Swordbreaker: Origins, the Bend the Roo’les DLC for Kao the Kangaroo, Color Pals and MathLand were all recently released for PlayStation – here’s a look at all four releases.
Swordbreaker: Origins review (PS4)
We first learned about DuCats Games Studio and their Swordbreaker games when they launched the original game on the PlayStation Vita. Now, there’s a prequel of sorts with Swordbreaker: Origins, which is out for PC as well as consoles – with the console ports done by Sometimes You.
Swordbreaker: Origins takes players on a nonlinear adventure through the kingdom of Dorgan, where strange events are unfolding and unknown creatures lurk in the forests and caves. As the young adventurer Swordbreaker, players must explore the vast expanses of the kingdom and navigate a complex web of choices that will ultimately determine the fate of both Swordbreaker and the entire kingdom.
One of the standout features of Swordbreaker: Origins is said nonlinear story, which offers players a level of agency and control over the narrative that is always nice to see in games of this genre. With eight different endings to discover, it’s fun to explore the vast expanses of the kingdom of Dorgan, which is brought to life by the game’s excellent comic illustrations.
If you’re not that into the “choose your own adventure” type gameplay, then the inclusion of mini games adds a fun and engaging element to the experience, something that also breaks the sometimes slow pacing, with long stretches of exploration and decision-making. It’s not a perfect break though, as some of the mini games can feel repetitive.
Overall, Swordbreaker: Origins is an enjoyable adventure game that offers players a nonlinear story with multiple endings and a vast world to explore. While it may not be perfect, its strengths outweigh its weaknesses, making it a solid choice for fans of the genre and a nice follow-up to the first game.
Kao the Kangaroo: Bend the Roo’les DLC review (PS4)
Bend the Roo’les is a new DLC release for fans of the most recent Kao the Kangaroo game. It turns the game upside down a bit, but also ties into the story of the core game. Although Kao has defeated the Eternal Warrior, the influence of the Eternal World is still present on the island. The largest and grumpiest of crabs has become infused with the power of the Eternal World and seeks to rid the island of all kangaroos so he can indulge in his favorite hobby of sleeping.
This power has granted the one particular crab the abilities that he uses to control all the crabs and small creatures around him to become… the Crab King. Only Kao has what it takes to stand up to the click-clacking menace, and players will guide Kao through a series of challenging levels and boss fights to defeat the Crab King and banish the Eternal World once and for all. The DLC offers a fresh and challenging experience, with new abilities and mechanics to master, and the Crab King provides a formidable new foe for Kao to face.
The handful of levels here is are pretty long, and beating them unlocks a slightly harder version of the first four of those as well, for a bit of replay value. Also adding to the replay value is the chance to unlock concept art through the in-game shop with the diamonds you collect – though the DLC is relatively low on cosmetic unlocks, in case you’re into that. We mostly like Kao for the core gameplay though, and this is the best DLC thus far in that regard.
Color Pals review (PS4)
Color Pals is a charming precision platformer game with very mild puzzle elements. Developed by doublemizzlee and published for consoles by Eastasiasoft, it has a simple premise: get to the exit by matching yourself with the right colors along the way. In other words, when you’re green you can only travel on green surfaces, so to get to a blue ledge you’ll need to grab some blue paint while jumping there.
With 50 levels to play through, the game offers a decent challenge that gradually ramps up as you progress. The mechanics are easy to understand, but it takes some skill and planning to execute the solutions, especially if you want to collect all three stars in a level. Use a paint splash too soon, and you might block yourself from getting that last star.
One of the game’s strengths is its cute and colorful graphics, which create a cheery atmosphere that’s hard not to like. The soundtrack is also upbeat and adds to the overall vibe of the game. On the downside, the game can feel a bit repetitive after a while, as the mechanics and level design don’t change much throughout the game – which experienced players will find relatively short.
Overall, Color Pals is a fun and charming puzzle platformer that’s worth checking out if you’re a fan of the genre. While it doesn’t reinvent the wheel, it offers a decent challenge and a cute aesthetic with an amount of content that’s fitting of the budget price point.
MathLand review (PS4)
MathLand is an educational adventure game developed by Didactoons Games and published by Artax Games, primarily aimed at players from the age of 5 and upwards looking to improve their math skills while playing. In the game, players join the pirate Ray on a quest to find sacred gems and restore the natural order of things, while also solving math problems. With over 25 levels, players must navigate their ship through the seas, facing various obstacles and challenges along the way.
One of the standout features of MathLand is its educational angle. The game provides a fun and engaging way for children to learn and reinforce basic math skills, such as addition, subtraction, multiplication tables, and division. It also caters to a wide range of ages through its difficulty levels, making it accessible to both younger children and older players looking to sharpen their mental arithmetic skills.
The game’s graphics are bright, colorful, and cartoonish, which will surely appeal to its target audience. The different islands and obstacles are well-designed too, and with over 25 levels there’s a surprisingly decent amount of content here as well. There’s a learning curve, but in a game like this that is completely welcome.
Because the basic gameplay mechanics remain the same over time, MathLand can feel repetitive at times. We recommend playing in shorter bursts so that the game doesn’t start to feel like homework, as it’s a well-designed educational game that provides an engaging and fun way for children to learn and reinforce basic math skills – and thus a great choice for parents looking to give their kids a bit of extra support in that area.