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.
It is the first day of PAX East, and XBLA Fans is at our third appointment of the day. It’s with the Danish developer Press Play, which, just a couple hours before our meeting, announced its next contribution to Xbox, Project Totem. Little is known about the game, except that it’s a platformer involving totem poles. Arriving at the booth, I see two mini totem pieces moving along a world made up primarily of two colors corresponding to the totem pieces. Watching it, I think to myself, “Well, this looks simple enough.” But as it goes with most things in life that appear simple, reality is an entirely different scenario. Within minutes of sitting down to play the demo I was both equally addicted and frustrated.
Playing solo was challenging, but I had all the control. Enter co-op mode. Are you and a friend/loved one looking for that next classic two-player game that will leave you feeling warm and fuzzy inside like that fat plumber and his green-clad brother used to? Great, you should probably look elsewhere then. Project Totem‘s co-op mode requires a level of communication rarely found in games, which means it could make or break your friendships. You and your partner may realize that you make a great team and work well together — or you may end up never speaking to each other again, with one of you left with a bloody nose from the impact of the other’s Xbox controller.