Indie Game Spotlight: Kraken's Curse

Kraken's Curse by Sokpop Collective is a sailing-themed roguelike where you travel from island to island building up resources to take on the beast of the depths.

animation of kraken's curse gameplay

I usually enjoy roguelikes. I grew up watching my dad play Nethack, which has a special place in my heart. Kraken's Curse is a lightweight roguelike with cute graphics that give off a hell of a Wind Waker feeling. In fact, this game made me really want to play Wind Waker.

The gameplay itself is a bit challenging from a control perspective. The controls don't make a ton of sense out of the box to me, but compared to game like Nethack, it was a breeze. The main issue with the controls that I had lived within the sailing. It took me a while to get a handle on the boat itself, as I had expected the up arrow to sail and left/right to turn, but in fact the arrow keys cause you to sail towards the direction of the arrow. This setup combined with the large turn radius of the boat made for some awkward moments, but eventually I got it figured out.

The game lets you pick up most objects, and has some fun interactions because of it. For example, I found myself killing skeletons, picking up the sticks they were using as crude weapons, and beating down their friends with it. Nothing quite like a chain-skeleton-beatdown.

All in all, it is a small, cute game that held my attention for a little while, but probably won't be a go-to in my downtime. Smaller, simple games are what Sokpop seems to be doing with most of their releases. They have a Patreon page where you can get 2 games per month for $3. At that rate and price, I can't expect total polish on every release.

Also, serious visual design points to Sokpop. Their games all follow a unique visual style that really gives them a cohesive identity.