We rather liked thefirst K.O.L.M.
when it was released earlier this year, so when we fount out Anthony Lavelle had released the second one, aptly titledK.O.L.M. II
, we got a little excited. First off -- the sequel takes place immediately after the first one, so if you haven't played it, you might want to backpedal up to the link above and rock through it before giving the second game a shot.
Since the game picks up directly where the first left off, you'll start with a fully loaded arsenal of abilities, but the game still sticks to its Metroidvania roots. You control your little robot using Z to jump, X to shoot and the arrow keys to move. The goal of the second game, much like the first, is to figure out exactly what's going on.
Where the first one had you attempting to thwart your evil mother and escape, this one starts with you meeting your father and eventually your sister. When you meet up with your sister, the gameplay takes a big turn, tasking you with playing as two different characters to solve the various puzzles throughout the game. This is done either by switching back and forth between both character or by using them in sync -- it gets pretty brain-racking by the end, so be prepared to run into at least a few puzzles that'll break your head.
Most of what you do is in full service of the narrative, including several of the upgrades and a bonus backtracking segment for people who played the first game, but even though the narrative is the main concern, the game portion still manages to challenge your brain.
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Visually the game stays in step with its predecessor, meaning it's conveyed through cameras spread out through the world that shift and move, fizzle out and even zoom in. The style is unusual, but it functions both inside the narrative and the gameplay.
K.O.L.M. II is the rare type of sequel that feels more like a continuation of a story than a complete rebranding -- if K.O.L.M. were a book, this would be chapter two, not a second book. But it works well here and the melancholy storyline involving a poor robot just trying to find his parents, who happen to be a bit disgruntled, is just as atmospheric and unforgiving as the first. It's a reasonably sized game too, you won't be able to get your rocks off in one sitting unless you plow straight through it, but thankfully the game autosaves for you so you can pick it back up at any time.