Captain Kaon – Review
Follow Genre: Action, Retro Shooter
Developer: Engage Pixel
Publisher: Engage Pixel
Platform: PC
Tested on: PC

Captain Kaon – Review

Site Score
6.8
Good: Fun puzzle elements to progress.
Bad: Action can become really, really hectic.
User Score
7.0
(1 votes)
Click to vote
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 7.0/10 (1 vote cast)

You know a game takes notes from a very old gaming era, when you have to look up the system the games Captain Kaon takes inspiration from. What system is that? It’s the Amiga, a home computer which was sold in the 1980s and 1990s by Commodore. This was a follow up to the very successful Commodore 64. The games Captain Kaon is based upon are Gravitar and Thrust, yet the developers added tight twin stick controls to shake things up. Maybe in another 37 years some other game will use Captain Kaon as inspiration. Only time will tell. Captain_Kaon_Logo

Story

The story behind Captain Kaon is something that could happen in real life and will happen if we keep doing what we are doing: earth becomes overcrowded. That’s basically where the ties to reality end. In the game, humankind has found a new home among the stars, in the Regulus sector. As per textbook, they are soon pestered by an alien force hellbent to take them out. Mankind isn’t about to take it lying down and they send out their finest ships of the Interstellar Navy to defend the colonists in space. This means the old and out of date ships and defense systems are left behind. Those are left to defend the homestead.

Captain_Kaon_04

Captain Talia ‘Kaon’ is about to be court martialed when all hell breaks loose and she soon sees her chance to have people see her in a new light. She doesn’t get a chance to take a shiny, beautiful, powerful ship and bring home victory however, but is left behind with Argus to operate a skeleton crew as the sole gunship pilot.

Graphics

Games on the Amiga were amazing in the eighties and nineties, but as it stands now, if it weren’t for the revival of lots of indie developers and the popularity of 8/16/64 bit graphics, Captain Kaon wouldn’t hold much ground for gamers to actually want to play it. It feels old school thanks to its art style.

Captain_Kaon_03

The mini map is just that, quite mini and doesn’t really help you out. The layout of the levels is sometimes quite confusing, but there’s a catch to that. It’s so that whenever you are lost you should remember that the way to your next objective is always highlighted by the green arrow that circles your ship. If you have to go left, it will point in that direction. So when you have a moment in between shooting stuff and dodging bullets, you should focus on the green arrow and try and get to the objective. It’s also always helpful that you’ll be able to tell what is shooting you and what’s going to damage you. When a lot of enemies spawn and they all fire at once alongside turrets, things can become hectic and frantic so there are moments of intense visual cues.

Sound

The musical score of the game can be summarized as synthy. It has a futuristic vibe to it and it really suits the mood. What’s also cool about it is that it fades out once you focus on the action. The sounds of battle drown out the music so even though they didn’t put an urgency in the melody when it comes to the gunfights, the gunfire overpowering the music during the dogfights is a more potent approach to the combat music. It helps you focus a whole deal more. The guns themselves don’t really sound all that different and sadly they lack the impact, making them sound a little like peashooters. Then again you are flying an old outdated piece of machinery from the bygone times to protect what’s left of the Earth colony, so storywise the sounds fit.

Captain_Kaon_02

Gameplay

Captain Kaon is a twin stick action adventure shooter. When you start up a game, you’ll be greeted with a map with red and green portions. Red means you have yet to clear it and green means you’ve cleared it and are able to progress to the next part of the game. Clearing it provides currency for you to use. If you don’t want to do a level you can use this currency to just skip the level. This is a great way to get past a level that keeps doing you in, yet doing so should always be a last resort, as doing it willy nilly will make it so skipping a mission takes more currency next time around.

Captain_Kaon_01

The ship you pilot can sometimes feel like a hunk of junk in both fire power as defenses, but as you progress, you’ll unlock other ships and you’ll be able to deck them out with different load outs to suit your needs. It needs to be said though that ships all steer the same due to the gravity based twin stick movement, which takes some getting used to and might frustrate some, especially when you are focusing on the onslaught of enemy gunfire. The controls are the normal W,A,S,D, with the mouse as a way to aim and fire, left button is the main weapon and the right button is the secondary gun with limited ammo. When the main guns don’t pack enough of a punch, you’ll be able to use this secondary fire, which will fire off rockets or another explosive. If those run out or if your health is low you’ll be able to refuel and fix the damages by landing on a landing platform.

Captain_Kaon_05

Levels have different objectives, be it carrying an item with your grappling hook to a certain destination, or blowing up/shooting down certain things/enemies. Maybe even a combination of it all. The difficulty lies mostly in the controls, so once you have those mastered it will mostly be less of a hassle to get to grips with the levels.

Conclusion

Captain Kaon is a story about a captain who has to face death or a life in jail, so she’s in between a rock and a hard place, but she finds a way to make it work. If you are looking for a twin stick shooter as an avid fan or if you want to try one out, then the price is just right on this game. It becomes quite addictive once you get the hang of the controls, it also can be nothing but frustration if you don’t have them down. So practice makes perfect. In the long run, it’s not a game to just play for five minutes if you want to really get the hang of it.

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 7.0/10 (1 vote cast)
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)
Captain Kaon - Review, 7.0 out of 10 based on 1 rating

No Comments

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.