Looking for some top tips on beating the puzzles and quests of Kena: Bridge Of Spirits? Ember Lab's sumptuous-looking action-adventure game, Kena: Bridge Of Spirits, throws you into a bright, beautiful, and bittersweet world where Kena, a Spirit Guide, is trying to reach a sacred mountain shrine. But first she needs to cleanse the lands of corruption and uncover the mystery of how nature came to be so unbalanced in this part of the world.
Kena is a tough game at times, filled with dangerous combat segments, tricky platforming areas, and numerous puzzles you must complete with the help of your spirit friends, the Rot. This beginner's guide to Kena: Bridge Of Spirits will walk you through some top tips which will help you conquer (and enjoy) every aspect of Kena's journey.
Here are our top Kena: Bridge Of Spirits tips:
- Make use of all your abilities in combat
- Learn how the different collectibles work
- Come back to old locations once you're stronger
- Make it a challenge
- Don't underestimate the boss battles
- Follow the white painted arrows
- Enjoy the story!
Make use of all your abilities in combat
Kena, the soft-spoken and kind-hearted Spirit Guide, only has a single weapon: her ancestral staff. But hidden within this staff and within Kena is a myriad of powerful and unexpected powers, and as you unlock more of them I'd highly encourage you to experiment with their effects in combat.
Not only is the combat most enjoyable when you're trying all sorts of combinations of attacks rather than just spamming a single attack type over and over, but the game forces you to use different attacks and combos to deal with different types of enemies. Make sure you upgrade your abilities as you continue your journey, so that you keep unlocking ever-more-impressive ways to destroy the enemies that challenge you.
Learn how the different collectibles work
There are several different types of collectibles and interactive elements in Kena: Bridge Of Spirits, and they're all worth hunting down for different reasons. Use our Kena: Bridge Of Spirits map and collectible locations guide to make the job much easier! These are the main types of collectible and how they work:
The Rot are the most important collectible in the game. There are 100 Rot to collect (besides your starting Hero Rot), and the more Rot you collect, the higher your Rot Level, which unlocks more abilities and allows you to make greater use of your Rot Actions.
The primary form of cosmetic in Kena: Bridge Of Spirits is the Rot Hat. There are several Hat Carts dotted about the land, and here you can purchase for your Rot friends various different Hats that you've found inside chests and other secret locations. There are over 50 Hats to collect in the game - take a look at all of them over on our Kena: Bridge Of Spirits Hats guide.
These special items can be collected and taken back to a particular house in the Village. Many of the houses in the Village start off with a barrier in front of them restricting access. Deliver the correct Spirit Mail to the correct house to dissolve the barrier and unlock a new area to explore and find collectibles inside. To find the locations of all 10, check out our Kena: Bridge Of Spirits Spirit Mail locations guide.
Meditation Spots are extremely powerful, because each time you use a certain Meditation Spot for the first time, your maximum health is increased. Finding all of the Meditation Spots not only nets you a nifty achievement, but it also more than doubles the size of your health bar. Well worth the effort of tracking them all down!
Cursed Chests, when opened, will trigger a combat encounter with a certain twist. The twist could be that you have to kill all enemies before the time runs out, or it could be that you must defeat them all without getting hit, or something else entirely. Once you complete the encounter the Cursed Chest will turn into a regular chest that can be opened for a reward - often Gems, or a Rot Hat.
Flower Shrines are statues that are immersed in corruption. The only way you can clear this corruption from a Flower Shrine is by interacting with a Forest Tear. Doing this will temporarily return the Rot to their natural form, and you can direct this Rot Entity towards the shrine and attack it in order to clear the corruption. After that, interact with the now-cleansed Flower Shrine to receive a tonne of Gems as a reward.
Come back to old locations once you're stronger
In rather Metroidvania fashion, certain paths and secret areas in various sections of the map remain locked to you until you unlock a certain part of Kena's toolkit by progressing further down the main story.
For example, you must trek through the area of the map called Taro's Tree - and much of Rusu Mountain - before you reach the point in the story where you can unlock the Spirit Bow. After that point, I'd highly recommend you return to Taro's Tree and explore a bit more, because there are areas you couldn't access before which you can now after unlocking the Bow.
This is a recurring theme in the exploration aspect of Kena: Bridge Of Spirits, so don't be afraid to retrace your footsteps later on. You should also keep an eye out for certain interesting doodads such as Hay Piles on a second journey through, because they can hold hidden secrets.
Make it a challenge
Kena: Bridge Of Spirits is at its best when it's challenging you. The puzzles are pretty tricky and well-thought out, and some of the collectibles are deviously well-hidden. And the combat is actually very tight and satisfying too - but not if things are too easy that you're ploughing through enemies without even thinking about it.
You know the amount of challenge you want from a game like this better than I do, but I'd still recommend you set the difficulty level up quite high so that the game truly challenges you in the combat segments. Everything feels more rewarding, and it also extends the time it takes to beat the game, which I see as a very good thing.
Don't underestimate the boss battles
This is less of an issue if you ignored the previous tip and set the difficulty down to Story Mode, but on the higher levels, the 16 bosses in Kena: Bridge Of Spirits are not to be scoffed at. I've played through the game on Master, and I can tell you that many of the attacks from various bosses have the potential to one- or two-shot you unless you're careful and take time to study their attack patterns.
Follow the white painted arrows
If you're not entirely sure where to go next in a platforming or puzzle segment, one good thing to watch out for is any white painted graffiti on the walls or the ground. It's the same white paint that marks any wall ledges that you can climb. If you see an ornate arrow on the ground or a drawing on a wall, it's a good indication that the way forward is that-a-way.
Enjoy the story!
It's easy at times to get frustrated at a dead end in games like this. It can take time to figure out the various big puzzles in the game, like how to restore the Ancient Shrines in the Forgotten Forest, or how to open the Storehouse door, and so on. But for each fleeting frustration there's a wonderful cutscene, a great story moment, a marvellously delivered voice line, and so on. Kena: Bridge Of Spirits really is quite a beautiful game, so remember to enjoy the journey.
And if you're really stuck somewhere, I'd suggest you go off and explore a different area for a while before coming back with fresher eyes. That certainly did the trick when I was hundred-percenting the game for the first time in order to put together the aforementioned collectible locations guide!
Hopefully the above tips, and the links to various other guides, have helped you along your journey in Kena: Bridge Of Spirits. For more content on Ember Lab's excellent debut, check out our review of the game.