Kôna – Frugal Gaming Firstlook

konalogoCurrently seeking funding on Kickstarter and also doing rather well on Steam Greenlight, Kôna is billed as a Survival Adventure game.  Set in 1970’s Northern Quebec, the game puts you in the shoes of a war veteran turned private eye Carl Faubert.  Hired by a rich mine owner, you set out to meet the client and investigate a series of thefts and vandalism that have been plaguing the mega bucks rich industrialist.  An easy case with a rich client sounds like a dream come true, but when the client fails to show, you realise that something much more mysterious is going on.  The whole area is deserted.

Whilst the trailer is in the developers native French, English sub are available on Youtube and the full release will feature English as an option.

So that’s the premise and it already sounds great, it immediately made me think back to the good old early 1990’s adventures of a certain Edward Carnby.  A atmospheric demo is up for download on the Kickstarter page, and whilst gameplay is limited and there are no story elements on show, it really does accomplish its goal of giving you a glimpse of what the 3 man development team are trying to achieve.  The snow bound isolation really captured my imagination, and straight away bought to mind a few classic films. Misery and The Shining are just two that immediately sprung to mind whilst I was playing Kôna, this if most definitely a good thing.  A narrative demo is due to drop any day now, and I’m looking forward to having a crack at that too.

Exploration of vast open environments, puzzle solving and trying to figure out the mystery will be the main focus of gameplay, all whilst trying to survive in the cold, dangerous, isolation of Kôna’s setting.  The elements won’t be your only enemy either, local wildlife will be a threat along with the fabled Wendigo.

Screen2_8-8_11-51-21With Curé Label , a Quebec based Folk/Rock band in charge of the music, and the team using a shed load of interesting graphical effects to bring that 70’s feel to the game, it’s rooted in the past and definitely feels authentic.  The inclusion of  the Cree, indigenous native Americans, further adds to the grounded reality whilst also bringing the mystery of their beliefs into play. Taking cues from modern adventure games like Telltale Games The Walking Dead, Kôna is planned to release episodically, with each episode taking 1 to 2 hours and 4 episodes planned in total.  Whilst the wait for content released like this can be a bit of a pain, the kind of cliffhangers it can set up are definitely worth the wait for the next instalment and I expect Kôna to be no different.

I’m honestly really eager to play this game and I truly hope they can reach their funding goal.  Seeking $40,000 Canadian dollars (that’s just over £22k in real money ) the Kickstarter has already reached the halfway mark with 10 days left to go.  $7CAD, around £3.50 will get you a DRM- free digital copy of episode 1 whilst $15CAD or £7.50 will get you access to all 4 episodes as they release.  It’s a pretty good frugal deal if you ask me.

The Kickstarter for Kôna can be found HERE

Also, the Steam Greenlight campaign HERE