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Old 02-24-2010, 11:13 AM   #1
TrackZero
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The Independent: Kaleidoscope


Title: Kaleidoscope
Platform: 360
Developer: MORSEL
MSRP: 240 MSP

It was just over a week ago that the studio MORSEL released their first game to the Xbox Live Indie Games Marketplace. For their first title out of the gate Kaleidoscope certainly sets a good impression. Consisting of a barebone development team of a programmer, artist and musician, MORSEL have managed to create a beautiful, relaxing platformer that anyone can enjoy.


The story of Kaleidoscope is simple enough: it centers around all of the colour being drained from the world. As a black little puff of a character named Tint, you've taken it upon yourself to restore the world to its former beautiful self and find the cause of this mess. Levels are accessed via a Super Mario World-esque overworld map, with progress to new levels being unlocked once you acquire enough vibrant colour pigments. Each level contains 3 vibrant pigments to collect which unlocks more points on the map. All levels are also collected under one of four themes, each with their own unique visual style, music and gameplay elements to learn.


At its heart, Kaleidoscope sticks to the bread and butter platforming formula. You move through the levels utilizing three core abilities, each with their own associated meters (which coincide to the coloured buttons to utilize them). Blue pigment allows you to run faster; yellow pigment puffs up Tint like a balloon to slow his fall speed; red pigment surrounds Tint in a rainbow bubble making him immune to enemy attacks. Each of these three meters refill on their own when the abilities are not in use, however you can pick up various pigment pieces through each map to restore some power instantly and speed up the regeneration of that colour. Pigments picked up in this way also have the added benefit of changing the world itself, restoring colour to everything and bringing in more layers to the music. While not a requirement to collect all the standard pigments in a level, it certainly works as a great emotional pickup as you progress through each map.

Most enemies you encounter can be dispatched with a good old head stomp, but there's no death to be found in this world. Enemies will simply regain their colour and cease to be a threat to you. Any time Tint finds himself falling into some spikes or hit by an enemy fuzzball, he'll simply pop like a balloon and instantly reappear at the last checkpoint (often mere feet away). Thanks to this, even the more complicated platforming sections don't result in you having to replay a large segment of the level to get back to where you were.


Playing through the main game to completion should run you somewhere in the range of 3-5 hours. All said, the gameplay is generally a relaxing delight, with Tint zipping his way along enjoying the scenery and fantastic music composition. Although XNA Indie Games don't offer achievement points, MORSEL still decided to add in their own to set some interesting challenges.

So if your interest is piqued, take a gander at some gameplay and consider dropping three bucks towards this great title from a fresh new studio. Or feel free to reply in this thread for the chance to win one of two free copies we have to give away (winners randomly picked on Friday)!


The Independent is a indie gaming feature by Andrew "TrackZero" Hodder. Check CoG every Wednesday for updates.
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Old 02-24-2010, 12:17 PM   #2
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Ooh new feature. Great review. Looking forward to more Indie goodness.
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Old 02-24-2010, 12:22 PM   #3
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Yay for new features! Well done sir. Well done I say.
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Old 02-24-2010, 01:00 PM   #4
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I love this new feature! I want that game now...
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Old 02-24-2010, 02:42 PM   #5
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The description made me think of the Calvin & Hobbes where Calvin asks his father why old pictures were black and white, and his father explains that the pictures were actually in color, but the world was in black and white until sometime in the 50's or 60's.
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Old 02-24-2010, 03:55 PM   #6
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I've played the demo into the ground and absolutely love it. The music actually changes very mildly as more color filters back into the world. They really went all out with this, and it's only their first game!
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Old 02-24-2010, 05:47 PM   #7
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Replayability?

Not that it matters much at that price.
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Old 02-24-2010, 11:06 PM   #8
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Took so long to validate my account that I've completely forgotten what I wanted to discuss.

I tried the demo and enjoyed the gameplay. I liked both the level and art design. Didn't really think about the music, until you mentioned it above. Nice to see another great indie title in the marketplace.

I hope to see more editions of The Independent soon.
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Old 02-24-2010, 11:08 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by NODAK View Post
Took so long to validate my account that I've completely forgotten what I wanted to discuss.

I tried the demo and enjoyed the gameplay. I liked both the level and art design. Didn't really think about the music, until you mentioned it above. Nice to see another great indie title in the marketplace.

I hope to see more editions of The Independent soon.
I'm hoping we can get Drew to be our review/news slave.
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Old 02-24-2010, 11:26 PM   #10
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This game must be pretty damn incredible to have three people sign up today just to post that they liked the demo...

*shifty eyes*

EDIT: I did not notice this thread had a giveaway attached, that's a far more understandable reason to sign up and post than my tinfoil shilling assumptions.

Last edited by Lon Lon Rabbit; 02-24-2010 at 11:28 PM.
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Old 02-24-2010, 11:26 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by NODAK View Post
Took so long to validate my account that I've completely forgotten what I wanted to discuss.

I tried the demo and enjoyed the gameplay. I liked both the level and art design. Didn't really think about the music, until you mentioned it above. Nice to see another great indie title in the marketplace.

I hope to see more editions of The Independent soon.
I think a new issue of The Independent will be up every Wednesday by reading the bottom of the post.

By the way, for our three new members, welcome and hopefully you'll stay and join in through other discussions
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Old 02-25-2010, 12:11 AM   #12
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I love indie games and game discussion in general; my registration wasn't entirely due to the giveaway, though that's certainly a nice incentive. :P A friend of mine writes for another gaming site, and she focuses on indie titles, so I've been exposed to quite a few the past several months. Kaleidoscope was one such title, and I've been following its developers' Twitter account. They're going to be starting on their second project before too long, and I for one am eager to see what they come up with. =)
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Old 02-25-2010, 01:20 AM   #13
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How the hell do you buy this game?

Microsoft really hides that indie store somewhere, I remember seeing it one day but I can't for the life of me find it, or this game anywhere in the main marketplace right now.

EDIT:

Ok after screwing around the marketplace far too long I just tried to buy it through xbox.com and was informed that it was not available in my region.

Not impressed (with MS, not the devs obviously).

Why is something like this region blocked?

Last edited by Lon Lon Rabbit; 02-25-2010 at 01:33 AM.
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Old 02-25-2010, 02:33 AM   #14
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I did not notice this thread had a giveaway attached, that's a far more understandable reason to sign up and post than my tinfoil shilling assumptions.
Heh. You thought we were indie shills? I usually see that sort of behavior from the big companies.

I'm a supporter of XBLIG in general and I found this thread via Morsel's twitter page.
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Old 02-25-2010, 02:46 AM   #15
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Well, a dev team of three, three new posters, you gotta admit it would have been a cute indie analogue to shilling, tinfoil or no!

If you guys have been reading up on pages closer to the dev's home, have you heard any word on these region restrictions?
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Old 02-25-2010, 06:58 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by Lon Lon Rabbit View Post
Well, a dev team of three, three new posters, you gotta admit it would have been a cute indie analogue to shilling, tinfoil or no!

If you guys have been reading up on pages closer to the dev's home, have you heard any word on these region restrictions?
Oh, it's available in your region.

http://marketplace.xbox.com/ja-JP/ga...-d80258550444/
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Old 02-25-2010, 07:23 AM   #17
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That still doesn't seem to work...

I guess maybe it's not available in Australia? That's where my Live account was originally created.

It sucks, sometimes I am considered Japanese region (the Xbox itself is Japanese) and can get Japan only DLC, other times I get screwed like this.

Hopefully it'll come out in Aus region soon and I can get it...

I often get around region restrictions on steam by having others gift me the game, any idea if that works with XBLA titles too?
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Old 02-25-2010, 07:35 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by Lon Lon Rabbit View Post
That still doesn't seem to work...

I guess maybe it's not available in Australia? That's where my Live account was originally created.

It sucks, sometimes I am considered Japanese region (the Xbox itself is Japanese) and can get Japan only DLC, other times I get screwed like this.

Hopefully it'll come out in Aus region soon and I can get it...

I often get around region restrictions on steam by having others gift me the game, any idea if that works with XBLA titles too?
Not sure, Canada only runs into certain roadblocks (usually around video, not games).
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Old 02-25-2010, 11:56 AM   #19
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Hmmm, soudns like fun. I will have ot remember to try the demo out.
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Old 02-25-2010, 02:16 PM   #20
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Heh. You thought we were indie shills? I usually see that sort of behavior from the big companies.

I'm a supporter of XBLIG in general and I found this thread via Morsel's twitter page.
See, that's where I found this thread. And nope, no shilling! I've been following @playmorsel for some time now, and they seem to be really solid folks. They've given away several codes for this game in Twitter contests.

EDIT: And apparently, Lon Lon Rabbit, because Australia requires that games be rated, and Xbox Indie games aren't rated, you aren't allowed to purchase them from the marketplace. But I see no reason why gifting wouldn't work, if it's worked for you in the past.

Last edited by Mahkia; 02-25-2010 at 02:20 PM.
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