puppetmaster, instead of your puppet. This method of breaking the fourth wall is a little unsettling, though it does pay off later on.


Three possible endings
Since the player is considered a character in the game, you will have the ability to determine the final choice that concludes the story. There is no wrong choice here, and you can freely reload from the last save and choose the other option. There is also a secret ending, which is only available if you manage to seek out a specific hidden item. I'd suggest going for this on your second attempt, as you're probably going to need a guide or walkthrough to find everything needed to acquire it. In particular, you'll need to defeat a powerful secret boss.


Cons

You sometimes need to grind
RPGs are known for having the player grind through random encounters. It's basically something to expect. Fortunately, you probably won't need to grind very much when playing OFF, but if you do, the Auto battle mode can save you a lot of trouble with the local enemies and there are floating boxes scattered around that you can freely use to completely heal your party between battles.


Some puzzles can be hard to figure out
Nearly every puzzle has a clue hidden somewhere nearby. Most of them resemble dialing a phone number; only instead of pressing keys, you touch floating blocks in a specific order. One of the puzzles has their answer hidden somewhere players can freely access, but would never think to look. Of course, since most of the puzzles involve touching boxes in a certain order, you can brute force them easily enough if you're having trouble understanding the hints.


Translation issue
Apparently there's a line of dialogue near the end of the game that isn't quite translated correctly. This creates an even bigger mindscrew than the game's designer intended. After you beat the game but before you start trading theories with other fans, check the game's wiki entry for the Queen and the Batter. Otherwise you might put your foot in your mouth by accident.


Concerns and Issues

Ghosts and monstrous characters
The Batter's primary mission is to purify the world, and this means that he fights the evil spectres wherever he finds them. These spectres are often depicted as simple ghosts, but they can take a large number of distorted and twisted shapes. Most of the obvious horror elements in this game come from the creepy and frightening designs of its monsters.


References to demons
There are several types of items in OFF, most of which relate to baseball in some way. The exceptions are various types of meat, which cure debuffs or heal the player's team. Items that heal you like this are typical for any RPG, but the names of three variants are worth mentioning. These are Moloch's meat, Belial's meat, and Abaddon's meat. All three of these are named after Biblical demons or devils.


Mild nudity
Two of the bosses show more skin than you'd really want to see. Seriously, nobody wants to see an emaciated man's nipples, but there you go. The secret boss' coat is also wide open, though in her case, everything is covered.


Swearing
One member of the cast has a mouth that would make a sailor blush with shame, and there is no way to censor anything he says.


Blood
While most of the game is limited to a three color palette, blood is always scarlet red. You'll mostly see it during the battle scenes, where it appears as a quick splat whenever someone takes damage. Later on, you'll come across a few bloodied bodies.


Players be warned: Major spoilers ahead!

Infanticide
When you beat certain bosses, you'll be briefly shown a sickly little boy who is all alone in his room. He'll make a little comment on what happened, and you'll be returned to the normal game. This little boy plays a key role in the story. Specifically, the most horrific scene in the game comes at the climax where this child is murdered, and there is nothing the player can do to prevent it.