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Jun 27

Okabu: The PSN Physics Toybox

Simon Oliver's Avatar Posted by on Jun 27, 2011 // founder, HandCircus

Okabu for PS3 (PSN)

HandCircus is a really small team — there are only five of us at the studio! In addition to myself, we have Mikko and Matt handling art needs, Luke spearheading programming and Shane tackling level design. We’ve also been working with Resonate Music, who have been crafting Okabu’s original, authentic African-inspired soundtrack. Their studio has been filled to the rafters with all manner of exotic instruments like Marimbas, Kalimbas, Vibraphones as well as some extremely talented vocalists. Read on to learn more about how we’re implementing co-op, physics puzzles and minigames to make Okabu our most immersive game yet!

Okabu for PS3 (PSN)

Always-on Co-op

Co-op is at the core of the game. Even single player is a co-op experience because it allows you to swap between Kumulo and Nimbe (and they hero that they may be carrying) at any time. Much of the game revolves around using the different skills of the heroes together – get Monkfish to pull open a door, then Picolo can lure a bull through and get it to take out a dastardly Dozabot. If there’s two of you the game is even more fun, as each of you can take control of Kumulo or Nimbe.

Let’s Get Physical

Physics plays a core part of the game. One of our key aims with Okabu is to give the world a real toybox feel, where all the elements and interactions are super-tactile. We want you to feel that you are really reaching out and touching the world. Toys like Big Loader, Kong Man and Screwball scramble were big influences on members of our team growing up, and capturing the physical magic of those toys has been an objective since we began development. Use of physics has allowed us to create some really fun interactions between all of the machines, vehicles, creatures and characters of Okabu, from a vacuum-powered truck and block-flipping goat to the towering Doza cranes and Bomb-bot cannons.

Okabu for PS3 (PSN)

As well as a sizeable adventure mode, Okabu also features a number of endless minigames that allow you to compete for scores via online leaderboards. Each minigame focuses on a different style of play, with one featuring Captain Monkfish attempting to round up a number of Bushybeasts that have been rampaging around a Yorubo village by luring them with tasty fish. Another sees Picolo charming various goats and bulls to take out marauding Dozabots.

Okabu is Coming Soon!

We’re really excited to be bringing Okabu to PSN this summer, and can’t wait to share more about the game. If you’d like to keep up to date on all things Okabu, you can visit the HandCircus Blog, follow us on Twitter, or drop us an email at hello@handcircus.com.

//Add Your Own

24 Comments   2 Replies


+ chriz704 on June 27th, 2011 at 10:46 am said:

Interesting, might have to check this one out.



+ RickTrolI on June 27th, 2011 at 10:47 am said:

Sounds like a sweet game. Very interesting , 5 people made it. I’m considering buying it.


+ Surfaced on June 27th, 2011 at 10:52 am said:

Definite buy, within the hour it is put on the PS Store. Thanks for the awesome game, HandCircus!


+ Nisaras94 on June 27th, 2011 at 10:57 am said:

I’ve always enjoyed games made by small studios, like Amnesia by Frictional and World of Goo by 2D Boy. Studios like this need to be supported, so this sounds like a purchase for me.


+ HG11SALSITA on June 27th, 2011 at 11:17 am said:

this looks goog


+ HG11SALSITA on June 27th, 2011 at 11:18 am said:

i meAN THE Game looks good


+ a7x_RoCk3r on June 27th, 2011 at 11:32 am said:

The h*** is this?


+ Kirkpad on June 27th, 2011 at 11:50 am said:

An EXTREMELY solid iPhone developer releasing a PSN exclusive. Take notice PSN junkies. I am.


+ Hogwild333 on June 27th, 2011 at 1:10 pm said:

I love the art style, the physics puzzles and the co-op aspect of this game. I am looking forward to playing this game! Need a beta tester?


+ marlyt on June 27th, 2011 at 1:17 pm said:

I’m 38 and this looks fun!!! That’s all I want is games that are entertaining. I don’t need deep characters and plot. I’m pretty shallow like that. Release date please, and can a seven year old who can read a fair bit play?


+ EvoAnubis on June 27th, 2011 at 1:46 pm said:

Okay, okay…still want a demo, but I’ve got my eye on it. So long as it doesn’t come out during the Uncharted 3 beta.


+ Black_acid24 on June 27th, 2011 at 1:58 pm said:

i love co op games


+ Hradekal on June 27th, 2011 at 2:26 pm said:

Drop the environmentalist liberal propaganda and I’ll buy it. Politics don’t belong in video games.


+ Deathspear666 on June 27th, 2011 at 2:29 pm said:

@marlyt…I am w/you on the age thing lol And even though some deep characters are good we also can have games like this for entertainment :)


+ Deathspear666 on June 27th, 2011 at 2:31 pm said:

+ Hradekal on June 27th, 2011 at 2:26 pm said:

Drop the environmentalist liberal propaganda and I’ll buy it. Politics don’t belong in video games.

Hmmmm i bet you are/have played military games…Those are politics at it’s finest…..


+ plaztiksyke on June 27th, 2011 at 2:56 pm said:

Definitely excited for the co-op! It’s great to hear that live instruments were recorded, hopefully the in-game assets are HD (24-bit and/or losslessly-compressed) quality.

Great to see this and PooYoos; lots of child-friendly games on PSN lately :)


+ h_tota7_94 on June 27th, 2011 at 2:58 pm said:

this game for a little kids


+ DeathGazer on June 27th, 2011 at 2:58 pm said:

Love the quest-based gameplay and the Wind Waker-style graphics. Sign me up!


+ HyperStory on June 27th, 2011 at 5:35 pm said:

It looks pretty interesting, and I have a sweet spot for small Dev Teams, so I’ll have to Check it out.


+ DaShaka9 on June 27th, 2011 at 11:33 pm said:

Cool art style. Will it be 1080p? I bet it would look nice in 1080p. ツ

    Simon Oliver's Avatar


    + Simon Oliver on June 28th, 2011 at 10:53 pm said:

    It will be 720p, but it will be at 60FPS with MSAA


+ Senjutsu_Dav on June 28th, 2011 at 12:49 am said:

Not for me, I’ll stick around journey instead. =D Still, I’d like a demo to test it out.


+ Falandrias on June 28th, 2011 at 4:01 am said:

demo for this game would be great! need to try it

    Simon Oliver's Avatar


    + Simon Oliver on June 28th, 2011 at 10:54 pm said:

    We’ll definitely be releasing a demo at launch


+ Falandrias on June 28th, 2011 at 4:03 am said:

@deathgazer ya graphics are pretty good i knew they reminded me of something


+ Kirkpad on June 30th, 2011 at 11:35 am said:

Mmmmm…. 60fps goodness. If the demo is as awesome as it looks, then it’ll be a day one buy for sure!

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