KLAUS

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-Klaus- Review: Subversive Platformer

Thanks to La Cosa Entertainment for providing The Dashing Nerds with a playable code of the game!

Imagine waking up one day to find yourself a prisoner in an unfamiliar setting with no memory of who you are or how you wound up in this situation. That’s exactly the predicament the main character in La Cosa Entertainment’s new game Klaus finds himself in. Built with the Unity engine, Klaus is a 2D puzzle platformer in the vein of past greats like Braid and Super Meat Boy. But does Klaus have the tenacity to separate himself from the herd or is he just another cog in the machine?

Who Am I?

The game begins when an unassuming office worker wakes up imprisoned in a strange basement. He has no memories on how he got there and his only clue is the word “Klaus”, freshly tattooed on his arm. As he puzzles over this odd predicament, he meets fellow prisoner K1, a giant who may know the secrets behind this mechanical nightmare. The two set out to escape by working as a team.

Rather than the typical narration, we are clued into the thoughts of our characters through text that periodically pops up on the screen, similar to Thomas Was Alone. Sometimes the characters even break the fourth wall and talk to the player directly. Secret challenge areas also offer an opportunity to glimpse memories of our unassuming office worker as he tries to figure out his past.

Where Am I?

Klaus is a minimalistic game both graphically and musically. Our two playable characters are rendered in stark and simplistic 2d colors, as are the different areas of the game. Not much to write home about in the graphics department. An electronic soundtrack is utilized in the majority of the game, some of which are reminiscent of the 8-bit era. Other times only background noise can be heard at all, which adds to the dread and uneasiness our characters often find themselves in.

How Did You Do That?

It is essential for a puzzle platformer to have tight controls so players can easily overcome obstacles. Thankfully, Klaus excels in this department. Fans of platforming games will find themselves right at home. Klaus also cleverly utilizes the touch pad of the PS4 to activate platforms and open gates.

Our two playable characters in Klaus control very differently. The main character is fast and nimble with the ability to double jump, while the giant K1 is slow, but can float and destroy obstacles with his mighty punches. K1 also has the ability to launch the office worker into the air to reach high up places. Players can control both characters simultaneously or switch between them depending on the situation.

Klaus is no cake walk. Thankfully, the game eases you into the shallow end first instead of throwing you into the deep end on the action front. The secret areas ratchet up the difficulty and pose a significant challenge if players want to recover all six different memories. The later half of the game adds to the challenge by multiplying the different obstacles our characters have to overcome, even going as far to reverse the player controls. But persistent players are rewarded for their diligence. Upon completion of the game an arcade mode is unlocked, where players can go back to relive their favorite levels and unlock a secret ending.

My Feelings Are More Than Fancy Text.

Klaus is a subversive, action packed platformer of a game. While it won’t set the world on fire with its graphics or soundtrack, the controls are tight, the two different playable characters are fun to use and the fourth wall breaking is hilarious. The only real negative is the price point. Twenty dollars is a lot to ask for when other games of this genre tend to be cheaper. Still, Klaus is a platformer worth checking out.

 

The Good

  • Smooth Learning Curve
  • Tight Platforming Action
  • Clever Use of Dual Shock 4 TouchPad

The Bad

  • Steep Price
8.5

Written by: Mike Panetta

Watcher of Anime

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