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

Radial-G : Racing Revolved (Tammeka Games)

Radial-G : Racing Revolved (Tammeka Games)

The phrase “anti-gravity racing” might be synonymous with the Wipeout series, but the demise of Studio Liverpool (Psygnosis) left a void in the market. Surprisingly enough, no developers seemed very eager to pick up the gauntlet until Tammeka Games revealed Radial-G: Racing Revolved. There are some very talented and experienced individuals behind this title, so we jumped at the chance to check out the Early Access version of the game.

Action Henk (RageSquid)

Action Henk (RageSquid)

Navigating tricky obstacle courses with a motorbike is one thing, but can you do it with an overweight action-hero toy? That is the question posed by Action Henk (and yes it is Henk and not "Hank") a new game from the brilliantly named Indie developer, RageSquid. At first glance the game bears a passing resemblance to the Trials series from RedLynx, but surprisingly enough Henk is not only faster, but more maneuverable than a motorcycle.

Dungeon of the Endless  (Amplitude Studios)

Dungeon of the Endless (Amplitude Studios)

Dungeon of the Endless opens with two random heroes exiting the wreckage of their crashed escape pod and finding themselves deep within an alien dungeon. Each hero has different stats and some favor melee weapons while others wield guns. Your basic goal is to carry the crystal from the escape pod to the exit of the dungeon to complete each level. Unfortunately there are plenty of dark rooms with closed doors standing between your heroes and the exit.

Victor Vran (Haemimont Games)

Victor Vran (Haemimont Games)

If you are looking for an action RPG that is fast, fun and doesn’t get bogged down in endless stats you will enjoy Victor Vran. It also looks like the developers are pulling out all the stops to make this a game that fans will enjoy and you can provide feedback or report bugs from within the game to help with the development. There has been some great role playing titles released for PC lately and Victor Vran is definitely shaping up to be one of them.

Rising World (JIW-Games)

Rising World (JIW-Games)

After the success of Doom, every new game released with a first person perspective and guns were quickly labeled “Doom clones” despite whatever other merits they might have had. Thankfully people soon realized how stupid this practice was and instead recognized the first person shooter as a genre. However, here we are, many years later and every open world sandbox game with crafting involved is labeled as a “Minecraft clone.” Dismissing Rising World this way would be a mistake though, as despite the fact that the game is still in early access, it is already showing a lot of promise.

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

10 − 3 =