Caromble! (Crimson Owl Studios)

Caromble! (Crimson Owl Studios)

Facebook
Like Caromble! on Facebook

Twitter 
Follow Caromble! on Twitter

Website
Check out the official Caromble! Website

Discussion
Give the developers feedback on the Steam Discussion Page

Purchase
Buy your Early Access copy from the Steam Store page 

Fancy a rather destructive take on the brick break genre? Well, Caromble from Crimson Owl Studios has got you covered. The five members that make up this talented team of Dutch indie developers have apparently been working on the game for a few years already while also juggling other jobs, so clearly they are committed to getting it right!

Caromble sticks close to the basics of the genre, so you are given a paddle to control and must use it to bash around a sphere. Instead of simply using the sphere to break blocks though you get to smash apart crates and knock over drums thanks to the physics based gameplay. The way that the levels are designed means you will also have to learn how to curve the sphere and direct it towards ramps, conveyer belts and other obstacles. We like the fact that most levels require almost a bit of puzzle solving to complete and not just straightforward brick breaking.

This Early Access version we played contained two of the planned six chapters, each with four levels that are further divided into multiple playing areas. So far the level designs are great and you also get to engage in a boss battle at the end of each level. Players are awarded medals for speed runs and high scores, but it doesn’t look like the story is present yet. According to the store page it will involve fighting evil and freeing the corrupted world, which to us sounds like sufficient motivation to cause carnage. Also present so far are four unlockable “Skill” levels where you try for a high score on specific challenges, such as knocking down targets within a specified time or curving the sphere around an obstacle to score points.

It didn’t take us too long to get through the levels available so far in Early Access, but we definitely had a lot of fun doing so. The game still needs some optimization, but it already looks and plays great. Having to deal with pinball style bumpers and shifting playing fields keeps the gameplay interesting and we were looking forward to seeing what new challenges awaited in each area. The game features all the expected Breakout-style power-ups, such as paddle growing/shrinking, multi-balls and aim assists as well as some really harsh ones like the one that pixelates the visuals for a short while. The chapter 2 update also introduced “Focus” which is one of six planned super power-ups.

Visually the game looks good and we like the audio, although the music is a little on the mellow side. The controls also work well enough whether using a keyboard, mouse or controller. You simply need to move the paddle left or right to prevent the sphere from falling off the bottom of the screen and costing you a life. Holding down a button “charges” the paddle for an extra powerful shot, but you cannot move while charging.

We think fans of the genre will enjoy what Caromble! has to offer and this Early Access version provides a good indication of the direction that the developers are taking the game. We had a lot of fun with it and can’t wait to play the rest of the chapters.

Related posts

Nom Nom Galaxy (Q-Games. Ltd.)

He who controls the soup controls the galaxy. That is why, as a worker for Soup Co. it is your mission to keep the soup flowing. It appears that the galaxy doesn't particularly care what the soup is made of either as you can slap together just about anything to make some. The local wildlife obviously objects violently to being turned into a soup and Soup Co. also has powerful rivals so you have your work cut out if you want to survive this cut-throat business.

Nekro (DarkForge Games LLC)

When developers admit that their game was born after a discussion about the desire to see innocent townspeople ripped to shreds by things that go bump in the night, you know you are in for something dark and twisted. Nekro does have a healthy dose of humor mixed into all the blood and gore though, but this Early Access title is still not for the faint of heart or anyone suffering from hemophobia.

Valhalla Hills (Funatics Software)

Valhalla Hills (Funatics Software)

Vikings are normally associated with fighting, pillaging and sailing, but Valhalla Hills from Funatics Software drops these Germanic Norse seafarers in a city building setting instead. In place of raiding and trading, the Vikings are trying to get into Valhalla after Odin decided to close the gates. The Norse god was clearly in a bit of a bad mood as he also exiled his son Leko for being more interested in building than the family business of battles and booze. This is good news for the Vikings though, as with the help of Leko they might attain enough honor to get to Valhalla.

From The Depths (Brilliant Skies Ltd.)

From The Depths (Brilliant Skies Ltd.)

Sitting down to play From the Depths for the first time is quite a daunting experience. I followed the advice of Nick Smart, the developer, and checked out the tutorial video first, but my first few hours with the game mostly consisted of playing tutorial missions and messing about in the vehicle designer. There are a lot of hand holding and step by step instructions for the tutorials, but From the Depths is a very complicated game and it takes time, not to mention patience, before everything start to make sense.

Lichdom: Battlemage (Xaviant)

Books and movies always portray mages as powerful and nearly unstoppable, but when it comes to gaming it usually only takes one or two hits from a lowly Kobold before your mage is out of action. Even if they do manage to avoid getting killed in the first few minutes of battle they are rendered useless after only a few powerful spells because their mana is depleted.

Signs of Life (Sweet Dog Studios)

Signs of Life is a science fiction themed sandbox title with a emphasis on survival. At the start of the game, your lone survivor lands his escape pod on an alien world and it is your job to help him stay alive. The genre already has big hitters like Terraria and Starbound, so we were curious to see what Signs of Life had to offer.

Leave a comment

18 + 15 =