Psychedelic 360 Degree Spaceshoots: Kromaia Released

It is rare that I have as little idea what the hell is going on as I did playing Kromaia. That’s not just in games, either. I’ve been blind drunk stumbling around a hotel in Birmingham and still had a firmer grasp of the logical progression of events than I did during the last half hour. Kromaia is understandable at a basic level: a 360 degrees of movement third-person shooter, most reminiscent of space blasters. I’m reluctant to just call it a space sim, as that would paint a grossly unrepresentative picture in your head. Kromaia is far more insanely colourful, madly loud and ludicrously non-nonsensical than that.

There was definitely a lot of gunfire. My ship, named “Armour” in the game and one of four that are available, had both a fast-firing machine gun and a slow-reloading scatter shot. For a while there were no enemies, just blocks to destroy to gather power-ups and warpgate pieces to progress to the next level. Then I warped into a much larger, open area backlit by a massive dying sun, scattered with asteroids and half-destroyed remnants of space stations. After a couple of seconds, my enemies appeared.

I don’t know what they were supposed to represent, but they were mostly randomly assorted geometric shapes flying towards and around me. A single bullet could fell each one, but there was an absolute tonne coming from all angles. Small globes with giant spikes extending outwards that simply tried to get in the way. Cubes that expanded and contracted, shuffling their arrangement and shot bolts of green light at me.

The whole thing was some sort of dramatic fever dream, a total cacophony. Fun, explosive and pretty tricky once they swarmed in earnest.

Once I’d collected all the warp pieces in this area, a large warning began flashing on the screen. Turning around I saw a huge snake (similar to the one pictured above) writhing its way through space. The enemies were still spawning at this point, and my objective (or so it seemed – there are no instructions, just wordlessly lit-up targets and indicators) was to shoot off all its armour paneling and guns, and then finally its head. This took around five minutes of constant blasting, dodging and boosting around to find the last glowing segments on its massive body. It died with a terrifying screech.

Which was, you know, brilliant. There’s a plot in there about dying gods. I think the snake was one. It’s mostly just a backdrop to the light show, a framing device for a beautiful, endless battle. It’s the sort of thing that could really use a demo, as for the right crowd it’s perfect, but for the wrong one incomprehensible.

You can pick it up on Steam for £14.99, or have a look at this eight minute explanation:

5 Comments

  1. LogicalDash says:

    Rez via Star Fox. Hell yes.

    “360 degrees of movement” is what you have in a top-down game with an analog stick. Perhaps you meant “six degrees of freedom”?

  2. KDR_11k says:

    In terms of 6DoF shooters I found Coniclysm to be the weirdest since it simulates a weird kind of ecosystem.

  3. Telkir says:

    It kind of sort of nearly makes me think of Pyrotechnica, except way more fast paced and without the groovy neon technicolour tunnels. Okay, so maybe not the best comparison after all.

    After watching the video though, it does have a nice style to it. I like.

  4. Hmm-Hmm. says:

    Looks quite.. busy. I wonder whether a more minimalist (or rather, less maximalist if that’s a thing) design wouldn’t have been better.