Snow-Bound Shootout. Kôna VS The Long Dark
By Julie Morley
Kôna, developed by Parabole from Quebec, launched on Kickstarter recently and there’s a lot of people excited about it. Upon reading through the Kickstarter page and getting a feel for what this game is about, something about it seemed very familiar. I just couldn’t put my finger on it at first, but Kôna reminded me of something. The environment completely open for exploration, puzzle solving, surviving in the Canadian wild – how does this sound familiar? Then it hit me, Kôna is eerily similar The Long Dark.
Perhaps there is a heavy amount of influence here. All I know is the story and gameplay seem uncannily similar, at least initially.
The Long Dark is one of the most anticipated crowdfunded games from 2013 and fits into a genre many game developers exploring these days, survival. Just take a look at The Forest, Eidolon, Only If, and Darkwood. This is a genre open to all sorts of possibilities, whether it’s dipping in horror, sad narratives, or punching trees for wood. With that said, Kôna and The Long Dark having similar features and familiar plot points may not be something to raise a fuss about.
I think I’ll leave that one up to you, readers. Let’s compare.
Kôna takes place in the 1970’s in Northern Quebec in the middle of a dispute between the Cree Native American tribe and a very greedy industrialist by the name of W. Hamilton. Hamilton is hungry for more profit from the gold mine and destroys sacred land to expand it, thus angering the tribe. Strangely, Hamilton’s home falls victim to vandalism and theft some time shortly after. The culprit is unidentified but Hamilton is certain the Cree is to blame. To solve the matter, he calls in a private detective (previously a war vet), to get to the bottom of this.
When the detective arrives, there is no trace of Mr. Hamilton nor anyone in the town. Everyone has disappeared.
Kôna is a first person exploratory adventure survival game divided into four episodes. Players must explore the land, find artifacts, and solve puzzles to get to figure out this strange occurrence.
Kôna means “snow” in the Cree language and there is plenty of it. Players will need to find ways to survive in the harsh cold and stay healthy.
The Long Dark
The Long Dark takes place in Western Canada exact location is unspecified. William Mackenzie is just doing his routine mail delivery flight when strange lights appear in the sky. Something goes terribly wrong on his plane, causing him to crash into the wilderness. There is no sign of civilization anywhere and Mackenzie is stranded in the woods with very few survival tools. Quickly, he must master the basic skills of survival and find a way out of the woods. But something feels different and Mackenzie thinks it may have something to do with the lights. All technology has been wiped off the face of the Earth. How could we survive without technology?
The Long Dark is a first person exploratory survival game focusing on open ended decision making to determine Mackenzie’s survival and the outcome of the story. Players explore the wilderness following moral-oriented decision making as they encounter people, animals, and buildings seemingly abandoned. It’s a dog eat dog world out there and players must fight to survive.
– Deserted environment, the player is secluded.
– Apocalyptic environment; there is an overwhelming feeling that the world has changed.
– Location; both located in the Canadian wilderness.
– Exploration oriented; find miscellaneous tools for survival in the wilderness and stranded buildings.
– Graphics; due to their environments both games feature snow-bound environments.
– Enemies. The Long Dark mentions a lot about enemies, such as wolves and bears, existing in the wilderness and hunting them. There is a small element of combat included in Kôna, the developers claim it only “accounts for approximately 3 to 5% of the whole experience.”
– Technology. Players are capable of using technology in Kôna since it is not responsible for the strange events, though there is not much. In The Long Dark, players are starting from square one with survival.
– Period of time – Kôna takes place in the ’70’s and The Long Dark is present time.
– Graphics; as similar as they are, Kôna features less stylized graphics than the slightly cartoonish look of The Long Dark.
In the end, it’s up to you to decide where they stand. Both have their similarities and differences that contrast one another, meaning that each title could be entertaining for its own reasons; regardless of the similarities. The question is, are they too similar? Be sure to check out our previous coverage of The Long Dark, as well as our Kôna coverage to decide for yourself.
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[author image=”http://cliqist.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/01/julie.jpg” ]Julie Morley is a freelance writer and comic artist from Spring, Texas. She attended the Academy of Art University for two years, studying Animation and Illustration. Whilst here, she learned about writing comic scripts, storyboards, and general storytelling. Since leaving college, she has been working on personal comic projects, stories, and illustrations. She aspires to release a self published comic within two years. For the majority of her life, she has been playing console games, typically being third-person shooters and sandboxes. Her favorite game of existence is Dark Cloud II (Dark Chronicle) and her favorite Indie game is Gone Home.[/author]