[Beyond PlayStation] Koral Review
Koral from indie Carlos Coronado is a charming and relaxing underwater adventure that is a must-play on Nintendo Switch. Find out why in our Koral review!
In Koral youâ€™ll take on a soothing and relaxing underwater experience in which all you need to worry about is using the left Joy-Con analog stick or the D-Pad to move around the ocean, collecting energy shards as you go to bring life back to each area so that you can progress to the next spot. At first, each area will be nothing more than dark silhouettes, but once you manage to collect the required energy shards for the area, a colorful explosion will take place, allowing you to bask in the glow and charm of the flora and the fauna that surrounds you.
Walls of water currents will separate the different areas you will explore during each of the gameâ€™s chapters, and once you cross one of these water currents, there will be no going back. Another thing that happens when you cross any of these walls of water currents is that you will lose any energy units you were carrying with you. While because of this Koral is a rather linear experience, this also means you wonâ€™t end up wasting your time searching for the way forward since it is not going to be hidden off the beaten path.
When you get close to the coral that you can power up with the energy you collect, if you donâ€™t have enough energy with you to activate it, youâ€™ll be able to learn how many energy units it will need. This is represented by the number of glowing dots that will show up on the tip of the coral when you get closer. Some coral formations will require only two energy units to be activated, others will require that you have three energy units with you, but most of them will require five energy units.
As you progress in the game, you will get to use some new abilities. Some of the coral that you power up with the energy you collect will allow you to use its power to create water currents of a specific length. Once youâ€™ve drawn the path for one of these water currents, youâ€™ll be able to use it to quickly travel forward at high speed. This power can also be used to destroy the pollution in the water that is sometimes blocking your way so that you can progress into a new spot in that chapter.
You will also run into some orange glowing coral formations that will get in your way, blocking your path. You will learn that passing through the glowing coral nearby will boost your speed, sending you fast enough to be able to bend the plant formations when you collide into them. There is also a green variety that does not need you to boost through to move it, and the ones that have stars on their base will also act as some sort of lever mechanism to move some structures out of the way – that is as long as theyâ€™re also covered in stars.
Other coral will shoot out energy pieces, and you will need to find the smaller plants that receive this energy to once again power up the first plant to obtain its energy spark. Later on, similar coral formations will do the same, but you will also be on a timer you will need to act quickly and find all the corresponding small plants. You will know how much time you have left by a glowing arc that will appear over the entity you control, and as time passes the arc will get smaller and smaller – this on top of a sound effect that will also hurry you up.
Koral features 32 collectibles in total, so if you donâ€™t manage to find all of them during your first run, you can just go back to the Chapters option of the game and take on the areas in which you are missing some of the collectibles. As you find each of the collectibles you will be given a short description with valuable extra information that will allow you to learn new things about corals. For example, and as to not spoil the experience, the first collectible you find tells you about dynamite fishing, and how itâ€™s a very bad thing since it kills coral tissues and affects the potential recovery of adjacent coral colonies.
Koral is a short, relaxing and fun 2D underwater experience that youâ€™re going to complete in 2-3 hours at most, but as you do so, you will be having a lot of fun while you also get to learn some interesting information thanks to how the gameâ€™s collectibles are set up. It was a lot of fun to play and going from the making of video above, it was a lot of fun to make as well!
This Koral review is based on a Nintendo Switch copy provided by Carlos Coronado.