Oddworld: Abe's Exoddus is a platform video game developed by Oddworld Inhabitants and published by GT Interactive. It is a sequel to the video game Oddworld: Abe's Oddysee. It is considered a spin off title in the Oddworld series, and not part of the main Oddworld Quintology. It was released in 1998 for the PlayStation video game console and Microsoft Windows for North America, Europe and Australia, and in 1999 for the PlayStation in Japan as titled: Abe '99. It was re-released on the PlayStation Network on October 22, 2009.
The game continues the story of Abe, charting his efforts to save his fellow Mudokons from another plot by the Glukkons to exploit them. Abe discovers that the Glukkons are enslaving Mudokons, this time to produce a drink called Soulstorm Brew, which uses Mudokon bones and tears as its ingredients. The player assumes the role of Abe, embarking on a quest to halt production of SoulStorm Brew.
The game was released to similar critical acclaim as the first title. Reviews praised the game's ability to allow the player to quick save anywhere they liked, a feature that was not present in Abe's Oddysee, while noting that it was very similar to that title. The game won multiple awards upon release.
Abe's Exoddus is a two-dimensional platform game, with many of its features taken from the previous title, Abe's Oddysee. The game is split into screens; when the player moves into the edge of the screen, the environment is replaced, just like in the previous title. Most screens include various puzzles that must be solved through the use of Abe's unique abilities: "GameSpeak", possession, controlling mine cars, activation or deactivation of mines or levers, and rocks, grenades, or bones that can be picked up and used for different purposes. Normal abilities include creeping, walking, running, rolling, hoisting, jumping, and crouching, all of which have specific application and make up a necessary arsenal of moves.
The game features no user interface or heads-up display. Information is conveyed to the player through instructive screens that can be activated by the player character, or through scrolling messages in the background. Characters do not have hit points; instead, being attacked (such as being shot or mauled) generally causes instant death. However, the player has unlimited lives, and upon death will re-spawn at the last checkpoint they reached. Abe's Exoddus includes an option to quick save which allows the player to designate their own checkpoints, a feature which was not present in Abe's Oddysee due to programming conflicts and which attracted criticism of that title.
While the focus of the gameplay is surmounting screens, there is a secondary focus on rescuing enslaved Mudokons. GameSpeak is a pivotal ability in this respect; by pressing combinations of buttons, the player character will utter short phrases that can be used to control allied non-player characters—to pull extra levers, to follow the player character, to attack enemy characters in the current screen, or simply to wait.
Unlike the first game, Mudokons have emotional states and status ailments that affect how they respond to the player's character. Mudokons may be angry, wired, depressed, sick, or blind, and each state must be dealt with differently by the player. Angry, wired or depressed characters can be consoled through GameSpeak, whilst sick Mudokons can only be cured with a special chant, obtained when the player character finds a helper character. Blind Mudokons will keep walking in the direction of the player character's voice, and must be told to wait before they walk into a hazard.
Possession is the player character's ability to take control of certain characters in the same screen by chanting. When a character is possessed, the player can use their abilities and weapons to find otherwise unreachable areas or levers, kill enemies, or as part of solving puzzles. However, when possessing a character, the player character remains immobile and vulnerable to attack.
The player can abandon possession of a creature at any time. Scrabs or Paramites will be released without harm when abandoned, while Industrialists (Sligs and Glukkons) will burst into pieces. If the player character has drunk Soulstorm Brew, they will be able to possess their own fart, which can then be used as a flying explosive and will detonate either when control is abandoned, or after a period of time.
Slave Mudokons are rescued through Bird Portals. If the player character chants when in the same screen as a Bird Portal, the portal will activate, and any nearby Mudokon slaves will run through it, disappearing. Rescuing Mudokons is not usually crucial to progressing through the game; however, rescuing at least 150 is necessary to get the good ending, and many secret areas revolve around rescuing a few Mudokons in particularly complex situations.
The player can also gain the ability to turn into the Shrykull, a Mudokon supernatural demigod. Abe acquired this power at a late stage in Abe's Oddysee. The ability is earned by sending a certain number of Mudokons through a bird portal at once, denoted by a number circulating with the birds. With the ability, the player can enter a screen with enemies or explosives, chant to transform into the Shrykull, and vaporize all enemies and hazards on the screen. Afterward, the player character turns back into Mudokon form. Achieving the ability and doing such is necessary to get past certain points in the game. The player can only turn into the Shrykull once each time they earn the ability, so where and when they choose to use it is important.