Klang! That’s the sound of electronic beats so sick you’ll need to report to a music specialist and a physician to find out why you can’t stop tapping your toes and nodding your head to the rhythm. Klang’s difficulty is absolutely brutal, but you’ll let the game pulverize you because you can’t help but love its amazing tracks and neon stylings.
Author: Lady Dawn
Publisher: Snow Cannon Games
Genre: Rythm Games
Release date: 22 September, 2016
Type: Single Player
There’s not much of a story to speak of here. From what I’ve gathered from the flashy cut scenes is that the monkey protagonist is being bullied in a sort of God of War 3-esque manner by other neon-drenched beings of animal and human origin—much like Kratos was by the gods in Olympus.
Rhythm is everything.
Klang controls better with a gamepad (though not a Steam controller because of the whole track pad-instead-of-a-second- analog-stick thing). You use the left joystick to move about, the right trigger button to jump, and the second stick OR the face keys in order to do a violent little swinging motion that will be used for the majority of the game to parry attacks. The former is the most comfortable option.
Your mission, if you choose to accept it, is to make your way from the beginning of a stage to its end as quickly as possible while taking as little damage as possible.
Klang’s controls are very smooth, which means doing just that is a satisfying feeling—after you’ve died a few dozen times trying to figure out how best to proceed. Everything from wall jumping to the timing of platforms to the enemies’ roaming line of sight to the dynamic backgrounds—just everything—sways to the beat and you will have to join them in their deadly dance in order to progress.You’ll be given on-screen cues to parry, jump, slide, and a special ground pound ability during combat. For the most part, it’s up to you to figure out how best to proceed.
Every stage is built into little segments which serve as checkpoints (an amazingly fair system, if I do say so) that you’ll respawn at should you fail to time a jump or get caught in an enemy’s line of sight.Failure means bursting into a million pixels and is results in a cacophony of sound. It also means you won’t be getting the best score because death slows you down.
Are you down with perfectionism?
At the end of each segment, you’ll be given a score calculated based on how quickly you cleared it based on combo (that is: how many times you deflected enemy attacks without faltering), life lost, accuracy, and time elapsed. Scores range from D-S with S being the best possible. Once you’ve completed all of the segments that make up a stage, you’re given a final grade for the area. Then, you’re taken to the world map where you’ll be able to continue to the next stage or try your hand at a better score.
Even if you aren’t up to the task of getting the best possible marks, there’s no score requirement in order to progress.
Within stages you’ll find portals that give you access to a bonus challenge. Completing one nets you a key, which is used in the Pirate Bay, which is the game’s cleverly named jukebox.
Fair warning to those with any sort of photosensitivity or epileptic tendencies: this game is not for you. Klang runs through a spectrum of neon colours and starkly contrasting negatives upon receiving damage or dying. The way the protagonist kind of moshes in place when idle is great and the cut scenes, though eerie and sometimes incomprehensible, are gorgeously animated.
Klang has one of the best soundtracks I’ve heard in an indie game. My opinion is, of course, biased by the fact that I love this rave-y, EDM sort of music. Turn up the bass.
- Fantastic music. An audiophile’s wet dream.
- The music is so good.
- Did I mention the music?
- Gorgeous, Tron-esque neon aesthetic.
- Dexterous mix of precision platforming and rhythm game.
- The check point system makes the game’s difficulty bearable.
- Scores give you something to strive for without hindering your progress.
- Fast, fluid gameplay.
- Everything from wall jumping to enemy movement/attack patterns to how the stage and its platforms moves hinge on the music’s beat. Very cool.
- The difficulty may be a turn-off to some. I’ll admit I had my rage quit moments.
- The game can be controlled with keyboard, but the gamepad is FAR superior.
- Sometimes it’s unclear what needs to be done to proceed. A lot of trial and error is required for some puzzles/fights.
- Heavy reliance on the beat makes this title inaccessible to those without rhythm.
A beautiful marriage of platformer and rhythm game, Klang will test your dexterity. A must buy for rhythm game lovers and a solid recommendation to those who enjoy platformers as well.
If you’re more of a visual/auditory person, check out my gameplay video for a sampling of amazing tunes.
Stay in the know, gamers <3
~Dawn, NeedtoKnow Gaming.