Hands-on Preview with Klang at PAX East 2016

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The game begins as your character is put into a rave, complete with some heavy electronic music and psychedelic visuals. You can almost feel the people in the pit below jumping to the rhythm. For whatever reason, the master of the rave is less than pleased that you are there, and he’s set to cast you out of the party by taking your life. Enemies will attack on all sides, and how you defend yourself is with large tuning forks, that you use to bat the projectiles back to the enemies. The catch is, you can only do it on the beat. If you miss the beat, you’ll get hit. The arrow keys on the keyboard can be used, as well as either the face buttons on a controller or the right analog stick. I easily preferred the analog stick, as it’s far easier to combat the missiles when they come diagonally.

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Once a track is complete, the player will platform his way to the next area in his effort to make it back to the top of the tower, where the party continues to thrash without him. Things get crazy when the character has to jump and dash while using combat to the music. The host of the rave, Solus, will sometimes force the player to battle on a moving platform, and then sections of the platform will suddenly burst into painful light. It’s tricky, but it’s also what really separates this game from most others of the music genre.

The most impressive fact of this game is that it was created by a one-man show, Tom-Ivar Arntzen, who operates under the name Tinimations. All of the animation, 3D art, character designs, game design, and sound design came from this one man. Now the music was created by a group called Blind Handicap, so there is the one thing Arntzen cannot take credit for creating. Everything else is 100% his, and you would never know by looking at it. Klang is as impressive as it was unexpected. Seriously.

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I tried to prod Arntzen about the story a bit more, and he admitted that this was a game where they focused on gameplay first and everything else came afterward. He did assure me that once the game releases, it will make a little more sense as to why this character is battling musical minions. But really, I suppose it doesn’t matter either, as the mechanics really are just that fun.

Klang will release later in 2016 for PC and Mac