Updated: Dec 28, 2020
Publisher: Flynn's Arcade
Developer: Spherical Pixel, S.L., DevilishGames
Release: December 24, 2020
Reviewed on: Nintendo Switch
Also on: PC, iOS, Android
Get the ball in the hole. Sounds simple, right? Well Kolumno takes a simple task and ups the difficulty to 10, making for a minimalistic puzzle game that I’ve easily sunk hours into over the holidays.
Each level of Kolumno features a single column with a ball on top. The column itself has rings that open, close, grow, and disappear, serving as obstacles you must navigate to reach the goal, a hole at the bottom of the column. Timing is key here. A single flick down on the left analog stick or any button click will push the ball off the edge. If at any point the ball hits a ring, the ball will bounce away from the hole and the level restarts.
As you progress through the game you’re introduced to different skills that will help you navigate each level. Pause the ball mid-air for a few seconds, shrink the ball to fit through narrow gaps, speed up the ball so it falls quicker, or have the ball grow spikes to smash through the barriers. Each level includes a combination of these abilities to help you, but the challenge lies in figuring out the order in which to use them.
Earlier levels of Kolumno are simple and you can easily see the solution. Later levels, however, have several moving parts and require significant trial and error (and a good bit of luck) in order to complete it successfully. I found myself becoming very frustrated with later levels and taking 15, 20, or even 30 attempts before completing a level.
The music and level design really complete the simplistic experience. The music is relaxing and simplistic. Nothing fancy but it accompanies the simplistic vibe very well. The colors are muted earthy tones that provide a soothing environment for an overall brain racking experience.
Final Grade: A
Kolumno is a game of patience, timing and, inevitably, frustration. But all of that combines to make a pleasant experience that I’ve enjoyed playing. Sure there were times that I was stumped to the point of having to turn the game off, but I kept coming back. The 75 levels are sure to make for a worthwhile experience, and for $2 I highly recommend checking it out.