Kromaia

Game review by
Michael Lafferty, Common Sense Media
Kromaia Game Poster Image
Throwback arcade shooter fun but has weak story, visuals.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this game.

Positive Messages

There are no positive messages in the briefly typed scenario messages, nor are there voice-overs that encourage the player.

Positive Role Models & Representations

The central character is on a revenge mission against a horde of enemies in a space arena. No option to play in a positive manner, and no real characters -- only alien ships. 

Ease of Play

Easy to jump in and play. Menu interface could be much cleaner. Gameplay is very straightforward, with keyboard and mouse driving the action -- until you get to the expert level, which allows you to use a gamepad.

Violence

Exploding ships and other objects. No bloodshed, but when the player loses all lives, the game's over, just like in the glory days of ship-based shooters. 

Sex
Language
Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Kromaia is a downloadable arcade third-person shooter that features exploding ships and three-dimensional gameplay set in space. It's available through Steam, which requires an Internet connection to access. It requires fast reflexes, and the action is nonstop. Initially, players use a keyboard and mouse to control their ship, but a gamepad can be used on the expert level. There are several difficulty levels, but think of these as ratcheting up the intensity of on-screen action, which might be a bit much for younger players. Although it's a single-player game, players may be encouraged to interact with other fans via social media if they visit the developer's website, which could raise minor privacy concerns.

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What's it about?

Kromaia tells the story of an unidentifiable individual sealed in a mechanical unit, which is also the ship used in this universe. The character has no memories and embarks on a quest to discover who and/or what it is. This is a "six degrees of freedom" game, which means players can move freely through a three-dimensional universe. The game includes different ships, mod-able content, and different playing modes such as score attack, story mode, and a timed racing mode. 

Is it any good?

Kromaia has a stylized look, which can be a bit clumsy. The graphical quality also seems very soft, because the images aren't that crisp. Plus, the overarching story is a bit flimsy but serves as a suitable vehicle for the arcade action of the game. But what it lacks in those categories, it more than makes up for in the imaginative universe, quick pacing, and the fact that players need to figure out puzzles on maps with a huge amount of interactive and destructible objects. Although the game ducks beneath the covers of a third-person space shooter, the developers did a rather good job at creating something that looks fresh, even if it has familiar controls.

In addition to the main quest, Kromaia offers a couple of other options for gamers. There's a score attack, wherein players are timed and try to accumulate the best score possible (playing on levels similar to the main game's theme-driven content). There's also the ability to mod the game's XML files, which can be intriguing, but it's not for the casual gamer; players can actually affect ship hull looks, size, weapons, and engines, among other things. Bosses and levels also can be modified within the game. Getting to the appropriate files can be a bit tricky. This isn't an "on the fly" in-game type of thing; players have to locate the Steam Apps folder that holds the game, then go into the XML folder and open the files of the element they want to modify. Again, this isn't something a casual gamer should attempt without making sure anything he or she modifies can be undone if it creates ghastly changes to the game. For those who do understand XML programmable language (and the difference between using a 1 or a 2), this lets you add a lot of life to the game. Overall, Kromaia is a bit of an old-school arcade shooter combined with a new look. For fans of the genre, it's worth the look.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about how to separate the violence of video games from that of the real world. Is the violence of Kromaia fine because its arcade-like spin on space shooters isn't realistic?

  • Discuss what's compelling about arcade games. Can these kinds of fast-paced games teach players something more than developing fast reflexes?

Game details

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