Having first played Klang at EGX 2016 I couldn’t wait to get my hands on the full version of Tinimations’ new rhythm based platformer. The ‘TRON’ style visuals and unique rhythm-based gameplay immediately drew my attention, and as soon as I had finished the demo I was craving the full release.
Klang is a rhythm-platformer that challenges you to climb a neon lit tower and face off against a plethora of environmental dangers and beat-blasting enemies. You fight your way through tracks (levels) to eventually reach and overthrow the Soundlord Sonus, the game’s main antagonist.
Although Klang doesn’t have too much of a story to be told, the few cut-scenes that are there have enough in them to offer at least a basic feeling progression to the game. You take on the role of a dual wielding Warrior with the best tuning fork swords ever seen in gaming. Seriously, check them out, they’re amazing. You quickly work your way through tracks and take down a variety of enemies and bosses, each track rewarding you with a score upon completion based upon how good a job you did.
The visuals of Klang deserve a big mention. From the cut-scenes to your surroundings, from the character designs to the dynamic change of colour of the environment when you’re losing life – everything you see in Klang is visually stunning, with the vibrant neon lights bringing the world to life and engrossing you into the epic beat-busting experience. Add to this the pumping music that plays alongside each level and you have yourself a great base for a standout game that both looks and sounds incredible.
Whilst working through the game’s stunning environments, you run into a wide range of enemies trying to kill you, either by shooting sound waves your way or by destroying the ground your standing on. Fortunately your tuner fork swords can deflect these sound waves back at your enemies, essentially allowing you to use their own weapons against them. Whilst a more effective means of attack might have been to jam my tuning fork sword into enemy skulls, there was a real sense of satisfaction to carefully timing my actions to rebound each attack back at the enemy.
As an enemy attacks, a sound wave gauge will come at you from one of eight directions. You simply have to move the right analogue stick in the corresponding direction just before impact, allowing you to deflect the attack and keep on the offensive. It might sound simple, but it actually gets pretty intense the further you progress into the game. Attacks are constantly coming at you and you’ll be flicking the right stick in so many directions that it can start to feel overwhelming; Klang certainly pushes your ‘thumb flicking’ skills to their boundaries, which is something I found out the hard way.
Besides deflecting attacks, new complexities come into the game the further you progress. Klang starts to introduce new commands for you to learn, in particular sliding and jumping. All sounds straight forward right? This is where the hectic difficulty comes into the mix. Not only do you have to dodge and deflect attacks, but you have to do so while running left and right or jumping to avoid lasers, rockets and disappearing platforms. This becomes very complex – miss one and it’s probably goodnight.
I suffered a crazy amount of deaths simply trying to play through each track, yet Klang always managed to draw me back in. I never felt that enough was enough and I always had to have ‘one more try’ – even if some tracks did see those ‘one more tries’ come into double figures. It’s a testament to Klang’s enjoyable gameplay (and perhaps a little bit of my perseverance) that even when the game kept beating me down, I kept coming back for more.
Klang features three difficulties, with each different setting affecting the highest grade achievable to you for completing a level. ‘Easy’ restricts you to Grade B, ‘Normal’ to Grade S, and ‘Nightcore’, the insanely difficult mode that only becomes available after completing the game, allows you to unlock Grade SSS – that’s if you’re good enough and are up to the challenge.
Trying to best previous track grades and tackling ‘Nightcore’ mode adds to the replay factor of Klang. I managed to complete it in just over two hours, so Klang isn’t the longest game you’re ever going to play. There are the hidden bonus rooms to find scattered across levels too though, all of which offer something a little different and are actually well worth hunting down.
Klang can be a very frustrating game and you will die a lot during your time with it. It will test your will, determination and definitely your multi-tasking capabilities, but stick with it and a great feeling of accomplishment and satisfaction awaits you.
If you’re a fan of fast-paced action-packed platformers then Klang is a game not to be missed. It’s a short challenge and could have probably done with a little more storyline, but the stunning visuals and unique mix of rhythm-platforming gameplay make Klang one of the most addictive and satisfying games I have had the pleasure to play.
Publisher: Snow Cannon Games
Release Date: 22/09/2016