Published by Plug In Digital, and WhisperGames, Pocket Kingdom is an indie puzzle platformer released on Steam back in December. The game is a throwback to the Amiga days of old and certainly, captures the look, feel, and sounds of the era. I’ve had the game for a while now and have certainly put it through its paces.
The game begins with a short sequence that shows the main character, a balloon pilot, crashing into a mysterious floating city. You’re pretty much tossed straight into the game from there without much in the ways of who you really are and what you need to do. Everything you learn about the where you are, and the game mechanics, are gleaned from sign posts and conversations with the strange inhabitants of the Pocket Kingdom.
You’re also not told where to go. You need to explore, figure things out, and repeatedly backtrack to areas you can access. It’s a puzzle game meets Metroidvania kind of vibe all wrapped in a steampunk theme. The main mechanics for the puzzles here are block pushing, ladder climbing, and gravity. Along the way, there are other items that will help you out, like boots, a rocket launcher, and a grappling hook. By helping you out I really mean add complexity to puzzles.
Some of the puzzles are pretty easy to solve while others can be brutally tough, or even unsolvable until later in the game. All the while you’ll be moving through the Pocket Kingdom and slowly putting the pieces of the story together.
The game is self-described as an Amiga throwback and this really shows. A lot of care has gone into making the pixel art really feel like it’s from that era of gaming. The chiptune soundtrack is also really amazing and can be [purchased separately](http://store.steampowered.com/app/462620/ through Steam.
While the screenshots below give you a good idea of the overall atmosphere of the game, you should really check out the trailer that follows them to see how it moves and sounds.
I was interested in Pocket Kingdom since the first press released I had gotten about it. I eagerly awaited my review code and jumped right in as soon as I had the chance. The combination of the graphics, soundtrack and old-school gameplay really sucked me in from the start.
I was a bit worried about the puzzles, as I haven’t really played many puzzle games in a quite a while. While they were challenging, none of them took too long to solve or made me rage quit with frustration. I quickly learned the underlying basics and could them apply those lessons to future puzzles in a build-up that was very satisfying.
Pocket Kingdom costs $7 on Steam. There’s not way else to decribe it than saying it’s a deal. If you’re a fan of puzzle platformers, you’ll love this game. If you grew up in the age of the Amiga and other early computers, you’ll love this game.
A copy of Pocket Kingdom was provided free for review by Plug in Digital.
Media personality Rob “Devar-TTY” Kalajian has been a staple in the board game world for many years. As a former writer for Purple Pawn and the owner of Devar-TTY’s Pawns Perspective, Dev now focuses mostly on video games and TTRPGs. A self-proclaimed geek, Rob loves all things toys and games and even helps raise his four kids in his spare time.