Blacksea Odyssey (XB1) Review

Ken McKown

Pirates in spaaaaaaace…

Hey look, it’s another roguelike game with randomly generated levels! All kidding aside this genre has become almost synonymous with smaller game releases lately. It can grow tiresome. Especially when the format is such a hard balance to strike. The latest offering attempts to infuse the mechanics with an eccentric premise, and for the most part it succeeds. Blacksea Odyssey is certainly unique, but not without its own set of flaws.

Blacksea Odyssey finds players taking on the role of a bounty hunter looking to become the second person ever to finish the event. The event of course being using a space kayak to speak massive creatures without perishing. Yes it is goofy, but the lighthearted tone helps usher along the core game play. This is a twin stick shooter at heart. Mixed with permadeath and plenty of random loot drops that keep it from becoming too stale or frustrating.

MSRP: $14.99
Platforms: XB1 (reviewed), PC
Price I’d Pay: $9.99

The game consists of six rounds. At the beginning of each round players pick a beast to hunt, then it is off to the races. The combat is born of twin stick shooters, but also has a neat twist. As I wore down these massive beasts with my spears, their limbs would slowly weaken. Once they flashed red I was able to hook them with my harpoon and detach them. It is a novel concept that works well.

The biggest issue I had was with the troublesome aiming at times. I felt like my shots were on point, but they didn’t land properly. It becomes frustrating at times thanks to the fact that when I died, it was game over. Blacksea Odyssey does a nice job of progression though. Even upon death I was unlocking new loot to come better equipped to each fight. The give and take worked just well enough to keep frustration to a minimum.

Visually Blacksea Odyssey has a look all its own. Sharped edges mixed with retro effects actually work. It doesn’t show well in screenshots, but the game feels good in motion. There are issues with some enemies as they are large and the screen doesn’t scale properly, but for the most part the game looks good.

Blacksea Odyssey feels unique in a sea of games in the same vein. There is enough here to keep players interested while not frustrating too much with its roguelike elements.

Review copy of game provided by publisher.


  • Good loot drops
  • Plenty of customization


  • Troublesome aiming


Ken McKown

Ken is the Editor-in-Chief of this hole in the wall and he loves to troll for the fun of it. He also enjoys long walks through Arkham Asylum and the cool air of Shadow Moses Island. His turn-ons include Mortal Kombat, Metal Gear Solid and StarCraft.

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