Check out some magic harpoon fighting in Olija, an upcoming game from Devolver

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As Evan pointed out the other day, we're in a quiet period for game releases. Hitman 3 is great, but a lot of developers are starting 2021 by hunkering down and plugging away at games scheduled for later in the year or beyond. One small exception is Olija, which will be out on Steam at the end of this month, and which features a pretty cool magic harpoon—perhaps in time to benefit from the internet's sudden fascination with sea shanties (opens in new tab)

Above, you can watch 22 minutes of new Olija gameplay footage, which was provided to PC Gamer by the publisher.

That publisher is Devolver Digital (opens in new tab), the endlessly quirky indie house behind such games as Fall Guys, Carrion, Enter the Gungeon, Gris, Hotline Miami, and many others. Olija being developed by a lesser-known group: Thomas Olsson and Kyoto-based studio Skeleton Crew, creators of brawler BackSlash (opens in new tab), a game I hadn't heard of previously.

I find the pixel art a little hard to read in moments, but Olija's harpoon combat has a zippiness that appeals to me. Its hero, a guy named Faraday who's been shipwrecked in a country unknown to him, uses the harpoon to teleport around, or sticks it in things and draws it back to himself. Later in the video, it's imbued with electrical properties, too. 

What we see is a mix of challenging-looking, somewhat lengthy boss fights, ping-ponging between smaller enemies, light stealth (hiding in bushes), platforming puzzles, as well as a few story moments. That is to say, Olija doesn't look like the sort of contemporary game that focuses almost entirely on one thing, but an experience made of many parts.

Olija will release January 28, and for now, you can find out more about it on its Steam page (opens in new tab).

Tyler Wilde
Executive Editor

Tyler grew up in Silicon Valley during the rise of personal computers, playing games like Zork and Arkanoid on the early PCs his parents brought home. He was later captivated by Myst, SimCity, Civilization, Command & Conquer, Bushido Blade (yeah, he had Bleem!), and all the shooters they call "boomer shooters" now. In 2006, Tyler wrote his first professional review of a videogame: Super Dragon Ball Z for the PS2. He thought it was OK. In 2011, he joined PC Gamer, and today he's focused on the site's news coverage. His hobbies include amateur boxing and adding to his 1,200-plus hours in Rocket League.