At first they only ate a few chains at a time. One galaxy fell. Then another. The Florets were always growing, always hungry, never satisfied. And I... I was held in their thrall, a slave to my desire to increase my score. Ka-Bloom is not a colorful, cheery chain-building puzzle game from Strongman Games. It is a nightmare wrapped in an enigma, a test of just how much one will neglect the repercussions of one's actions in pursuit of a meaningless ranking.
Nah, just kidding, it's the first thing.
The goal of the game is to eat the galaxy! Well, sort of. You control a slumbering creature called a Floret, who needs to be awoken in order to consume everything she can to... Ka-Bloom! Feed your Floret by chaining together icons on screen for her eat in one long line when she awakes. Give her enough food, and you'll be rewarded with an adorable explosion, and proceed to the next level.
The game's first tutorial explains the basics of the game; use your mouse to draw links between gems by clicking and dragging; slash with the mouse to disconnect links you don't want; double-click on the Floret to wake her; use the mouse to control the Floret's arm and click to grab gems to drag into her gaping maw; blue gems grow, silver gems give XP; grow the outer boundary of the Floret to a fill line to beat the level. However, other techniques and more subtle details are left for tutorials in later galaxies or go unexplained altogether. The player has to figure out what exactly makes a high score, how the combo meter fills, and a number of other details.
Some of the aspects of the game that are available from the first level of the first galaxy (like hotlinking, where you click on gems that are on fire and drag to link the gem to another chain) are not explained until tutorials in later galaxies. It is definitely worth your while to play the tutorials in the later galaxies. Not only do they reveal new information, such as the functions of new gem colors (green temporarily expands the fill line, for example), but you also earn XP from silver gems eaten while playing them.
Analysis: The game offers no tips on strategy, so it's up to the player to figure it out by trial and error. On some levels it is possible to eat every single gem but do it in such a way that you leave yourself too small to conquer the level. On the other hand, if you greedily link and eat too many expanding gems too quickly, you may find the level is won way too fast, sometimes after the very first chain, and thus you've robbed yourself of possible XP. The XP is used to upgrade the combo meter, the number of chains you can have at a time, the radius of linking, and the time that the Floret spends asleep at the beginning of a level. Upgrading the Floret enables you to get a higher score for sure, but as far as I can tell every level is beatable with the basic Floret model, even in the highest levels, so you don't need to worry about having to grind.
This is a game that actually has a lot of strategy to it and it can be frustrating to feel that despite the bright colors and cheery synthesized soundtrack, you're completely in the dark as to the correct method. On the other hand, if you love puzzle games that you have to figure out yourself, and consider figuring out the rules to be part of the challenge, Ka-Bloom will certainly reward the effort, because once you do figure out all the minutiae it's a lot of fun. The upgrade system also gives the game great replay value, since you can return to earlier galaxies with your souped-up Floret and really clean up.
In any event, playing Ka-Bloom will ensure that when the floral monstrosities awaken from their millennial slumber, they will be pleased with you and eat you first. Viva les collaborateurs!
Update: The issue that some people have been reporting in the comments causing their browsers to crash has been fixed. If you experienced issues before playing Ka-Bloom, you might want to give this little gem another try!