The Oddworld franchise kicked off in 1997 with the release of Abe’s Oddysee for the original PlayStation.
It was intended to be the first of five titles developer Oddworld Inhabitants had planned for the series but after releasing just a handful of games, the puzzle platformer began to fade into obscurity.
Despite all this, Oddworld has maintained a cult following over the years that fondly remembers playing both entries.
In this list, I will break down the series’ timeline and go over every Oddworld Game in order of release date, starting with the original Abe’s Oddysee and ending with Oddworld: Soulstorm.
By the end, we’ll have a better understanding of how the series has changed over time and what its creators have planned for the future.
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Oddworld: Abe’s Oddysee
Release Date: September 18, 1997
Platforms: PlayStation, PC, DOS, Game Boy
As described in the intro, the Oddworld franchise starts with Abe’s Oddysee, a 2.5D puzzle platformer that sees you exploring the seedy underbelly of an alien world while controlling Abe, a Mudokon slave.
After Abe discovers that he and his fellow Mudokons are going to be slaughtered by the Glukkons at the shady RuptureFarms meat-processing plant, he hatches a plan to escape and free as many Mudokons as he can.
Gameplay is a mix of puzzle-solving, platforming, and stealth sequences. Abe is able to use mind control to influence grunt enemies and his charisma allows him to convince other Mudokons to join his plight.
The game was well-received, with critics praising its graphics, animations, and gameplay in addition to Abe’s character design.
Oddworld: Abe’s Exoddus
Release Date: November 17, 1998
Platforms: PlayStation, PC, Game Boy
A sequel titled Abe’s Exoddus would release the following year in 1998 for the PlayStation, later coming to PC and handheld. The story takes place directly after the events of the first game and sees Abe stumbling upon another sinister plot.
The Glukkons have started taking bones from a Mudokon burial site and are using them to make a new drink called Soulstorm Brew. Additionally, they’ve been kidnapping blind Mudokons and using them as slave labor.
Gameplay was mostly similar to Abe’s Oddysee but greatly benefited from quality of life improvements such as the option to quick-save at any time.
As a result, the game scored high and is considered by many to be the best entry to date. The forthcoming title Oddworld: Soulstorm is meant to be a reimagining of the original Abe’s Exoddus.
Release Date: December 1998
Platforms: Game Boy
Oddworld Adventures was a handheld title for the Nintendo Game Boy released in 1998. It was loosely based on Abe’s Oddysee but due to hardware limitations, had to be scaled-down to a single area in-game.
Players could pick up and throw meat and rocks and communicate through chants, whistles, and farts. Most of the story content was cut from the game and replaced with a premise involving Paramonia and Abe completing various trials.
The RuptureFarms section was also stripped out along with most of the NPCs, leaving just Abe, Big Face, and one other Mudokon to sing passwords to.
Oddworld Adventures 2
Release Date: November 1999
Platforms: Game Boy Color
The next handheld game was Oddworld Adventures 2, another side scrolling platformer based on the second game in the series, Abe’s Exoddus.
While its environments and story still paled in comparison to the original PlayStation version, the enhanced capabilities of Nintendo’s Game Boy Color resulted in a more faithful port of the game.
Several areas were able to be included and the number of Mudokons that Abe could rescue was expanded as well.
Just like its predecessor, Oddworld Adventures 2 let players issue commands using an updated version of GameSpeak with more detailed options.
Oddworld: Munch’s Oddysee
Release Date: November 15, 2001
The Oddworld mythos was expanded in a third main game titled Munch’s Oddysee. Set after Abe’s Exoddus, the game sees Abe coming to the aid of Munch, the last Gabbit alive, as he tries to prevent his race’s extinction.
In exchange, Munch offers to help Abe liberate other Mudokons. Munch’s Oddysee was initially announced for the PlayStation 2 but would end up releasing as an Xbox original exclusive.
Gameplay followed a similar structure as previous Oddworld titles, but introduced new alien races and powers, namely the ability to swap between Abe and Munch.
The game would end up receiving mixed to average reviews, with critics taking issue with its repetitive puzzle designs and overall lack of variety.
Oddworld: Munch’s Oddysee
Release Date: September 24, 2003
Platforms: Game Boy Advance
Two years later, a third handheld game was released, this time for the Game Boy Advance and under the same title as the console version.
Like its predecessors, the handheld port of Munch’s Oddysee featured considerably less story and gameplay content.
And as is the case with most handheld ports of console games, the GBA version of Munch’s Oddysee received mostly negative reviews, despite its technical improvements over the earlier Game Boy ports.
Oddworld: Stranger’s Wrath
Release Date: January 25, 2005
For their next game, Oddworld Inhabitants took things in a new direction, shifting away from puzzle platforming to a more action-based adventure game with shooting mechanics in Oddworld: Stranger’s Wrath.
In it, you play as an infamous bounty hunter named Stranger as he tracks down wanted criminals and collects the bounties on each of their heads.
It was the first Oddworld game to include both first and third-person points of view. This allowed you to play the game as an immersive first-person shooter or a traditional third-person action-adventure game.
Although Stranger’s Wrath received fairly positive reviews, it didn’t sell many copies. As a result, it is most often cited as the reason why the series was put on hiatus.
Oddworld: New ‘n’ Tasty
Release Date: July 22, 2014
Platforms: PS4, PS3, PS Vita, PC, Xbox One, Wii U
Released in 2014, Oddworld: New ‘n’ Tasty is a comprehensive remake of the first game in the series, Abe’s Oddysee, and was developed by Just Add Water.
It features wholly remade assets, including fully-3D graphics, a number of gameplay refinements, and a new difficulty option.
Additionally, the remake included more secrets to find, new puzzle designs, and minor adjustments to Abe’s appearance. New ‘n’ Tasty was well-received, with many considering it one of the best remakes of all time.
Release Date: April 6, 2021
Platforms: PS4, PS5, PC, Xbox One
We’ve finally arrived at the latest entry in the series, Oddworld: Soulstorm, released in 2021 as a timed exclusive for the PS4 and PS5 consoles.
Like its predecessor, the game is a remake of an earlier entry in the series, Abe’s Exoddus; in it, you play as Abe as he leads a Mudokon rebellion against the Glukkons.
Soulstorm retains the 2.5D side-scrolling presentation and platforming gameplay the series is known for while introducing new game mechanics, namely a new looting and crafting system that lets Abe make customizable weapons.
The game received mixed reviews, with critics praising the improvements to movement controls while taking issue with the clunky design of its inventory system.