Puzzle games are a favorite for aspiring indie developers. Budgets for voice actors are often not needed, visuals & graphics don’t have to be outstanding and programmers only have to focus on a single, repeated premise. Such is the case here with today’s entry: Kumoon: Ballistic Physics Puzzle; developed and published by Lucky You Studio.
The Finnish word “kumoon” literally means “over” or “down”, depending on the online dictionary you use. But in the context of this game, it suggests “falling over” or “falling down”. You take the role of a small android who looks a lot like a character from a recent J. J. Abrams film. The tutorial for the game is quite good, and it’s there that you learn the basic controls; movement, mouse look, jump, and fire. It’s all very clean and straightforward, except for one thing: the controls cannot be reconfigured. You must use A, S, D, and W to walk, and the mouse’s look cannot be inverted. That pretty much spells the end for me. But of course, I gave it the old college try and did manage to make it through all three levels of the tutorial. I also got about halfway through the “Easy” levels. The actual “Controls” menu for the game looks like this:
I can only assume the slider bar with that default setting of “0.20” represents mouse sensitivity. Makes sense, but doesn’t help me. It’s not until you actually begin the tutorial that you see the assigned keys and controls. It turns out the arrow keys are for turning the camera while standing in place:
Okay, so how does the game actually work? You can see in the picture below that there are cubes scattered about the room. The numbers on each cube represent the number of points you’ll receive if you knock it over, either by using your body or by throwing a ball at it. Since there are unlimited balls in your inventory, the choice is yours as to how to knock over a given cube.
You’ll also notice stacks of translucent teal bricks, some of which support cubes directly, while others are off by themselves. When you throw a ball at a teal brick, nearby cubes will increase their point value by 1. Keep pelting away at the bricks to augment the cube values even more (6 points is the highest I’ve seen). Don’t tarry once you’ve increased these values; they quickly drop back to “1” if left unattended. The goal is to collect the minimum number of points required to complete the room. This number is shown on the overlay at the top of the screen.
Occasionally you’ll find special objects, like the green sphere shown above. This particular item acts just like a teal brick, only you can roll it around the room for optimal placement…a very useful and creative feature!
I’m looking forward to getting further into the game, but for now, I’m going to wait for configurable controls to be added. For those “default” players who enjoy A, D, S, and W, as well as the normal mouse Y-axis, you’ll find this to be a calming, entertaining puzzler. The graphics are clean & crisp and the audio provides nice accompaniment. The rooms get progressively tougher, but from what I see they remain fair and solvable.
So is Kumoon: Ballistic Physics Puzzle worthwhile? Yes, it is. It’s priced fairly on Steam for $5 (USD), and for $5 more you can have its first add-on: Kumoon: VR Expansion 01. As a fan of puzzle games in general, I’m interested to see where this title and its future content go.
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