Tuesday, 7 October 2008
Game Review - Kudos 2
Plot: You are a 20 something waiter/waitress, what you do next is up to you.
It looks great. The artwork and UI look fantastic and perfectly suit the subject matter. The artwork by Jamie McKelvie perfectly captures the youthful focus of the game without being obnoxiously ‘yoof’ like.
It’s addictive. You’ll find yourself compulsively clicking away until the break of dawn. Whether you’re trying to train your character up into a genius scientist, hard drinking cop, or slacker musician, the game is always asking you to juggle resources such as time, money and friendships. The game definitely has that curse that all ‘casual’ games bestow upon their victims – “just five more minutes”.
Your character can be trained to perform in a career or several careers of your choice. Your character can become an actor, a lawyer, or supermarket shelf stacker, it all depends on whether you train that person up to be the best they can be or let them drift along for the rest of their life. Aiming to become proficient in a particular career becomes an addictive process.
It’s challenging but not frustrating. Once you figure out how to balance your activities or focus in one particular area the challenge becomes a race between achievement and time. Do you spend your money and spare time on your friends or do you focus on learning to drive or becoming a world class brain surgeon? If you neglect your friends, you will lose them. If you neglect your studies you’ll end up in a dead end job but at least you’ll be popular.
There’s no plot. If you want to play through an epic narrative then try Mass Effect, because this is a game where you invent the story in your head. For example, I found that I could make my character look a lot like David Tennant so I decided to train him in science and IT and increase his IQ. I even chose a romantic involvement with a blonde assistant. My character’s now working on a secret scientific theory and I’m hoping it’s time travel. So whilst the lack of story may be a flaw to some, I actually found making my own stories a lot of fun.
It’s essentially a time management/statistics game. If you prefer your characters to wander around a virtual house, asking for permission to use the toilet, then play The Sims. In this game, your managing your character’s statistics and hoping to maintain a balance of positive stats over negative ones. This game is pretty but it’s static, you’re basically looking at stats and pretty icons throughout the game. Although there are nice touches like dirt appearing on your screen when your house is messy, flies buzzing around a dirty character’s head and weather effects such as rain and snow on the screen, all of which helps to liven things up. I have no problem with the statistical nature of this game as I have a passion for management games that borders on the obscene but I understand it may not be to everyone’s taste.
Kudos is a fun game, it appears to be a slight and casual game at first glance but this appearance conceals a more complex beast beneath. The demo is available straight from the developer here. The game is reasonably priced at £13 or so and the money goes straight into the pockets of bedroom programmer Cliff Harris so check the game out and if you like it, throw him a bone.
Arbitrary Score Out of Ten: 7/10