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It's great as long as you aren't disabled.

For a really long time I marveled at the art I’d seen of OFF! on Tumblr. The concept seemed really appealing and I decided to start playing it and see for myself if it lived up to the hype.

TLDR ratings:

General rating: 7/10
Art and graphics: 9/10
Story: 7/10
Characters: 10/10
Accessibility: 4/10
Music: 7/10
Gameplay: 7/10

(TWs: Text heavy, long post, spoilers, mentions of violence and religion.)

Art and graphics

A lot of the colors used in the game were unnecessarily bright. I had to lower the brightness on my screen because after about an hour of playing, I got a migraine. (It could have also been brought on by the flashing from the beginning of the battle sequences, but I’ll bring that up in the “accessibility” portion.)

Aside from that, everything else was very nice. I really enjoy the character designs, but I’ll talk about that in the “characters” portion. The specters were very interesting to look at. They ranged from oddly adorable to disturbingly cool. (My first encounter with the giant whale was hilarious.)


I gave this an 7/10, mostly because my opinion is a little biased. I’m a very big fan of religious undertones in modern media and this game is brimming with them. (It’s my special interest so it was very hard giving this game a low score.)

However, I’m also not a big fan of ambiguity. (Unless it’s at the beginning and will later be cleared up.) What I could gather from playing the game once is; “You are a host within The Batter, though not in total control of them. The Batter destroys specters, which are bad spirits. The Batter wants to purify the world and get rid of the specters, even if it means destroying the world to achieve that.”

Whoever wrote the story did a poor job at world-building. Very little of it made sense to me and while that’s okay, it should still make sense within the world itself. Why are there metal boulders inside the cows? Why is there an ocean of plastic? Explain the Elements and why they’re Elements in this story. How is the vapor from corpses turned into sugar? - While the (half-assed) explanations of most these things are available upon entering the area, it’s all confusing and leaves you with more questions than before. It just felt like lazy writing.

If you don’t enjoy being confused and ambiguous storylines, I don’t suggest playing this game.


Now this is what I most liked from the game. The character designs were very interesting, and while the game was too short for there to be any significant character development - they’re still undoubtedly interesting.

My favorite was The Batter. His dry, cut-throat personality made him likable in a way. Watching him interact with other characters is always entertaining. Though he clearly says things relative to purifying the world and making everything better, halfway through it - you start to realize that perhaps his moral compass seems a bit skewed.

Zacharie was also very interesting. His “True Neutral” stance is interesting, as he helps The Batter achieve his goal throughout the game - until the very end. Whether he knew what The Batter’s true intentions were or not is left to speculation.

The other characters are all just as interesting and engrossing as the two I’ve mentioned. There are two I have some issues with but I’ll bring them up in the “accessibility” portion of the review.


I honestly don’t know where to begin here.

The font you are supposed to download for the game is very eye straining and difficult to read. The numbers you need to take note of to pass certain levels are hard to understand as well, which is very frustrating. Halfway through solving a puzzle I had to decide whether I was going to put a “0” or an “8” to finish it because they were so hard to decipher.

The vocabulary in this game is … interesting, to say the least. I had a very big problem with The Judge. He uses very dense and confusing vocabulary. I’m an autistic person with learning disabilities and trying to understand what this cat was telling me was no easy task. It’s even more frustrating that this vocabulary is also used during the tutorial on how to fight. Tutorials are supposed to be simple and fun, not a god damned riddle. (This could also be the translator’s fault, as I played the English translation - but I don’t know French so there’s no way of me verifying that.)

Further into the story, we also meet Dedan. He’s rude and angry, which is fine. It made me uncomfortable that he consistently used ableist slurs.

I suppose that "it’s his character flaw and he’s supposed to be made a bad person" is a defense.

But if you pay attention to the end, not only is The Batter (the person that kills Dedan) suddenly a bad person; but looking into little Hugo’s childhood shows that Dedan “wasn’t always a bad person”. (A cliche that’s basically just used to make people feel sympathy for abusers.)

(Again, this could be the translator’s fault, but I still have no way of verifying that as I can’t play through the original French version.)

The puzzles in the game were more than a little difficult. I almost constantly had to be looking at a walkthrough. I understand games being difficult, I’ve had to deal with a lot of them - but the one’s in this game were unnecessarily difficult. They were things I wouldn’t have thought of doing for a second and it simply didn’t seem fair.

I had a bit of a problem with the menu where you select the zones. It’s very hard to actually realize where you are and what you’re supposed to do. It was pretty disorienting and I didn’t like it at all.

My last problem with the accessibility in this game were the battle sequences. Not only do they start with a flash of light (which can trigger epileptic attacks), but the battle screens themselves are pretty difficult to operate. I have disgraphia, which makes my hand-eye coordination total shit. I found myself just putting the battles on “auto” and just stepping in when someone in my party needed to be healed.


The music was either really good or really bad. Songs like Pepper Steak, Fake Orchestra, FleshMaze Tango, The Meaning of his Tears and 19 Minuit a Fond la Caisse were really good. I enjoyed them very much. However, there were some songs I could have done without.

I strongly disliked Empty Warehouse. The sound of the water trickling around gave me a headache and made me increasingly uncomfortable. Mostly because it sounded like someone going to the bathroom instead of someone moving around in water.

Endless Hallway made the literal endless hallway even more unbearable. This was around the time I quit on the game the first time.

For the most part, the game was composed of good music but that good music mostly played during very short battle sequences. Meanwhile, most of the rest of the game was plagued with tunes that just brought on very bad migraines.


One of my favorite things about this game was how quick the walking speed was. So you can imagine my frustration when towards the end, the walking speed slows down to “actual suffering” speeds. This also contributed to me quitting the game that first time.

It was unnecessary and very frustrating.

In this game you’re also left unaware of how much HP your enemies have so it can definitely be a source of anxiety to never know how close or far you are from losing or winning.

Though I mentioned the battle scenes earlier in a kind of negative light, I do have something positive to say about them. I really enjoyed the “auto” option. It functioned surprisingly well and made the battles a lot less tedious. As I mentioned earlier, I only ever stepped into the battle when someone needed healing.

I’m also not sure why people complained so much about the concept of random encounters in the game. It was just as many as were needed to get you perfectly leveled up. It didn’t feel as tedious or annoying as it did in Pokemon and the computer seemed to be pretty fair in the fights (if not giving you the advantage most time.) Seeing all the different specter designs was also very cool. Personally, I thought the random encounters were great.

Last notes

I enjoyed the concept and story of the game thoroughly. The characters were amazingly designed. But I can’t allow my own bias skew my evaluation. It was a greatly inaccessible, difficult and confusing.

My general rating is a 7/10.

Trigger warnings for the game: religious undertones, body horror, blood, gore, violence, ableist slurs and some unsanitary speak from Dedan, disorienting and complex maps, epilepsy warnings for the fight scenes, implied cannibalism, a lot of dissociative language and events, child death, general death, implied disease, corpses.


1.) Take notes! A lot of things in the game are clues and you don’t realize until you get to the puzzle!
2.) Talk to NPCs more than once if they’re just standing around. Some might have something that will help you out!
3.) Don’t feel bad for looking up walkthroughs. It’s not a shameful or bad thing to do and it doesn’t invalidate your experience as a gamer in any way.
4.) Use auto to fight once you feel you’ve leveled up enough. You can go get a nice cold glass of water or stretch in the mean time. I’ve even let it run during boss battles. Have no shame.


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THank you for your review. Appreciated ^^
Trigger warnings; really? And, well, I'm sorry to see that you've taken the storyline and the world-building literally. A tip: you're not supposed to take any of the events as being real. Also, I find it rather disturbing that your review essentially suggests that Dedan deserved to be murdered by the Batter for being rude and ableist.

If you've based even a little of your overall score simply on the fact that the game doesn't cater towards your own disabilities and lack of self-esteem, then for shame. And trigger warnings? Seriously? You're making this game out to be a lot worse in those subjects than they actually are. Off is very subtle with a lot of its subjects and it isn't like it shows you graphic images of said murders/death.

Also, the flash before battles is present in literally every RPG Maker game made in 2003 and below I believe.
To be fair, OFF does begin with a warning that "some scenes might be shocking to an unwarned public (or maybe not)." If the game itself already goes on the defensive in its opening like that, then such responses aren't particularly surprising.
THank you for your review. Appreciated ^^

You're welcome.
To me, this review simply oozes "I can't grasp or understand the complexities of this game, and I'm bitter about it."
There's no shame in this: OFF is, by technicality, an art game, something a more mainstream player like yourself may be unable to comprehend to it's fullest. The abstract elements of OFF make it rather unique: Had it a traditional world map, characters who spoke in less interesting fashions, and standard music, OFF would be simply a forgettable game, "just another RPG".
I'm from France myself, and I can attest that a lot of the subtlety is lost and some of the dialogue and naming of locations is butchered significantly by the localization, but I still think your criticism largely derives from a lack of ability to comprehend the game's abstract themes and ideas.
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