Danish development studio Press Play today announced that their upcoming platforming game will be named Kalimba, and is scheduled for digital release on Xbox One on Wednesday December 17th.
Initially showcased under the codename ‘Project Totem’, Kalimba is a playful yet challenging platformer with single-player and couch co-op modes. Players control animated totems on a quest to overthrow an evil shaman, and reclaim the island of Kalimba for the Kalimbi people who live there.
The game was originally conceived during the final development stages of Press Play’s Max: The Curse of Brotherhood. “My brother and I needed a creative outlet, so we started working on a small side-project in our spare time” explained Creative Director Asger Strandby. “Finding and fixing bugs all day long can be tiring, so working on something fresh on the side gave us a chance to be creative and test out new ideas” added younger brother Bo Strandby.
The two brothers showed an early prototype at a party in the Press Play office, and the reaction was universally positive. The studio allocated a small team to explore the idea further, then greenlit the game soon after. Development versions received an enthusiastic reaction at PAX and GDC this year, with player feedback incorporated into the final version of the game.
Kalimba takes place on multiple levels across three different worlds, and features a unique trixelated art style (everything built of triangles that draws heavily on graphical design). This original style gives each puzzle, enemy, and totem a distinctive look and feel.
As players move through the game they build a totem pole piece by piece. The carvings and decorations on each piece reflect how well players have done on each level, creating a visual representation of the leaderboard.
Aside from the single player mode, the game offers an old school couch co-op mode, where each player controls 2 characters. “It’s kind of a friendship tester – if you can do this and high five more than you slap each other, you’re probably ready to get married” Asger Strandby explained.
Kalimba will be available worldwide from December 17th on Xbox One for $9.99. A PC version will launch in January 2015.