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Krimson Review

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Did you find Super Meat Boy a bit on the easy side, a bit too fluffy? Well, first off, congrats on being generally awesome, and second, I may have just found a game that will challenge even your godly reflexes. 

The game I am referring to is called Krimson, and it features a trip through Hell. But further to that, the entire game is set to the rhythm of “an interactive industrial electronic techno dubstep metal album”; at least according to the blurb. So ready yourself, for it is time to delve into the depths of Hell and see what this game has to offer.

Best start headbanging now, just to be on the safe side… 

Krimson review 1
Krimson – welcome to Hell!

We’ll start with the story of the game, and this will not be a long paragraph. We are an unknown spawn, resembling nothing more than a blob of some description. We are tasked with moving through a hellish world, all as the world itself shifts to the rhythm of the music. Can we match ourselves to the rhythm and make progress? Well, that’s down to you and your fingers. Not much of a narrative, is it!?

The way Krimson is presented is pretty interesting. First off, if you have even the slightest trace of epilepsy, this is not a game for you. The graphics are flashing, jarring, and the death effects in particular made me wince a few times.

Otherwise, what we have here is a side-on platformer, with the whole world rhythmically shifting to the loud music that accompanies every level. And while our character isn’t particularly attractive, being a blob that can roll or jump, the game as a whole does just work. The graphics suit the gameplay, as we work through four distinct zones; from a blood soaked, organic setting through to a fire and lava level. There is no shortage of things to see and this includes bosses, which in a game where a single wrong move means death, bring a whole meaning to the term “masochist”. 

It must be said though, the sound is the real winner in Krimson, with “bangin choons” – as no one calls them any more – blasting out as you jump about. The way that the game makes you jump in time with the music is really well done. All in all, Krimson’s presentation is very good. 

Krimson review 2
Thought Super Meat Boy was easy? Best play Krimson.

The basic gameplay on display is pretty easy – jump about, don’t fall to your death, don’t touch any of the myriad of things that will kill you, and make it from the start of the level to the exit. What could be easier? Well, in the early levels at least (I have to admit I’m really not cut out for this kind of game, my aging reflexes can no longer keep up) you also have to find and pick up a kind of fire power up that will allow you exit the level and move on to the next. After this, it all begins again with the next level. 

Now, when I mentioned Super Meat Boy at the top of this review, that wasn’t merely lazy journalism. It is just the closest thing to Krimson that I have played before. However, this has another layer of complexity built into it, that of the effect of the rhythm. Once you tune in to the way that the level changes according to the beat (by moving areas, or skulls shifting into or out of position), matching your button inputs to the beat does help. Tuning in the speed and frequency of the change of the levels really adds to the complexity of the landscape that we are faced with, and they weren’t easy to begin with. However, it is this additional layer of gameplay that raises the game from something mediocre into something that, in my experience, is pretty unique. I’d go as far to say that Krimson demands to be played. 

Death is ever present, and a slightly mistimed jump or button press will see you sent back to the last checkpoint that you passed. Luckily, these checkpoints are fairly regular, and while I won’t say that you can ever relax while playing Krimson, it does add a small portion of sanity in what is otherwise a pad bitingly hard game! There are achievements for completing each of the circles of hell, as the biomes are known, without dying, and if you manage to get one, I will take my hat off to you. 

Krimson review 3
THE EYES! THE EYES!

All in all, Krimson is a punishingly hard, rhythm based platform game that is extremely interesting to play. Expect deaths, many of them, but somehow the wish to get better and keep going remains strong. It won’t be for everyone, and I don’t want to measure my blood pressure after playing it, but as a twist on the Super Meat Boy formula, Krimson works very well.

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krimson-review<b>Pros:</b> <ul> <li>Rhythm based gameplay is intriguing</li> <li>Tunes are awesome</li> <li>Real “just one more try” appeal</li> </ul> <b>Cons:</b> <ul> <li>So, so hard</li> <li>Younger reflexes than mine required</li> </ul> <b>Info:</b> <ul> <li>Massive thanks for the free copy of the game, PM Studios</li> <li>Formats - Xbox Series X|S (review), Xbox One, PS5, PS4, PC <li>Release date and price - 21 March 2024 | £8.39</li> </ul>
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