K.O.L.M. – Browser Game Review

Games like: Castlevania, Mega Man, Metroid

Play the game here! http://armorgames.com/play/7446/

K.O.LM. is a Metroidvania browser game by Armor Games, where you play as Tony, a boy-like robot who wakes up in a strange environment without the ability to see or walk. Once awaking, Tony hears the faint whisper of his “mother” encouraging him to find the rest of his pieces. Journeying through level by level, you encounter wall climbing bugs and flying spikes out to destroy our little boy robot.

K.O.L.M. takes a page directly out of the 2D side-scrolling Metroid series of old, hence the name. Oh, you have finish the game with 100% to get that… The game itself has a very isolated feel to it and the music, a minimalistic piano concerto, draws you into the abyss and dark treachery as you explore new unknown lands.

The traditional controls are with the keyboard: arrow keys to move Tony back and forth, Z and X keys to jump and attack. I was able to use Joy2Key and map my Xbox 360 controller to the controls and use it instead with little effort. I first started using the left analog stick to move, but found that the threshold was too low. Rather than work on adjusting the stick’s threshold, I decided to use the directional pad instead. The Joy2Key configuration file for my 360 control is located below. Please feel free to download it and use it. If you have another gamepad that you use, please feel free to email me your configuration file so that I may add it to the rest below.

It's all so blurry.

It’s all so blurry.

At the beginning of the game, you literally have nothing. You can’t see and you can’t walk. You have to scoot around until you find those pieces of yourself in different areas. Once you reactive your optics, you’ll notice in the lower left hand corner that you are having a conversation with “Mother”. Most of her words are encouraging and loving, but every once in a while, her words come off as speculative and coarse.

If the room is large, the camera will be really zoomed out.

If the room is large, the camera will be really zoomed out.

Each level is separated by a different camera number. Some of the levels may be zoomed out making the sound of our robot hero seem small and insignificant; sometimes nonexistent. Other camera angles are close up and the action feels right in front of you. A small gesture from the developer but something that is nice to see with this attention to detail.

Collect hidden letters to reveal a secret message on the last level.

Collect hidden letters to reveal a secret message on the last level.

You do have the ability to save your game so that you may come back at a different time to continue. Like all Metroid games, be prepared to back track. K.O.L.M. does it in two ways: one, to continue through the game with a new found ability and two, to find hidden secrets that are spread throughout the game. Letters are hidden amongst the levels. Collecting all of them will yield you a 100% in item collection and a secret message on the last level of the game revealing what K.O.L.M. Stands for. Also tracked is your time of playing and how many deaths. This is a great addition that will allow for those out there who enjoy speed and high score runs a second reason to play again.

There are many power ups placed throughout the game that gain Tony the ability to duck, double jump, upgrade his plasma cannon, and dash to name a few. I don’t know what it is about the ability to dash in video games, but it is always a favorite of mine. Just another reason why Mega Man X is one of my favorite games. All of these upgrades allow you to reach new areas you weren’t able to do so before. Keeping track of areas you can’t access currently, will allow you to play through the game faster once you have the correct ability. There is a nice mini map to track your progress and the areas you have already been through. This makes the back tracking much easier to deal with.

So we meet again... Mr. Guy Who Looks A Lot Like Me.

So we meet again… Mr. Guy Who Looks A Lot Like Me.

There are also mini boss encounters in K.O.L.M. these bosses look and act much like you, but are, of course, out to kill you. It reminds me of fighting Protoman for the first time in Megaman 3 (NES). Someone who is equally as strong and as fast as you are, fighting to the death. The music changes here and really gives you a sense of impending doom being right around the corner.

Overall, K.O.L.M. Is a great Metroidvania browser game that fans of the Metroid series will enjoy. Although, completing the game once, it does come off as a bit short, the replay value of finding 100% of the items and beating the game as fast as possible will bring me back.

XBox 360 Joy2Key configuration file – click to download

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