K.O.L.M.I.A.M.


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Rating: 4.1/5 (140 votes)
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DoraK.O.L.M.I.A.M.[Dear Reader: Some visual aspects of this game may potentially induce motion sickness, so please be aware if you have a tendency to be susceptible to that. Love, Dora.]
Cheer up, emo bot. K.O.L.M.I.A.M. is less a direct sequel and more of a spiritual successor to the original sad little robot game, K.O.L.M. Instead of trying to please mother and embarking on a quest guaranteed to lower your overall cheerfulness by at least six points, K.O.L.M.I.A.M. is a series of mini adventures, challenging puzzle-ish platforming sequences to be completed in under a minute flat.

For those of you who didn't play the original, K.O.L.M. is a little robot who lives in an extremely hazardous place, and who initially can't do much of anything except walk around. You'll need to acquire the power-ups necessary for each level to perform even simple tasks like jumping, or shoot lasers to open doors. Move with the [WASD] or [arrow] keys, and [R] to restart the level or [P] to go to the level select screen. Touch an enemy or hazard and you'll respawn at the last point you entered the current area. Since you only have sixty seconds to complete any given level, they're all rather small, but that doesn't mean you can drag your feet about it. Run out of time and you'll explode. Well, I mean, K.O.L.M. will explode. Not you. It's not like I put explosives under your chair or anything. That would be not okay at all and a sign of a structurally unsound mind, I imagine! Heh, heh... *twitch*

There are some issues, of course. The disappearing platforms seem rather picky about how you land on them. Respawning seems to take unreasonably long given the time restraints, which means that overshooting a platform and executing a perfect swan-dive right into a set of spikes can essentially force another reload on some levels that require perfect timing. For me the most frustrating part was actually the slowly tilting depth perspective, which didn't succeed so much in impressing or challenging me as it did make me more-than-mildly motion sick. (A feat not accomplished since Secret of Evermore back in 1995. No, I don't know why either.) What this means is that I actually didn't make it past stage 18 before I had to go lay down with a pillow over my head. While the difficulty begins to ramp up after the first few stages, the initial batch of 20 levels probably won't take you long to blow through, and then it's on to challenge mode.

Whether you enjoy K.O.L.M.I.A.M. largely comes down to how much you like platforming, and how much of your enjoyment of the original came from the mildly depressing but intriguing storyline. This time, can you complete a demanding set of time trials?... oh, yeah? W-well... How about while on a conveyor belt? Underwater? And unable to jump? Oh? Well, would you, could you, on a train? On a plane? With a fox? In a box?! Huh? What then, smartypants?!

Play K.O.L.M.I.A.M.

32 Comments

I second what you say about motion sickness...

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hothotpot Author Profile Page January 19, 2011 4:01 PM

I can't tell if its the game or just my computer but the controls are really glitchy. This is making it very hard to complete levels where you have microseconds to pull off complex maneuvers or else you run out of time. I'll have to try it again on my home computer and see if its better.

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kingjulien86 Author Profile Page January 19, 2011 4:41 PM

@hothotpot I was having the same problem, the controls seem slow to react. This may be due to graphics settings, and there is the option to change them.

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Control issues here too. Using IE 8.0.6

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This game Is punishing! I got to level 7, and it had gone from casual to perfection-demanding. and there are 13 more levels...

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Precision-required levels combined with precision-less controls are not a fun combination.

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It looks like you get a star next to each level if you don't die or restart during the that level. The stars probably unlock a secret bar on the menu between "Play Game" and "Challenge Mode". I haven't died, yet I can't seem to get a star for level 19, Pacifism. Any suggestions?

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Not having any problem with controls. I liked the quick and dirty level approach but I do miss the KOLM longform aspect. Nice to see how well it works in either format. Good engine, imo. Look forward to the story development in KOLM2.

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Time limits suck

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I checked under my chair after reading the second paragraph.

I don't know why people say KOLM is depressing, I didn't find it sad at all. That might just be because I was listening to Streetlight manifesto the whole time, though.

Anyway, game's waaaay too laggy for me. I hold the right arrow key because he's not moving, and next thing you know, he's three screens away from where he was a second ago.

HINT: You can cut down on time by

dying after getting an upgrade to go back to the beginning of the screen rather than going all the way back. You can't always do this, but it helps.

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Kind of like metroid in a minute?

An interesting idea to break the game into little bite-sized chunks. Haven't had time to play them all yet, but it's a break in the format and that's kind of nice.

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Difficulty seems rather erratic. Some levels in the first half of the game require almost perfection, while other levels, even some in the last stages of the game, can be done with twenty seconds remaining. Aside from that, the controls, and the platform hit detection, it's a pretty good game. Definitely not like K.O.L.M., though, even in basic gameplay.

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The level order is kinda weird. After a few easy levels there was possibly the hardest in 8th or so spot and then it got really easy again.

Overall I actually felt the game was too easy but at the same time I don't think making the time limit less would be a suitable solution, I rather think the gameplay could involve a few trickier jumps etc.

The thing that bugged me the most was the reset time which was way too long and unnecessarily so. Resetting 10 seconds for a 30-60 second map? No thx.

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Kitsune Zeta Author Profile Page January 19, 2011 9:07 PM

Most of the levels are pretty easy to handle, only a couple are really annoying.

Mother Warned You

you're gonna cut this one close. hit right as you grab the shot, and go left then down after getting the water powerup

K.O.L.M. hates you

If you end up in that middle pit, hit R - you're NOT getting out. try not to fall in the right-hand side, it's faster to make the roundabout and pick up the shot from the left-hand side.

Pacifism

That item you see as you get the dash is Invulnerability. Take the time to grab it

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This game sort of reminded me of Half-Minute Hero.

I'm not getting any huge control issues, but I did have more than a few frame drops, even on the low graphics mode, which is kind of bad in this kind of game.

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In order to get a star on Pacifism, you need to complete the level without the Invulnerability aid.

However, having received stars on all the levels now, I don't see any added benefits or extra bonuses popping up....sigh.

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Like many others, I was doing just fine until the 7th level, for which I can barely make it to the screen with the exit on it before time runs out. Ah, well.

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Anonymous January 20, 2011 3:28 AM

I think my favorite part of the game is the unpredictability of the jumping

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Solatoral Author Profile Page January 20, 2011 4:49 AM

I got so lucky one point.

I had 0.2 seconds left. xD
Overall, a hard but fun game. C:

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I can only agree on the erratic difficulty.
Some level are hard in the middle, so you get easy ones, then a hard one that will require you to restart and have a very good timing, then easy again winning on first try with 20+ seconds left...

I managed to get a bug in KOLM hates you.
Once I got the key, I got warped through 2-3 stages (black screen, I couldn't actually see them) and ended up in an empty room, with just a floor, no roof, walls left and right with only a "door" that would get me back to the same room. Was Camera 4, and wherever I would exit (left or right) I'd get to the same room again.
I think that just after being warped the first time I saw the first room for a split second but then nothing.
I had to restart after timing out.
I remember the map was putting 4 rooms, and I was in the lowest left one.

It all went well after restarting the level, but I really think tha KOLM hates me now :p

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Aaargh... the forced pauses before and after levels annoy me to no end.

Also, not a fan of the visuals. They look really stylish if you watch them for a short amount of time, but for a game which you are supposed to look at for some time it's pretty bad.

All in all, I'd be delighted to play a retweaked version of this game. I'm sure gameplay is excellent in this one, too, but current visuals and pauses are just too annoying for me. :(

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Is anyone else finding it next to impossible to land jumps on those little 1-square large disappearing platforms? I have seen my little guy fall RIGHT THROUGH them about a dozen times, when they're solid, of course. It's rather frustrating.

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Adjusting the "Graphics Select" makes all the difference in the world! After dieing 30 times in a row on level 7, I adjusted the graphics and made it through the rest of the levels relatively easily.

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Bottomless Pit was hell on earth for me for some reason...got through everything else pretty easily...liked it a lot.

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I love the game, but hate the time !

What is the reason to make it watch-milisec-action, not just make us to relax and enjoy the game ?!!!

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Green Bedding January 20, 2011 6:01 PM

Argh! I can't jump back out of the water on level 14! The highest he goes is just slightly out of the water!

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If you liked this game but wish it were an RPG, I'd recommend Half Minute Hero for PSP.

Does anybody know if there's a bonus to getting stars in every level?

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Mojoqmeyvam January 20, 2011 8:59 PM

For getting the star in Pacifism:

You have to not have anything run into you during the level. If you get the Invulnerable upgrade, you still won't get the star.

So you have to beat the level without getting that Invulnerable boost. Which isn't easy. I think that star took me as long as the other 19 gold stars combined.

How I beat it:

Getting to the exit room isn't too difficult without dying; it may take a few tries, but nothing too fancy. You'll want at least 25 seconds to get through the exit room. It could be done in 20, but that would require panicking. This is not the level to panic on.

For the final exit room, come in through the top entrance, wait for the first top-down spike to fall, then drop down, dash across the spiky bottom, and wait for all the spikes to fall. Dash back, then carefully weave your way through the left-right bursts. When you trigger the seeker, it's possible to move to the left and down one level, then jump at the last second to have the seeker blow up before hitting you. Trigger the last spike without getting hit, and you're done.

Oh, but there's no bonus for getting 20 gold stars. :-(

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I decided to succumb to this visual torture once again...

The underlying game is actually quite good. In fact, I'm amazed that some people complain about the entire "time limit" thing; the game is really laughably easy and time is the only challenging aspect, without it there would be no point. Actually, I've found that on the majority of the levels one minute is much more then you actually need; even star limits are too generous most of the time.

So, yes, the game isn't half bad, but man are the visuals headache inducing. Thin lines, constant flashing, tilting screen.. like I'm playing a psychological experiment which tests how much suffering I can endure to play a flash platformer. I haven't felt this sick after playing the game since college days when we played Unreal Tournament in an utterly drunk state with a broken mouse and a 40 Hz monitor. Now excuse me, I feel another technicolor yawn coming up...

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Oh, btw... "P" for "exit"? Highly amusing.

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Man, I just can't get through this game without a headache, and I'm not usually prone to motion sickness. It's a shame, too, 'cause I really like this game and the original K.O.L.M... I just wish I didn't have to go through minor physical pain to play them!

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Nice to know I'm not the only one this game (or SoE) made nauseous. Still, quit enjoyable once the preemptive Dramamine kicks in!

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