Microsoft Studios has decided to cease development on both Fable Legends and Project Knoxville. Fable Legends was in development by Lionhead Studios and Microsoft Studios is actively talking with employees about a closure of the …
Kalimba was developed and published by Press Play on Xbox One. It was released on December 17, 2014 for $9.99. A copy was provided by Press Play for review purposes.
A funny thing happens while playing Kalimba, Press Play’s new puzzle-platformer for Xbox One. Your brain will shut off and you will go into auto-pilot. It might happen on your first attempt at a colorful new level, or it might happen during your 60th try at said level. But the stars will inevitably align, and the next thing you know, you’ll have made it to a new checkpoint that you had previously thought impossible to reach.
Kalimba has you controlling two totem pieces in tandem as you use both sides of your brain — and some really clever power-ups — to maneuver your way past enemies and through traps and puzzles. It’s not the first game I’ve seen in which you have to control two characters at once, but I think it just might be the best.
Kalimba is one of those games that you will refuse to put down until you’ve finished the current level. “Come on…I have to be able to beat this!” you’ll say as you restart again and again. It’s also a lot of fun.
Eight levels and a boss battle were available in the pre-release beta, and already the challenge and fun on display has proven this is going to be a game to watch for. Originally known as Project Totem, this puzzle-platformer from Press Play features both single-player and co-op modes in which you guide two (or four in co-op) differently colored totem pieces through psychedelic worlds. The graphics are all made out of stark, thick lines and bright colors and are mostly made up of triangles. The “trixelated” art style almost made me wish I was still in school so I could draw these characters in the corners of my notebooks.
Beginning puzzles range from the challenge of having to move both characters simultaneously to avoid two sets of obstacles at once to making sure the right-colored character moves through the right-colored barriers. There are all kinds of other challenges that are introduced as you move through the colorful worlds, as well as mini-game rooms where you can try to improve your skills. In the eight levels available, more kinds of challenges and obstacles continued to build at a nice pace, with seemingly new gameplay additions coming in on almost every level.
The first boss battle was a real wild ride too. While still using the same gameplay mechanics, it throws everything on its head to make the platformer’s more laid-back puzzle vibe turn into almost a SHMUP-style action game.
Project Totem, the puzzle-platformer from Press Play, has been renamed Kalimba and is coming to Xbox One on December 17, the developer has announced. A new trailer showing the formerly titular totems platforming across various color-coded stages was released alongside the announcement.
Kalimba, which features both single-player and a co-op modes, has players controlling living totems that are stacked on top of each other to form poles. Creative Director Asger Strandby calls the co-op mode a “friendship tester.” XBLA Fans can speak to that point; our preview recounts some of the difficulties the team had in coordinating with each other to overcome the game’s obstacles. Shouting at your co-op partner is an inevitability.
Each totem pole piece is a different color, which is more of a design choice than it is an aesthetic one. Each stage in Kalimba‘s three worlds is filled with colored barriers that can only be passed through by a totem of the same hue. To progress through the game, players need to stack and align their totems so that each one is set to pass through barriers with their corresponding colors. Check the trailer after the jump to see this mechanic in action.
Players start with a limited number of totem pieces, but they’re given more to work with as they move deeper into the game and come closer to rescuing the island of Kalimba from an evil shaman.