Kao The Kangaroo is a classic platforming franchise by Tate Multimedia that was released on multiple platforms in the early 2000s. The series follows Kao, a young anthropomorphic kangaroo native to Australia, as he embarks on various adventures, including saving his friends and family from evil hunters. Now, after almost 17 years since the last game, Tate Multimedia has announced the release of a new game rebooting the series. We’ve played it, and here’s what you can expect from the upcoming title.
The brand new Kao The Kangaroo game reboots the entire franchise. It follows Kao as he embarks on a journey around the world to save his sister, Kaia, and discover the truth behind his long-lost father’s disappearance. Along the way, Kao will have to use his magical boxing gloves to face several famous “fighting masters” that have fallen under the influence of disturbing dark power, as well as the mysterious Eternal Warrior who threatens the world.
Here’s What You Need To Know
Kao The Kangaroo is heavily inspired by traditional old-school platformers. Gameplay consists of jumping across moving and suspended platforms, climbing, diving, and riding through highly-detailed and colourful linear levels, exploring hard-to-find side routes to uncover secrets, solving puzzles, and fighting the game’s numerous enemies using your boxing gloves.
There is a range of collectables to find throughout the game. Some of the collectables we’ve found so far include golden coins, the letters “K”, “A”, and “O”, as well as gems, additional lives, chunks of hearts to expand Kao’s health, and potentially more. Many of these collectables are found naturally as players explore the level, but others are found in secret side areas or inside chests in harder to reach locations.
What We Played And Our Thoughts
We were lucky enough to play one level of Kao The Kangaroo; Dark Forest. The gameplay demo we tried out sees seems to occur near the beginning of the game, where Kao must navigate a forest filled with numerous lakes and streams, platforms, small huts, spider and band-playing frog enemies, and numerous collectables and secret side routes.
We thoroughly enjoyed playing the Dark Forest level of Kao The Kangaroo. The platforming was fun and the varied enemies –Stinkers, Frogsters, Tentacles, Range Frogsters, Spiders, and more – enjoyable to take on, but not challenging.
Melee combat was incredibly entertaining; running around areas smacking the different enemies and unleashing Kao’s devastating power attack was a joy. However, the combat is incredibly simple and involves you simply mashing buttons for Kao to connect and attack the closest enemy – great for a younger audience that this game is likely targeting.
We managed to find a majority of the level’s collectables, aside from two, and found it entertaining to try and find them all. We’re currently not sure what they unlock, but we’re hoping players get some decent unlockables from obtaining them, just like old school platformers. They’re a great natural reward for players that enjoy exploring each nook and cranny within a level, but we do hope they get more challenging later in the game.
The visuals are gorgeous and colourful, and the cutscenes are beautifully animated, although the voice acting leaves a lot to be desired. We also feel that Kao was somewhat floaty during gameplay, making it hard to aim landings when jumping between platforms. We also encountered some bugs with Kao able to clip through some of the traps set out across the level.
The story seems to be fun and enjoyable with plenty of characters to meet, and it’ll be interesting to learn more about the game’s fighting masters, the Eternal Warrior, and Kao’s family going forward. Aside from briefly touching on the Eternal World, the demo we played did not touch on any of the main story beats.
The Kao The Kangaroo gameplay demo is available for all on PC via Steam for this week’s Steam Next Fest, and it can be downloaded here. Kao The Kangaroo will release for PC, Nintendo Switch, and all PlayStation and Xbox consoles this summer. In the meantime, check out our gameplay footage below: