By Joseph Puntschart / December 22nd, 2016
|Title||Karma. Incarnation 1|
|Publisher||Other Kind Games|
|Platform||PC (via Steam)|
One of the charms of playing video games is the ability to enter worlds where there is a sense of wonder. Lengthy RPGs like Persona 4 Golden spring to mind, however shorter releases also have something to offer in some cases. Karma. Incarnation 1 took me five hours to complete and, during that time, I found myself very engaged within its world. Karma is a point n’ click adventure, where you need to interact with the environment in order to progress with the game’s story. There is a wide number of quirky characters such as the protagonist, whom is a blob called Pip, whom can eat and store things at will, from enemies to orbs. Another example is the interdimensional machine you use to travel between worlds which can transform into a little flying blob. The NPCs that you meet each have their own distinctive personalities and appearance, and are a joy to interact with. One entire world consists of NPCs dancing on an island where an alien spaceship emits disco lights and you will need to make return visits, interacting with a different NPC each time in the world.
The art style is gorgeous. It is a very simplistic 2D approach and the number of vibrant colours used is impressive. This is a game that has to be seen to be believed – the amount of variety in the game’s settings is noticeable, including icecaps to a vibrant forest with a variety of plants and NPCs you can interact with. For example, there is one NPC in the forest that is fascinated by the plants and lets out a cooing sound every now and then when he is on screen, which is a rather pleasant thing to hear. It somewhat reminds me of Rayman Legends in terms of how that game also has distinctive characters and a charming art style.
What makes Karma stand out is its sin system. If you commit certain sins throughout the game, you will not be able to get the game’s good ending. Sins include eating certain characters and stealing certain objects. You will know if you have committed sins by the fact that horns and other shapes will sprout from the protagonist’s head. It’s an interesting system that helps it stand out. This isn’t made clear at the start of the game though, so you may find yourself requiring multiple playthroughs in order to get the good ending. A second way it stands out is a unique ability the protagonist has; the ability to enter a state where they can see things that you wouldn’t be able to see when moving normally, such as portals and passages through leaves.
The solutions for the most part are pretty straightforward, with only a little bit of thinking and memory required for some parts. (The forest section is a good example of this.) This is very much a game that you’re going along for the ride when playing, especially considering the price tag of $1/79p. This is a double-edged sword as it means more casual players that wish to get through this quickly may be satisfied with this title. For those players wanting a challenge, they won’t find it here aside from getting the good ending. I did find this somewhat disappointing in that regard. The game itself has a handful of Steam achievements and is still being regularly updated to fix bugs, which I believe is a good thing for developers to do. For example, I encountered a game-breaking bug that required patching.
A couple more things to point out: There are 27 language options available to players worldwide, however a third party EULA is required to play the game and both these factors may be important to prospective players when deciding whether to pick up this title. Looking past that, I recommend Karma. Incarnation 1. It’s a short but sweet adventure game with its own unique, charming atmosphere. It won’t last you very long or pose a significant challenge, but at $1/79p you can’t go wrong. Hopefully there will be a Karma. Incarnation 2 that can further develop this world and gameplay mechanics.
Review copy supplied by publisher
AuraLabexclusiveIndieKarma. Incarnation 1.other kind gamesPCpoint and clickSteam