Kalimba Review

I started Kalimba with a rough idea of what this game was, you control 2 different coloured totem characters on different levels simultaneously while trying to collect orbs and finish with a high score. My understanding of what Kalimba was after the 2nd level was very different! yes you control 2 totem characters and collect orbs but having 2 different coloured totems has a large factor of the whole games make up and adds some interesting and hard antics to the mix.

Controlling these 2 characters can be tricky as you hop and jump to collect orbs, with different level designs for each character it really makes you think about your movements every step of the way. It’s all about guiding the totem pieces through obstacle-course levels; if either piece touches a liquid that isn’t their colour or an enemy both pieces die and are sent back to a generously placed checkpoint (hence antics!)

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While overcoming obstacles usually requires stacking the two and switching their placement (which happens instantly at the touch of the X button), certain sequences require using obstacles in the level to put space between your pieces and being carefully aware of their movement.

I found this to be fun and very stressful, I’m the kind of player that has to get gold or the best score on every game (to my dismay it doesn’t always happen) so when I found that if you die once or dont collect all the orbs you dont get a shiny golden totem at the end of each level, Cue unhappy face 🙁

There were enough tweaks to the formula that I felt challenged and interested in what new ideas the next level would add. Whether I was flying through the air via trampolines and cannons, or experimenting with elements that mess with the normally parallel movement and make one of the characters larger or stationary, most of the additions to Kalimba’s solid platforming and puzzle mechanics are welcome.

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If you feel like bopping your head to some cool tunes while hopping around Kalimba you may want plug in your headphones in unfortunately the background music is the weakest area to this highly polished colourful puzzler! On a plus side you have and interestingly depressed character called Hoebear that’s there to guide you on your way (the only hand holding you get), Hoebear is a very sarcastic character that constantly reminds you that you are not 2 primarily coloured totems but a “Human” player that’s controlling these bright little guys. You’re effectively left to figure things out for yourself, which actually becomes part and parcel of the fun, as you look at the screen with a furrowed brow, before enjoying a really satisfying ‘eureka’ moment.

hoebear

 THE VERDICT

Kalimba is a brilliantly coloured dynamic puzzler that challenges your abilities with every new level, the background music is a flop but with the complexity of some challenges the music can be ignored. If your like me and want to get the top scores on everything Kalimba will pull you back again and again! If your not but you enjoy a really good puzzle game Kalimba will give you around 5 hours gameplay, Kalimba is a must buy! Its one of the best Puzzlers I have played in a while.

Check out this video below!

  • 9/10
    Graphics - 9/10
  • 7/10
    Sound - 7/10
  • 9/10
    Gameplay - 9/10
  • 7/10
    Longevity - 7/10
  • 9/10
    Value - 9/10
8.2/10

Mike "Nanaki VIII" Riley

Hey I'm Mike Riley, I've been gaming for 20+ years and I'm still loving it!!

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