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About the Story
For an Egyptian mummy's soul - or "Ka" - death is but the first step on a puzzling and perilous journey. The second step? Getting out of all those coffins....
6th Place - Casual Gameplay Design Competition #7
Jay Is Games
Ka is light on story and long on puzzles. If you're an aspiring Mensa member, or just someone who likes doing the crossword, this one will intrigue you. Some of the puzzles are quite ingenious; one, involving a mechanical beetle, was a lot of fun, although my head spins at the thought of trying to code it. Technically, Ka is impressive: considering that the main element of play involves a lot of custom vocabulary and verbs, the lack of bugs is commendable.
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The narrative of Ka is revealed a bit at a time, but is very rich and easy to get lost in. For me, of the games I played from this collection, Ka had the largest sheer amount of environmental wonder -- the stuff that makes otherwise sterile games like Myst so fascinating for so many people. (The runner up would probably be Andrew Plotkin's Dual Transform.) The sterility of beautiful puzzle-bound environments even integrates well with the game's theme.
-- Irfon-Kim Ahmad
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|Average Rating: |
Number of Reviews: 4
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I had a lot of fun with this, and got stuck enough to check the walkthrough only once. It's a nearly pure-puzzle work, in which you play a soul moving towards the afterlife after a ceremonial Egyptian burial. The setting combines plausible historical detail with some surreal mechanisms and imagery; the writing at times feels a bit zarfian. The first few moves and environments are not actually the game's strongest and may feel somewhat underdeveloped, but the setting becomes more interesting later on.
The puzzles are neat set pieces, self-contained and linear; they are mostly not terribly hard. Early puzzles may seem almost *too* easy, but they teach needed techniques to solve the later ones, and should possibly be regarded as something of a tutorial.
There were one or two solutions that I thought could have been better clued or could have accommodated a larger range of vocabulary. Most are really rather elegantly imagined, however, and most suggest some kind of metaphorical or spiritual progression of the soul as well as the manipulation of physical objects.
I also noticed that there were some scenery objects that were unimplemented. However, when I played, Ka was undergoing some upgrades and polishing to make up for some remaining awkward bits, which may resolve my other objections.
Overall, Ka is an enjoyable lunchtime-sized puzzle fest with a coherent concept and some memorable details and imagery.
This was a short-to-mid-length enjoyable parser game. You awake from your slumber, buried in the egyptian way, and must progress into the afterlife.
The games takes the form of an escape game. You are given a spellbook of sorts, which you must use, but then you must solve a sequence of puzzles. Many of the puzzles seemed unintuitive to me, but because the game is short, it may be possible to just keep plugging away until you get it.
The atmosphere is very good. This game was recommended to me based on its characterization of Egyptian mythology, and this was the most entertaining aspect of the game.
Recommended for fans of mythology or escape games.
Ka is a puzzle game; as the other reviewers pointed out, its overall aesthetics are quite close to some works by Andrew Plotkin.
And the puzzles are good. The last one felt particularly satisfying: "Oh my, a riddle. What the answer could be? Is it some common and well-known thing? Something specific to Ancient Egypt?.." - and then it dawned on me. (Spoiler - click to show)Kudos to the monster for not eating me up after the first wrong guess - like the Greek Sphinx used to do.
But the best thing about playing Ka is not the puzzle-solving, but the mood - and in this aspect, I think, it sometimes even out-Plotkins Plotkin. The familiar feeling of solemn loneliness, being surrounded by indifferent mechanisms, the calm and melancholy dream-like atmosphere - are mixed with a strong sense of transition, of leaving everything behind, untying all the bonds, abandoning your past and your earthly possessions which don't matter anymore; standing on a threshold of some new spiritual life.
We don't get to see this new life of the protagonist: that's left to our imagination. But we get a wonderful finale, in which, for one move only, the soul gets to interact with non-mechanical characters - and is no more alone. A short glimpse of divinity; making it longer would have marred the experience.
There are many interesting details along the way. The rhymed sestains are well-written and in the general vein of spells from the real Egyptian funerary texts; and typing >WEST in this game always feels special because of the symbolic significance of the West in Egyptian religion.
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