Kine (Switch, PS4, Xbox One, PC)

Three personified musical instruments aspire to play together on the main stage, but in order to get there, they must solve puzzles along the way.  Help Roo the piano-turned-accordion, Quat the drummer, and Euler the trombone solve 3-D puzzles in this downloadable game for all current game consoles (reviewed on Switch here).

Explaining how to play the game is a little hard to describe.  The three musical instruments you play as are stylized and each has a head shaped like a cube.  You must roll this cube around grid-based levels until you reach a music stand somewhere in the level.  But each of the instruments has limitations that restrict their movements in some cases, and enhances them in others.

Roo starts out as a piano and is just a square, but soon gains the ability to extend an accordion to help her reach long distance areas.  When you retract the accordion, two music stand posts stick out on either side of her and keep you from rolling certain places.  Quat the drum can extend a cymbal stand on either side of him to help him reach areas in the same fashion.

Euler the trombone is the most complicated of the bunch, as you can switch between two slides that you can extend and retract to help him move.  Hey, I’m just glad to see trombones represented in games more, as I played trombone in high school band.  Actually technically I played Bass Trombone, but that’s not important here.  I’m not sure what the other slide on Euler is supposed to be, though.  Is it his F attachment?  The tuning slide?  Oh well, I guess that’s not important for this review.

At first you’ll play as each character separately, learning each one’s quirks as they make it to the main stage.  When they all make it, you’ll solve puzzles with two or more of the instruments at the same time, and can switch between them.  There are also side quests where you solve puzzles with the instruments and learn how they get along with each other.  The game has a unique jazz poster art style and matching music, which adds instruments to the tunes as you solve puzzles.

The only problems I had with the game is that the puzzles can be very tricky, and I wish they would’ve added a hint feature.  Also, even though the game plays perfectly fine in handheld mode on the Switch, the font they use is a little hard to read, and the dark purple tones in the graphics make it hard to see things sometimes.  But otherwise this is a very fun and unique, albeit challenging, puzzle game.

Kid Factor:

Nothing violent or objectionable here.  If you are about to fall off the edge, the game will just make a blat sound and you’ll turn back around to where you were.  Since the game promotes planning ahead, logic, and thinking skills, it could be considered slightly educational, too.  Reading skill is helpful for the text, and younger gamers may find the later levels too difficult.  Kine is rated E for Everyone.

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