Games like: Metroid, Castlevania, Ico
Time played: 30 minutes
**One special note of interest here: I highly recommend playing the first game in the series (more information here). K.O.L.M. 2 takes place directly after the first game with zero backstory. Plus you’ll get more out of the experience of playing both back to back.**
Our little robot boy is finally out of the underdark, but not yet out of the woods. Starting with all of the enhancements from the first in the series, K.O.L.M. 2 continues the story of a robotic boy fighting for his life to finally make it to the surface and away from MOM.
K.O.L.M. 2 plays directly in your web browser so you’ll be stuck using the keyboard… OR WILL YOU? No, of course not. At the top and bottom are links to the Joy2Key file I created for using an Xbox 360 control. Both the directional pad and analog stick will move ROB around (that’s his name by the way), B will jump; more for a triple jump. A shoots your ball of pulsing something or other, X will call out or bring your group together and the left and right bumpers will switch between your party (more on this later). Also, if you’d like to bring up the map pressing Start will do so. OK, game time.
The beginning of the game starts at the end of the initial story, giving ROB all of the abilities from the previous game. From here, he is contacted by DAD, giving helpful advice, encouragement, and a task to find your sister. Venturing through this new area, you’ll come across some of the same elements you did in the first including enemies that target your location or the crawlers that walk on the floor and ceiling. A new environmental hazard presents itself in the form of simple sunlight. Scattered throughout the world are openings in the ceiling that let the light in. Standing in the light for too long will result in our boy robot catching fire and exploding.
Upon finally finding sister (she looks normal at least), you desperating trying to find a way off of the ledge she on. Only problem is she doesn’t know you’re there because she can’t hear you; you don’t have your voice. From here, DAD informs you that you left your voice back in the lower levels. With some hesitation, we retreat back to where MOM can find you. You’ll come upon some familiar areas (provided you played the first one, which you definitely should) yet there’s an odd sense about the rooms now. Some are altered; previous paths being blocked off or crumbed entrances. Moving back through this area, while MOM is trying to convince you that DAD is up to no good and to stay with her, you journey through looking for your voice. After finding it you make your way back up on by the heeding words of MOM.
Reaching back to your sister and calling out to her (which is the most adorable thing ever), you finally join forces to make it to the surface. The game takes a turn here because you are not on your own anymore. With your sister, you can reach new areas and the like that you weren’t able to before. She has no problem being in sunlight but water causes an issue. You can keep the two together or separate them depending on the puzzle at hand. Using the X button will call the two together and apart. Using the right and left bumpers will switch between the two once they are apart, you’ll be using them in conjunction in some fairly unique ways. This is where the game starts to get interesting with its level design.
The art style and music are common from the first K.O.L.M. The camera seems to tilt on an axis as you move from left to right which gives off an eerie sense of being watched. That, and not forgetting, that each room is labeled by a certain camera number. The music is best listened to while wearing headphones. There are many subtle tones and verses that seem to float back and forth as the track plays. It’s unsettling and fully fitting this type of environment. One thing that I always seemed to notice is the changing zoom of the camera from room to room. When the camera is extremely close up, the sound is amplified corresponding to the zoom. Nice touches to polish the game off.
There’s some things missing from the first game. There’s no boss battles or picking up of the pieces to put yourself back together. Starting off in K.O.L.M., you have to pick up your pieces so you can do common tasks like walk or see. This type of “collection” gives off a sense of connection between ROB and the player. To watch him drag himself around the floor, looking for the very pieces of himself that he once had is sad and powerful storytelling. Now maybe the developer thought that since this is the second in the line, it was time to hit the bricks with hard hitting action, but I still missed that opportunity to feel more of what ROB was going through. He seems so happy go lucky now. That is until he figures out what’s really going on.
K.O.L.M. 2 is an excellent entry into a profound series with great storytelling, platforming, and puzzles. Free to play in your browser, K.O.L.M. 2 continues the story of a child robot desperately trying to make his way to the surface and find his sister. Great metroidvania level design, a team puzzle aspect quasi Ico, and very involved plot development. A little known game that deserves a larger spotlight.
Check out more pics from K.O.L.M. 2!
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