Watch gameplay footage of Klaus, an indie platformer about a man in search of his identity.
Klaus is a 2D puzzle platformer, the first major title created by independent studio La Cosa Entertainment. The game released on Jan. 19 in North America and Jan. 25 in Europe for the PlayStation 4.
La Cosa is a small team made up of Venezuelan developers, with some based in Los Angeles, California. The studio and project is led by Victor Velasco, its CEO and creative director.
The character wakes up in a basement with no knowledge of who he is or why he’s there. All he knows is that somebody wrote the word “Klaus” on his arm. He looks like an office worker, in formal clothes with a tie.
The art style is eye-popping, with the background a constant vibrant color depending on the game’s chapter. The story is told by dialogue appearing on the walls as Klaus has conversations with himself and his helper, you the player. Many of these talks are self-aware and break the fourth wall, with Klaus trying to understand who exactly is helping him get through all these levels.
The physics are smooth and tight. The game takes obvious inspiration from classic platformers and indie releases like Super Meat Boy (2010) but its influence on Klaus isn’t overly aggressive. The areas are filled with traps, obstacles and moving parts. The DualShock 4 features with the touchpad and speakers are used extensively. While aiming with the touchpad, you can move platforms and open new areas. The controller’s speakers are used a lot too for sound effects.
Later on Klaus meets a big hulk-like creature named K1 that oddly looks a lot like him. The big guy becomes a second playable character that teams up with Klaus for double team moves and helps solve puzzles.
Klaus includes 6 areas and 34 levels. There are secret stages by finding memories in the levels, which uncover just who Klaus is and details about his past. These secret areas also mess with the core gameplay mechanics, where in one area Klaus can only move to the left while trying to reach the exit.
Klaus is filled with different themes on the modern workforce, hating your job and feeling trapped in life. Members of Loca Cosa Entertainment have a film background, which definitely comes through during the game’s presentation. The team brings a unique style being developers from Latin America and specifically Venezuela, a country not known for producing video games.
Klaus has been in development for a few years, with an interesting backstory that almost didn’t happen because of different challenges facing the team. It actually won second place in a 2012 program called the “Square Enix Latin America Game Contest” as a small mobile game. Since then Klaus has evolved into a full-on console release.
Klaus is a game that will probably fly way under the radar. If you’re a fan of platformers it’s worth checking out. Klaus is a well-made, solid platformer with a great presentation, an interesting story and gameplay that can get challenging.
The game costs $19.99 on the PlayStation Store.
Watch Tim play the first section of Klaus, showing some of the game’s mechanics, early puzzles, secret stages and a boss fight: