In May, Tate Multimedia will reboot the long-dormant platformer Kao The Kangaroo. Over 20 years ago, the franchise launched on the Sega Dreamcast from the Polish company at a time when games like Spyro and Sly Cooper were on the cusp of becoming household names. Now, Kao receives a second life at a time when mascot platformers are not as common. Fairly soon we will find out if the market still calls for games lost in the early 2000s.
This Kao The Kangaroo is a complete reboot. Everything about the game has been redesigned or reimagined in some capacity. Kao has a new look and the level design is a slight departure from what Kao fans might know. Kao The Kangaroo will be a new entry point in the franchise that anyone can pick up and play. Although our demo left out story elements, developers promise this is a new experience.
For those that have played previous Kao The Kangaroo games, this one will have a more linear level design. After the success of Crash Bandicoot, it seems the team was not afraid to take a more classic approach. In contrast, previous Kao games were more open, they were designed to feel larger than they were. However, most of the game was filled with dead space or areas for the sake of having areas. This Kao The Kangaroo reboot promises a more focused and dense game.
PAX East 2022 Kao The Kangaroo Exclusive Demo Impressions
You will get a fairly good idea of what the game is about from our gameplay demo above. The combat is smooth, there is a boxing mechanic that encourages you to punch anything and everything. The platforming traversal teleports me back to a simpler time when I did not have to worry about the existential crisis of adulthood. Along with the game’s simple, classic collect-a-thon rooted deep in the games that came before it.
We should note that our gameplay demo footage is from an unfinished product, running on hot underpowered laptops at the 2022 PAX East convention. The framerate drips are supposed to be addressed in the final version with a locked 60 frames per second. Yet, I did encounter another problem, you will see when I try to target the stove with the fire boomerang the process to start the stove does not work until I step forward. In addition I witnessed some camera slippage after I fell into lava. These were not major issues and for the most part, the game is fun.
Kao The Kangaroo launches on May 27th for PC, Nintendo Switch, PlayStation, and Xbox. Expect some enhancements from the PS5 and Xbox Series console versions. For fans looking to collect physical, Kao The Kangaroo pre-orders open exclusively through Limited Run Games on May 24th.