PAX West IMPRESSIONS: Karma. Incarnation 1

Tuesday, September 6th, 2016

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Karma | Beginning

I don’t always like point and click games. Though they are easy enough to get into, they also typically are hindered by frustrating and hard to figure out puzzles. That said, I also love beautiful and weird things. So when I saw the fascinating art in Karma. Incarnation 1. and heard the music, I had to sit down and play it!

You control a lumpy little protagonist named Pip, who has been thrust into a strange world where karma and moral decisions hold weight and affect the outcomes of everything you do. For example, do you want to eat that strange creature over there? Go for it, but doing so might keep you from progressing past a gate that judges you for that decision. You quickly learn you can interact with almost anything in your environment, as well as using items to help proceed. The truly fascinating game mechanic, however, is your astral sight.

Karma | Astral Sight

I think Pip went a little too heavy on the drug use…

Once this is activated, you can see things that aren’t normally visible, which can lead to some ingenious solutions to otherwise basic puzzles. Another thing different about Karma is that there is no dialogue, or at least nothing in english. When Pip communicates with others, it is in a gibberish monster dialect. However, you will see thought bubbles with artistic representations of what they are thinking about as they talk, which helps you figure out what’s happening.

Karma | Boogie Down

Party hearty!

Though I did get stuck on the last puzzle of the Karma. Incarnation 1. demo, I enjoyed my time with the game. AuraLab has made something truly special here. If Karma looks like your sort of game, you’re in luck, as it heads to PC and Mac sometime in September, with mobile and console versions coming out later. So you’ll be able to help Pip with his Karma on practically any system you can imagine!

About Josh Speer

Josh is a passionate gamer, finding time to clock in around 30-40 hours of gaming a week. He discovered Operation Rainfall while avidly following the localization of the Big 3 Wii RPGs. He enjoys SHMUPS, Platformers, RPGs, Roguelikes and the occasional Fighter. He’s also an unashamedly giant Mega Man fan, having played the series since he was eight. As Head Editor and Review Manager, he spends far too much time editing reviews and random articles. In his limited spare time he devours indies whole and anticipates the release of quirky, unpredictable and innovative games.