Kona

Genre: Adventure / Survival / Storydriven Puzzle
Developer: Parabole
Gamemode: Singleplayer

This little adventure game starts out in the northern Canadian wilds. You are the detective Carl that has been hired by Mr Hamilton. Strange things happened in the village nearby a lake and all its people disappeared it seems. You need to find hints, combine items and solve riddles to unveil the mystery. Carl arrives with his Chevy at a road in northern Quebec and drives to the countryside while snow starts falling and turns into a blizzard that freezes the landscape. The winter atmosphere develops into a scary deadly frozen abandoned world with howling winds and isolation.

The survival game doesn’t really force you to eat and drink to stay alive, it are rather the cold and danger to get a nervous breakdown without cigarettes that will bother you while you go exploring the woods and investigate at the cabins and cottages around to find clues what happened. A few wolves might attack you and if you find any weapon it could be helpful too. The puzzles are mostly easy to solve, things you can interact with or collect get highlighted and you can take pictures with your camera to remember things. The story turns into some supernatural happening but noone is left to tell you why everyone left that village in a hurry. You try to find Mr. Hamilton, the missing person you shall work for. At fireplaces you can not only warm yourself up, but also save the game.

Seeing upsetting paranormal things, dealing with harsh circumstances, and getting into a car accidents raises your stress. But they're not the worst you'll find out there. Look around a while and it will become clear that there's something else, something really bad in the forests around Atamipek Lake. Reality and twilight world, visions and real scenes mix up and show that something odd is going on here. You really need to go off road and look up the surrounding to find some key objectives and important items to go on. From time to time the narrator will comment what to do next, but most of the time you are free to choose, where to explore.

On the plus side the graphics and atmosphere is nice, on the negative side you are kinda lost in the area and have to figure out yourself what to do and your inventory space needs some management because it will fill up fast and everywhere you could grab some items while you search for clues. The performance can have some lags, but the developers seem to work on improvement. We also found one blocked area with a striped wall, that looked a bit weird and might not be a great solution to block the player going into it. Other than the game Firewatch this game doesn’t really lead you to choose between two or three story lines and tells you exactly how to go on.

Also it seems to be only the first episode of the whole story that you would buy for now, because the game is still unfinished. The development obviously goes very slowly and did disappoint some gamers. Within the game is a treasure map hunt that is only a paper chase some children did and we could not find any purpose of it, which was a bit irritating and disturbing. It just keeps you busy and is not helpful for the story it seems. The sounds and graphics of this game are well chosen and done though. I never finished this game because it was not really that exciting or interesting for me. The question is if you want to spend much money on a few hours of exploring and solving puzzles.

We recommend: If you like that kind of game go for it when it is on sale.