Cosmic Kites Review (PC)
Cosmic Kites from Fishmoose Interactive is a fast-paced, high energy action game with an emphasis on local multiplayer. It’s clear from the moment you begin that Cosmic Kites owes a lot to Snake, which is a clever place to start with a game because who doesn’t know how to play Snake?
There’s a single player in Cosmic Kites, which is where my journey began, and it serves as an efficient training mode for the upcoming multiplayer chaos. You chose an avatar, which you pick from a variety of animals like dragons, squids and foxes, but the model you pick to play as has no impact on the gameplay at all.
Unlike the rigid right-angle movements of Snake, Cosmic Kites lets your avatar flow around the empty battlefield, developing a steadily growing ‘tail’ as you travel. There’s also a teleport mechanic which adds an extra dimension to the gameplay. Your avatar will grow when their teleport is ready and an arrow appears ahead of them, showing the space you’ll jump to. You can use teleport to avoid obstacles, or jump in front of your opponents to create a hazard for them to avoid.
Your arena doesn’t stay empty for long, as the game quickly begins to spawn enemies, environmental hazards and power ups.
You unlock more power-ups as you play, via an experience system that gives you more points the longer you survive in the arena, but there aren’t many so you’ll have access to everything the game can throw at you within an hour. Power ups come in three styles – The yellow power up will speed the growth of your tail, blue power ups contain either speed boosts for zooming around the arena or a shield for crashing through enemies without taking damage, and the purple power ups get you weapons, like an expanding laser or a huge blast of energy, to destroy your enemies and clear your path.
It’s a very easy game to pick up, and once you get in to the swing of it the single player starts to feel a little stale. Thankfully, Cosmic Kites really begins to shine in multiplayer. It’s local multiplayer only at the moment, and while online multiplayer would be nice, I enjoy nothing more than a good old-fashioned get together with friends to enjoy some gaming.
As you play, you unlock different game modes to play multiplayer in. While the core game mode reflects the single player experience, Slow Creep gives the game a far more strategic feel as your avatars move much more slowly but your tails grow a lot faster, quickly filling the arena with neon-coloured obstacles for you to avoid. There’s also Power Up Madness and Obstacle Course, which come as advertised, but the real beauty in Cosmic Kites’ multiplayer comes in creating your own game mode.
You can choose how many lives your avatars have, how fast they move, how often they can teleport and the rate that their tails grow. You can decide to play with any combination of power ups, enemies and obstacles, or none at all. Changing the rules every couple of rounds really keeps the game fresh, and jumping from high speed, low cooldown teleports with no obstacles to a slower, more strategic game really mixes things up.
Regardless of how much is going on in Cosmic Kites, it’s always easy to tell what’s happening thanks to the games visual design. Bright and colourful, every different aspect of the game is neatly colour coded so you can spot hazards and power ups at a glance. The vibrant, neon colours used really emphasise the energetic gameplay.
As it is at the moment, there isn’t a lot of content in Cosmic Kites. This isn’t surprising, as the game is a side-project for rookie development and publishing studio Fishmoose Interactive, who created the game as a “much needed break” from a larger, much more time consuming project. As I mentioned previously, you’ll unlock all of the game modes and power ups in under an hour, but that really just means you won’t be spending a long time grinding to get to the really cool content Cosmic Kites has to offer.
Considering that Fishmoose only consists of two people, I think they’ve created something really cool with Cosmic Kites. The type of multiplayer game that offers something not only to the intense, strategically minded long term gamer, but also the more casual crowd. It’s the sort of title you could throw on at a party, and the simple controls, well designed visuals and familiar style of Snake would allow anybody to pick up and play. That’s all made possible by local multiplayer taking the emphasis over online shenanigans, which is something more developers need to keep in mind.
7 space dragon tails out of 10