Binary Square is wrong, dead wrong. They consider that their new game Keplinkus is a casual puzzle game, but it is not. It has got the same intensity as Tetris, and to me that is some really hardcore gaming. At the same time it is still extremely attractive to the casual gamer.
In Kerplinkus you are screwed right of the bat. You don’t think so of course, and that is the main draw of this game. Just like the aforementioned Tetris it fools me into thinking that I can keep the screen clean from all the rapidly falling blocks. Even on the easy difficulty level it makes life really hard. A falling block has to connect with a block with the same pattern to be removed. If you fail to get a matching block in the right spot the fallen block will stay. There are eight columns, and none of them are allowed to fill up the screen completely. If any of them does it is game over. To counter the ever falling mass of blocks you can create horizontal matches. All blocks with the same pattern as the falling block will be removed if placed next to each other. Of course you will be swamped, and the game will end. Up to that fatal moment you will still think that “if I only move these blocks over here I will be able to…” game over.
Binary Square is a developer focusing on creating fresh games using retro graphics and sound. Space Out is a title I have spent quite a lot of time with, and I can see myself playing Kerplinkus in a year from now too. The presentation is retrotastic, but to me it lacks variation. What you see the first time you play is exactly what you will see the tenth time. No spectacular effects or powerups to spruce things up. Still that simple aesthetic has worked quite alright for Tetris.
The sound is old school SID chiptune music, and some really nice plunky sound effects. You can listen to your own music, and keep the sound effects.
Kerplinkus has got online leaderboards for the four levels of difficulty, as well as for the two game modes. Normal endless mode or a timed mode that ends after three minutes recording your score.
Kerplinkus is a challenging hardcore puzzler for the casual gamer. I enjoy the game mechanic quite a lot as it combines strategy with nimble reactions. Definitely one to get if you are interested in something that is both new and akin to playing a classic like Tetris.
Seller: Binary Square, Inc.