Author Topic: Kona – March 2017 [Score: 8.1]  (Read 507 times)

Offline bobdog

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Kona – March 2017 [Score: 8.1]
« on: February 24, 2020, 11:32:52 AM »
Kona was different than I expected, which is always good. Ostensibly, your character has been hired to look into some crooked business dealings in a small community, but you have just been notified that your client is now dead! Since you were already paid for the task, you decide to honor your original commitment to determine what is happening in the community, as well as to solve the murder of your client. So off you trek into the Canadian north-country.

As the game starts, your truck’s windshield wipers push the falling snow away as the heater purrs contentedly. The color scheme is warm and inviting. But then when another vehicle nearly runs into you, causing the truck to slide into the snowbank, you must get out and face the bone-chilling cold. The visual changes in the atmosphere are striking, especially as the longer you remain outside, you’ll see blue ice creeping into the corners of your vision, which ultimately goes red and blurry. Stray too far from warm temperatures, and you will die.

So you have to do a quick search of the area, including the car that nearly struck you. This search nets some chains to place on the tires and get the truck back on the road. Along the winding route, you’ll see some houses in the distance that you can eventually explore. But first you must visit the abandoned general store and get more information on your client and the surroundings, with a map coming in very handy.

The game includes a mix of play-styles. You’ll need to find A to solve B’s problem, like getting the store’s generator started again by fixing a leaking fuel line, finding a fuse, etc. You’ll need to find materials such as matches, kindling, wood and more to start fires in the frozen locations (interior and exterior) that you visit. You’ll need to solve some environmental problems, like determining where interweaving electric lines go. You’ll need to find X objects to trade for Y. You’ll even need to find a rifle and limited amounts of ammunition to fend off wolves or other wild beasts that you periodically encounter.

The game does offer a wealth of information about the local community, with lots of hand-written letters, notes, and other clues to be found. Eventually you’ll determine who killed your client, and what happened to drive away all the towns-people, but overall, the land within Kona is deserted, and you’ll only meet one other living person. The isolation, coupled with the severe cold weather that can harm you, makes the game feel stark and absolute. So when an element of the supernatural is introduced, it’s a really stunning effect.

I did have a few puzzles that stumped me, and for which I needed to view YouTube walk-throughs, but for the most part, just explore all the places on the map, collect resources, and follow the clues that you find. The ending is unexpected and frantic, and I was only too happy to escape with my life from the land of Kona. 8.1 out of 10