Published on April 21st, 2015 | by Mica Rose0
Kalimba – PC And Xbox One Review
Kalimba is a colourful and complex adventure from Press Play studios. The game is a side scrolling puzzle platformer where the player must control two totem pieces simultaneously.
The world of Kalimba has been attacked by a dark shaman, who kills the white shaman and destroys the sacred totem pole. In order to restore Kalimba to its former peaceful state the spirit of the white shaman must rebuild the pole even higher, by possessing two pieces of the totem pole and using them to complete various levels throughout the world.
The totem pieces are synchronised, so they have the exact same movements. This is something you have to keep in mind whilst making your way through Kalimba, as a movement may be good for one totem, but it may mean death for the other – and if one dies they both do. The dual controls are used in a very creative and diverse way. You can manoeuvre the pieces so they are stacked, allowing double jumps to reach the tough spots, or more commonly side by side. The totems can swap positions with each other with the press of a button, which comes in handy as throughout the levels there are areas that are safe for the pink totem but will cause the green totem to die and vice versa. It will take careful precision and quick thinking to ensure that you swap just at the right time.
A reverse gravity power can be activated in some levels where the totems will either repel or attract each other like magnets, quick swapping will need to be used to control the totems in the riskier environments.
Once you’ve done the story mode you can try your luck at the challenges in Llama mode, or race against your friends and Hoebear (the narrator of the story) in Puma mode. There are also several bonus levels hidden around the main story, where you can try and top the leaderboards! Along with the main game’s release there will be two DLC packs available, a ‘Co-Optimistic’ pack where you can utilise couch co-op to see how well you and your friends work as a team, and a 10 level ‘Dark Void’ story pack.
With each level completed, a talisman will be added to the totem pole. Your skill in that particular level will reflect in the totem pole; if you had a flawless run, collected all the tokens and didn’t die then the totem will be gold plated, if you died a ridiculous amount of times (which will happen whilst you’re getting used to it!) and didn’t collect enough tokens to compensate, then you’ll be awarded a no frills log totem!
Kalimba is a lot of fun, it’s colourful and challenging without being frustrating. Once you get to grips with how the controls work and the idea of controlling two tokens at once the game becomes a thrill. You’ll want to keep replaying the previous levels to best your own score (and upgrade your totem pole to a blinged-out gold plated one!). It doesn’t take itself too seriously either – Hoebear, the AI guiding you through the game gets grumpy if you skip his dialogue and he even remarks that the player has to help the white shaman as ‘otherwise there would be no game’.
Kalimba is out now on Xbox One and is available on Steam from April 22nd.
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