Today Press Play, the critically praised Danish development company, and Microsoft Studios launched their latest video game – Kalimba – as a digital release on Xbox One, the all-in-one games and entertainment system from Microsoft. Introduced to press and the public as ‘Project Totem,’ this playfully challenging platformer features a dedicated single-player campaign and separate adventure for local cooperative action.
“The whole idea for the game came about as a way to blow off steam while my brother, Bo, and I were putting the final touches on our last title, Max: The Curse of Brotherhood,” said Press Play’s Creative Director, Asger Strandby. “Both as a premise and a product, Kalimba is a story of two individuals coming together to achieve something far greater than either of them combined.”
Players command pairs of animated totems in Kalimba, using these elements in clever ways to overcome environmental hazards and topple a dark shaman to reclaim the island of Kalimba. Discovering how to use the varying powers and attributes of these totems in conjunction with one another is crucial to surviving each obstacle with a high score intact.
The island of Kalimba spans three worlds, each encompassing multiple levels and brought to life with a special trixelated graphical style in which everything is built from triangles. This original art design provides each character and setting a distinctive look and identity to balance their unique twists. As they progress, players will scale a totem pole that evolves in an increasingly ornate manner based on players’ scores for each stage, creating a living embodiment of a leaderboard.
Kalimba’s old-school two-person couch co-op mode, in which each player controls two totems of their own, has been described by the team as a friendship tester, forcing both partners to work together as a cohesive unit. “The goal is to slap each other on the back – and hopefully nowhere else,” added Strandby. “So either play it with someone you like, or someone you really, really don’t.”
Kalimba is now available on Xbox One for $9.99 through the Xbox Games Store, with a PC release expected in January 2015.