Game Review: Kumoon

checks out this physics-based puzzle game

Kumoon (1)Rating: ★★☆☆☆
Platform: PC, Mac
Release Date: 10 November 2015
Developer: Lucky You Studio

Let’s face it, whilst you should never judge a book by its cover the name of this game sets something of a picture in your mind. Firstly, that you’ll be firing something to solve physics based puzzles and secondly that this game is dull. In the case of Kumoon however first impressions are accurate.

You play as a cute little robot (think the lovechild of EVE and an orange bin), a robot that the developers decided was so cute that they put a mirror into the first level so you can see it properly. You have the inexplicable ability to fire a seemingly infinite amount of balls at cubes, although why is never really explained.

The objective of each level is the same – hit all of the cubes and make sure you get above a set amount of points. Normally hitting a cube is worth only one point, but every bounce off a blue area before contacting the cube increases the value of the cubes by one point up to a maximum of nine points. So the idea is simple – make the ball bounce as much as possible before it impacts the cube to make sure you win.

The problem is that whilst the physics is predictable the path of your balls really isn’t. This means that setting up clever shots, presumably what you’re supposed to do, isn’t a very effective way of clearing the level. Because you can fire multiple balls and the counter only resets whenever you fire a ball the best strategy seems to be figuring out some kind of rough shot that would give the desired effect and then letting loose six or so balls. Alternatively, shooting balls at random can sometimes get the job done just as well.

The game has 45 levels and they do get progressively harder as the cubes get more out of the way, and you have to do some simple platforming to get into spots to shoot at them. But that’s really all it has to offer – there are no added mechanics or anything of much substance. Completing the levels also generally feels more like luck than skill, and this leads to a rather unsatisfactory experience.

Don’t get me wrong, the game is perfectly functional and doesn’t look awful but it’s dull, uninventive and unsatisfying. It’s title as a puzzle game is also somewhat dubious and in all honesty it’s better avoided. I should point out that the review key for this product was provided by the developer free of charge.

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