The portfolio of games released by Flynn’s Arcade is varied and diverse in every possible sense, including style, genre and even quality. Kolumno is an example of what the studio is capable of when they get things right.
Like many of their other games, Kolumno has a very simple premise. It is a puzzle game in which you have to move a ball off the top of a column so that it falls straight downwards into a hole at the bottom. Platforms spin around the outside of the columns to block your path. The challenge is less in figuring out what each level requires and more about execution.
In the early levels, the game is simply a matter of timing, dropping the ball when a gap in the platforms line up with the ball’s path. The gaps differ in size and platforms spin at various speeds, meaning you’ll need good planning skills, sharp reflexes and patience to move forward.
As you progress, the game gets more complicated. In the later levels, new abilities are introduced that you can use to get your ball to its goal. You can stop it in mid-air, shrink it, speed it up or bulk it up so that it is temporarily strong enough to smash through the rings in its way. These options are only available for certain levels and you are limited when it comes to how many times you can use them. You still need to have precise timing, as any change you make to your ball will soon wear off.
These are usually fairly easy to figure out, but the additional complications engage your brain and your reflexes enough to offer a decent challenge. There are a total of 75 levels, so it could make for an incredibly quick game if you go into it already fully equipped with the instincts of a ninja. Far more likely, though, you’ll spend quite a while trying to perfect your timing on the more difficult levels that will surely get you your $2 of playtime.
Kolumno is designed with a clean, simplistic style that allows you to focus on the puzzle at hand. The gentle soundtrack complements this well. It isn’t distracting and contributes to an environment that enables you to concentrate.
Kolumno is far from the largest or most complex game you’ll ever play. It is, however, a unique type of puzzle game that is presented neatly and offers a genuinely fun and engaging challenge. It uses simple mechanics to create puzzles that progress at a really nice pace as you move from level to level. It is very cheap and worth trying for anyone looking to test their skills.