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Jun 20

The Tale of Okabu, Coming Soon to PSN

Simon Oliver's Avatar Posted by on Jun 20, 2011 // founder, HandCircus

Hi all! We’re slightly over-excited about the upcoming release of our brand-new PS3 title Okabu. While we’re best known for creating handheld titles (we are the creators of the Rolando series), we’ve found the allure of developing for PlayStation 3 impossible to resist, and so have swapped our touch screens for Dualshocks. For the last two years we have been beavering away creating a brand new world and an all-new adventure, Okabu, that will be coming to exclusively to PSN in the coming months.

Okabu is a co-op action-puzzle-adventure, following the exploits of a two Cloud-whales, Kumulo and Nimbe, as they battle to save their people and their world from the industrialized threat of the Doza clan (a rather unpleasant collection of machinery-obsessed tyrants). The tale of Okabu begins in the ancestral lands of an ancient race of Cloud-Whales – as vast clouds of toxic pollution have risen from the surface, the sky-dwellers have become struck by a great sickness. Two of the remaining healthy Cloud-Whales (the brothers Kumulo and Nimbe) are dispatched by the Cloud-whale elders to the surface to discover (and put a stop to) the source of the pollution.

Meet Kumulo and Nimbe, the Cloud Whales of Okabu

Okabu for PS3 (PSN)

Kumulo and Nimbe do not fight alone! As they explore the surface of the world, they discover the Yorubo: a tribe of people with a deep affinity with nature. They too, have had their lands consumed by pollution and their people have been enslaved: the Yorubo farmers and fishermen have been shackled and imprisoned – forced to work in the factories and mines of the Doza.

The Yorubo have decided that enough is enough – its time to strike back! The best and the bravest of their tribe offer to join the adventure, each bringing their unique skills to the quest. We were a little inspired by the late 70s Japanese TV show “Monkey” (Saiyūki), and the exploits of the Cloud-flying Monkey king – it was a hugely popular tea-time show when I was growing up as a kid in the 80s. We felt that there needed to be more cloud-flying heroes in games, and so it was a natural step to have our Yorubo heroes cruising around on Kumulo and Nimbe’s backs.

Enter the Four Heroes

Okabu for PS3 (PSN)

Each of the heroes brings a totally different style of play to the game. From left to right:

Captain Monkfish: The first cloud-flying hero you meet is the aerodynamic fisherman Captain Monkfish. Using his trusty plunger, Monkfish can harpoon all manner of objects in the environment. Allows a huge amount of interaction with the game world, from yanking open gates and catching fish, to pulling down drawbridges and wrenching exploding fruit from trees.

Picolo: A master of charming, hypnotic rhythms, Picolo can bring to his aid a variety of creatures and friendly Yorubo. Once entranced these creatures can be persuaded to perform all manner of tasks, from operating switches and climbing ropes, to healing trees and making bulls charge and smash though planks of wood.

Roki: Horrified by the actions of his own people, Roki took a stand against the Doza to join the fight, helping Kumulo and the others to clean up the lands and free the Yorubo. He can take control of many Doza machines and vehicles, from bulldozers and turrets, to giant robotic spiders and wrecking balls.

Kat: Teamed up with her flying pet, our Yorubo warrior’s swiftness and combat ability are unsurpassed. Don’t let her pet’s appearance deceive you, this can be one vicious little creature thats more than happy to sink its teeth into a Doza. Her pet can be used to get into narrow areas that Kumulo and friends cannot, as well as neutralizing Doza foe and rewiring Doza circuits.

Check back next week for a closer look at the wide world of Okabu!

//Add Your Own

35 Comments   6 Replies


+ Genomicinsight on June 20th, 2011 at 12:08 pm said:

It looks fun.


+ EvoAnubis on June 20th, 2011 at 12:09 pm said:

Looking forward to seeing more from this, Simon. Mainly because even after watching the video, I’m still not too sure what’s going on here! LOL!

    Simon Oliver's Avatar


    + Simon Oliver on June 20th, 2011 at 12:21 pm said:

    We’ve tried to pack a lot into the game – hard to show it all in a trailer!


+ depward on June 20th, 2011 at 12:10 pm said:

Let me guess:

1) Co-op is not online.
2) No demo will be released.
3) It will be at a $14.99 price point with a discounted price for Plus members.


+ Valhades on June 20th, 2011 at 12:10 pm said:

Looks awesome. My gf will love this.

Definite buy.


+ Genomicinsight on June 20th, 2011 at 12:15 pm said:

I never heard of Rolando , but just searched for it . It got a very high rating for the Iphone.


+ Hogwild333 on June 20th, 2011 at 12:25 pm said:

Split screen? 2 players only or more?

    Simon Oliver's Avatar


    + Simon Oliver on June 20th, 2011 at 12:27 pm said:

    Its 2 player co-op (for the entire story campaign and also the mini games), and the camera adapts to frame the action, rather than splitting the screen.


+ Kchow23 on June 20th, 2011 at 1:01 pm said:

Game looks great! personally love the art style same with Rolando. Will there be a demo? Also have you guys thought about bringing Rolando or Okabu to Vita?

    Simon Oliver's Avatar


    + Simon Oliver on June 20th, 2011 at 1:08 pm said:

    Thanks! Mikko (our concept artist and character designer) is back with us on Okabu, so the two games share his charming Nordic style. There will definitely be a demo – we want as many people to try Okabu as possible. We’re really excited about Vita, but we are a tiny team (there’s only five of us) so we’re only able to work on one project at a time!


+ YoureATowel on June 20th, 2011 at 1:04 pm said:

OK. This is the second game that has to do with pollution or global warming (Amy) being released on the PSN. I really hope this trend does not continue.


+ Kirkpad on June 20th, 2011 at 1:05 pm said:

Sounds quite excellent. You took full advantage of the iDevice, and I hope you have done the same here. This is just another PSN game keeping my attention.

Gotta catch ’em all! (PSN games, that is.)


+ DZORMAGEN on June 20th, 2011 at 1:06 pm said:

I think I met Simon at E3, I will buy this game. I love the art, and the game is fun! :)


+ Kirkpad on June 20th, 2011 at 1:08 pm said:

@8 You’re a towel. I hope you don’t like any of the Studio Ghibli movies, because basically every one of those is about pollution/environments. *gasp* “A game makes me think about my impact on the world! Fail!”

Personally, I find the art style and theme VERY similar to Ghibli’s tone.


+ EvoAnubis on June 20th, 2011 at 1:16 pm said:

@ Scott: Yeah, I bet! Glad to know there will be a demo; certainly looks like something I’d want to try out. And looking forward to next week to find out more!


+ EvoAnubis on June 20th, 2011 at 1:17 pm said:

Crap; I meant Simon. That’s what I get for posting on 5 different sites at the same time. My bad.

    Simon Oliver's Avatar


    + Simon Oliver on June 20th, 2011 at 2:03 pm said:

    Scott, Simon – so long as it begins with S, I’ll respond to it ;)


+ shazbot-finubus on June 20th, 2011 at 1:31 pm said:

This looks incredible, I can’t tell you how nice it is to have a game like this come out. I just love the colour and the fun of it all!


+ Surfaced on June 20th, 2011 at 1:38 pm said:

@8 AMY has NOTHING do do with pollution & global warming. It’s just Ico meets zombies.


+ Surfaced on June 20th, 2011 at 1:40 pm said:

Also HandCircus thank you for the wonderful game, I hope a release date will be shared soon. That’s probably the only thing that frustrates me about these PSN games; we aren’t told the release date until maybe a week before launch. Oh well.

The PSN exclusive lineup for this year is looking all-around stellar. Simon, have you heard of thatgamecompany? What do you think of their new game, titled ‘Journey’?

    Simon Oliver's Avatar


    + Simon Oliver on June 20th, 2011 at 2:06 pm said:

    We’ll let you know as soon as we have a release date (you can also follow us on twitter at ). We’re big fans of thatgamecompany here at HandCircus, and Journey does look amazing.


+ YoureATowel on June 20th, 2011 at 1:48 pm said:

@ # 15 “The story begins on a rainy December day in 2034. Global warming is in full swing, spreading diseases and natural disasters all around the world.” Direct quote from PlayStation Blog.


+ xNemesiSx on June 20th, 2011 at 2:11 pm said:

The game look interesting, somtimes PSN titles have more new things and are even more fun than full retail game. For example im having a blast with Outland and Magic 2012 (old Magic player :P). The game looks good and fun


+ bwhitlat on June 20th, 2011 at 3:47 pm said:

I didn’t like the artistic copying approach of Rolando ==>> A rip-off of the excellent Loco Roco games’ (art style and gameplay). Rolando seemed like a copy of someone else’s work and ideas. However this looks a bit more original and something that might be worth checking out. Hopefully LocoRoco comes out with a new game for PS Vita with the tilt and touch screens it would be ideal.


+ PhantomOfPanton on June 20th, 2011 at 4:43 pm said:

This game has such a beautiful art style! It has an indie feeling to it :D
Does it play just as good as it looks?


+ Hradekal on June 20th, 2011 at 4:50 pm said:

I was interested in the gameplay but the neo-pagan environmental hippy-ness isn’t my taste in plot lines. The music seems cool too. But I don’t think I can stomach a full game inspired by eco-freaks and politicians… And yes, it is fueled by politics whether or not you want to admit it.


+ BAMF_WaS03 on June 20th, 2011 at 5:03 pm said:



+ DazeOfWar on June 20th, 2011 at 5:26 pm said:

This looks pretty cool. I may have to pick this up when it comes out.


+ plaztiksyke on June 20th, 2011 at 5:46 pm said:

Looks really cool, especially the same-screen local co-op! Couple of questions:

1) is it rendering natively in 1080p? using MSAA?

2) who did the music? are the music assets HD quality (lossless and/or 24-bit)?

3) platinum trophy?


    Simon Oliver's Avatar


    + Simon Oliver on June 21st, 2011 at 11:45 am said:


    Its running at 720p, at 60 fps, with MSAA. The music is by our partners at Resonate Music ( ) who created a bespoke soundtrack for Okabu – their studio has been filled with Marimbas, Kalimbas, huge drums and all manner of exotic african instruments! We’ve not settled on compression for the music just yet. We’ve also not finalised our trophy setup, but watch this space.


+ shadow1bob333 on June 20th, 2011 at 6:04 pm said:

Looks pretty awesome. I might actually get this.


+ manzoor47 on June 20th, 2011 at 8:14 pm said:

love the art style, looking forward to it!


+ GraveMatter on June 20th, 2011 at 9:27 pm said:

This looks amazing. Looks like there’s a lot of stuff to do and areas to explore. So far, this is looking like a day one purchase for me.


+ angelspawn77 on June 20th, 2011 at 11:14 pm said:

Game’s art looks very similar to South Park, specifically the Cartoon Wars episodes. Especially in that second picture, looks cool.


+ luvtoseek on June 21st, 2011 at 12:27 am said:

@ #8, that is the dumbest comment I’d read all year.

Simon, thanks for the nice video. Great character designs & chippy, cherry music! Cloud whales & there’s a Captain Monkfish? …and couch co-op 2 player? Going to purchase this ASAP!


+ Fenrisulfr_ on June 21st, 2011 at 2:22 am said:

@#28: Um… his statement was correct. How exactly does that qualify it as a stupid statement?


+ mendochef on June 21st, 2011 at 6:58 am said:

This game looks pretty [DELETED]! Don’t think I’ll bother with little hippy trolls on a pollution quest !


+ himan879 on June 21st, 2011 at 12:31 pm said:

What the heck is this who in heck would even buy this, this is as stupid as CASTLE CRASHERS. WOW, HA HA HA HA HA HA HA.


+ UnRealistic_Hero on June 21st, 2011 at 2:40 pm said:

Will there be any online features such as playing the story with a friend online?


+ DIGGY305 on June 21st, 2011 at 3:26 pm said:

Hello Simon

Can you guys consider making LBP2 Costumes for it or having PS Home rewards?
Game looks great


+ Ultranza on June 21st, 2011 at 3:37 pm said:

wow this looks somehow really awesome! :D definately gonna try this out, I also just determinded to buy it… it just looks GREAT! I like your graphical style! I REALLY like it! pure art! Great to hear you are joining the playstation- Community!

And making it with the small team, i want to support you guys! keep it up! cant wait for the release!

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