About the game:

  • Developer: Carlos Coronado
  • Publisher: Carlos Coronado
  • Platforms: Nintendo Switch, PC
  • Release Date: May 16th, 2019
  • Price: $11.99
  • Reviewed on: Nintendo Switch
  • Review code provided: Yes

Take a dive straight into the ocean with Koral! Koral lets you explore the ocean and the life inside it. In Koral, your job is to solve puzzles using the current to heal the coral reefs. You play as a current, and you can go anywhere you want to in the vast ocean that Koral offers. Koral also shows the harsh reality about the coral reefs. The reality that we are destroying them, and we have to make a change.

The developer and publisher, Carlos Coronado, has shared lots of information on how Koral was developed. The game itself was made entirely at sea on a single sailboat. Even with the limited power and hardware he had, he still managed to create this game. He used the sea as inspiration for this game, and it is evident through the beautiful environment he has created. Carlos Coronado also uploaded a video detailing how he created Koral, and the steps he took to ensure its success.

Visuals

Koral’s visuals are stunning. Colorful and unique, these oceans are filled with wonder and life. The game itself has a layered environment, with there being layers over shadowing others at times. This attention to detail is incredible, and its shown in the most unlikely places. Koral has detail and care written all over it. The game also explodes with color after completing a puzzle. At first, the ocean is dull, colorless and lifeless. After completing a puzzle, color is everywhere, and there is so much detail put into it. The screen is filled with thousands of colors in a coral reef under the water. All of the different types of coral are colored differently and shimmer in a unique way. In each amazingly crafted area, there are also many fish that swim about. These fish are extremely detailed and colorful, and help liven up the screen at times.

Gameplay

In Koral, you play as a current in the wide open ocean. Your job is to solve the puzzles to go to the next area, while also giving life to the coral reefs. It’s incredibly easy to control the current, and it’s at a very comfortable pace as well. There are a variety of areas in the sea that you will come across, all of which are different from the rest. These areas range from coral reefs to deep sea to destructive fishing areas. You also can collect 32 collectibles in this game. The collectibles give facts about the ocean and how we as humans are hurting it. The collectibles themselves are pretty easy to see, and you just have to hover on it or touch it to collect it. A lot of these were very eye opening for me, as I did not know most of the facts that these collectibles provided. The game is split up in ten chapters. All of which will take you to a new area with a new environment and collectibles to get. Each of the ten are very unique in their own way. With new environments, there are new coral reefs and new fish species. One environment has whales in it!

Final Thoughts

Koral was an incredible game to experience, and I’m glad I got the chance to do so. However just like any game, there are some things that could be better. The menu for the game is easy to navigate, however in order to go back to a previous menu from a sub menu, you cannot press B. You have to go the the top left and press the arrow. This is a very minor complaint, but I thought I’d bring it up. Also, the game has little replayablity. In this case though, I believe that it doesn’t need it. The game will leave a lasting impact on you, and you will retain the knowledge you learn from the collectibles in Koral. I also think that it is replayable depending on the person, as some might like to experience the scenery and story once again.

Koral teaches a hard lesson that needs to be taught to everyone. We are destroying the coral reefs, and we have to do something about it. With vast oceans to explore and loads of detail and color, Koral is a great pickup. There are over thirty collectibles to collect and discover, with all of them providing facts about what is happening to the coral reefs. Although there is not much replayability, the experience and knowledge gained from the game was eye opening, and needs to be seen by everyone who cares about the oceans.

8/10

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