If you didn’t know by now that I love puzzle games, hello, welcome to my first post you’ve ever read. Lately I’ve been searching for puzzle-y things to add to Jigsaw Puzzle Dreams and Glass Masquerade 2, but I Too Really like cute diorama things like Tiny Lands. Wouldn’t it be ideal if there was a game that combined both TH-BAH GAWD! That is the music of Harmony Odyssey!
Harmony Cat and Dude are both a cute witch with a traditional wand with a star on the end – the kind of job you might discover from a regional panto prop basket. The wand’s major (possibly only) ability is splitting the world into equal square parts and then joining them. Its wisdom is not heavily questioned, nor is it required to be. When Harmony’s cat runs away with the wand, the pair cause chaos in several different themed areas (sometimes accidentally, but often on purpose) in order to avoid all the people who will now cross over them. We do. And if I’m being honest, I didn’t expect too much from our loss. The packaging makes it look quite predictable kind of cute.
Each 3D area needs to be uncorked by swapping the squares around, and when you get them in the right places, you can tell the lines connect and you get a little musical sound. Harmony’s Odyssey goes a step further though, as the 3D dioramas you find are animated, and putting the two right pieces together can kickstart said animation. For example, if a minotaur were to move next to a van, completing the scene would cause it to begin wrestling the van. Or a piano player will start playing his piano, causing someone else to fall asleep.
The game is chock full of other mini-games (different, or spot some Sokoban-adjacent puzzles), but the diorama puzzles are your principle challenge. As the levels progress, they become larger and more complex, usually starting with a block of four or six pieces—a penguin at the baggage check-in, for example—and before zooming out. You’ll find the security area next to the carousel, then the departure lounge, then the parking lot outside. But baggage check-in is still there, it just takes a few squares on a much bigger puzzle now.
The story progresses every so often, they are populated by a race of mythical creatures with a modern, cartoony lick of paint, and the world runs on a variety of Flintstones-meets-Ghibli rules. In the game’s first area, a large snake-lizard comes out of a water tunnel, and it was only when Harmony’s cat leapt on it to escape that I realized it was a train. At the airport level, when a truck appeared outside holding a giant coconut cocktail, I was confused, until the airplane—a dragon—came up and started sipping it. The plane was being refueled! I screamed!
As you create chaos everywhere in the game, you amass a coterie of characters to track down. One is a Cyclops security guard, another a mummy detective, a barbecue enthusiast Cerberus the dog, and so on — sort of a mythical Avengers team, but one that will be far more interesting to fans than any Stark and Stripes slash writer could imagine. There are regular short cutscenes where Mummy tracks down paw prints in the snow, holding her magnifying glass down to the ground. The Minotaur (American) footballer will find something to contend with at every level.
The puzzles themselves aren’t that difficult, but are more thoughtful than I predicted. So, so are the jokes and the story. It’s not the “jokes for parents” deal like you get with panto, it’s just short little gags that are still funny. A penguin is checking in fish as luggage! It’s a good thing. The whole thing is so sweet that I challenge anyone not to enjoy Harmony’s Odyssey on some level. It’s unabashedly delightful, and honestly deserves better than that joke about slash fiction I just made.