Kloa: Child of the Forest is a gorgeous-looking pixel art action adventure game from developer Wildpad Games. Inspired by the films of Studio Ghibli and The Legend of Zelda series, the game launched a Kickstarter campaign last year — and we're not sure how we missed it despite it smashing its console port stretch goal. That means that yep, this one's coming to Switch. (Thanks, Nintendo Everything!)
Blending the puzzle solving and combat of Zelda with the fast-paced dash movement of more modern pixel art adventures, Kloa: Child of the Forest follows a young girl who must save the world from the Ikari Curse, which has tainted nature and filled the land with mysterious, twisted creatures. You have your trusty sword to hand, while also wielding a powerful magic bow to solve puzzles and shoot enemies from afar. Plus you can pick up items which will aid you in combat, such as a giant leaf, a water bomb, and more
In the most recent update on Kickstarter, Wildpad Games has confirmed that it's currently putting the finishing touches ona demo. Whether that demo will come to Switch or not remains to be seen, but we'll be checking this one out on whatever platform it drops on.
You can wishlist the game on Steam right now, but while we wait for more info, here's what to expect from the game:
- Discover a world filled with beauty, animal friends, and different biomes to explore. Unravel the secrets of the forest and solve puzzles! Hand-drawn pixel art inspired by natural environments and classic top-down games.
- Action combat based on the katana and bow: melee combat combo and attacks, guard and deflect projectiles, dash to avoid enemy hits and pierce your foes with Kloa's "soul bow."
- Buy items and skills using Tanuki Leaves and increase your abilities. Acquire new attacks and equipment to fight your enemies!
- A compelling and emotional story, enriched with an orchestral soundtrack inspired by traditional Japanese music.
Kloa: Child of the Forest is aiming for a Q4 2023 release date. What do you think of the game so far? Let us know in the comments.
[source kickstarter.com, via nintendoeverything.com]
The graphics, the music and the vibe of this game tell me promising tales about the future of gaming. This is necessary.
the ghibli art is just present in the promotional art tbh
I can't put the finger on it but somehow even though single graphics and effects look good, it just doesn't look very juicy... not sure why. It's also very empty
I'm digging the obvious nods to Hyper Light Drifter with this one. I'll keep an eye on it.
The top comment from the developer team on the IGN video is very wholesome.
I'll keep my eye on the game. There's a lot of empty space in this early build. The gameplay sort of reminds me of Hyper Light Drifter, but that game benefited from having relatively tight arenas that made battles quite tense.
Lovely sprites. Almost Minish Cap like.
The art style reminds me of the Minish Cap. I'm intrigued!
So it's a Zelda clone with pixel art and an animated trailer.
Yeah, this is really nothing unique or special. Just more of the random indie garbage.
Also the graphics don't really look high end, with sharp edges on the sprites.
@Olliemar28 I had the same feeling. Looks like a more cheerful and upbeat version of HLD.
I'm intrigued. Thanks for the heads up.
@sanderev Side stepping your comical take that, based on one trailer, it's "garbage," what exactly makes it "random?" You frequent a site focused on Nintendo, wherein its writers regularly highlight games in development for Nintendo systems, particularly those inspired by Nintendo IPs. And this one is clearly inspired by one of Nintendo's most popular and influential IPs.
I do not think you know what that word means.
@sanderev @MikeJones I’m not saying he is wrong, but I think there are nicer ways to state it. I had to double check to see if it was developed but whoever did sparklite, or jotun, because it reminded me of those games immediately. But any game is more of the same nowadays, just enjoy what’s there and don’t trash on people who make this stuff or enjoy playing it.
I probably won’t be getting it either way. Because it is more of the same and I’m fine replaying one of the many Zelda’s I haven’t played to death.
Here we go, another 2D Zelda clone. Yay!
@Donutman It does have a lot of competition in the action-adventure space but I agree. People should make what they want. Better to have someone make a Zelda-like game in earnest because they want to instead of making something they don't want to make.
Really like the visuals and the gameplay could be good if executed well, I'm also intrigued and so will keep an eye on it!
Nothing ghibli inspired in this except 'nature' and a rounded anime face on it's cover.
Easy a top three over-used term in gaming journalism and new studios begging for consumer funding is "ghibli inspired". Everything past 1985 is ghibli inspired.
Hoping for a physical for this one. But knowing Kickstarter projects I will cave and then a month later a physical will appear
@Cashews People these days use alot of buzzwords that don't apply to the subject matter. It's strange.
This reminds me of hyper light drifter more than 2D zelda actually, this looks good so I'll play it when it come out
well obviously I need to buy this (if it ever gets released physically)
@RainbowStarFlower and we can play it or not whether we want to because it’s our choice. I can’t play every game that comes out, but have enjoyed plenty of these style over the years. I’ve been on a 6 month switch break and pucked up deaths door on my steamdeck and really enjoyed that. But now I’m playing days gone and eldin ring just waiting for botw2 and I’ll be back to switch for a couple hundred hours.
@Donutman That's it. I'm sure there are always folks out there looking for games like this. Been a while since Hyper Light Drifter came out, and Hyper Light Breaker is in a different perspective.
The first few seconds of this trailer is just the character walking around empty fields. Hopefully the final game doesn't had that many empty fields, it just doesn't felt hype or fun. Art designs is definitely there though, will keep an eye on this.
Yeah, I think a lot of us may have missed this one. It's on my radar for sure now. Hope it lives up to the comparisons.
Kloa is no Klonoa.
I'm interested. Looks gorgeous.
@jojobar Even though I can't describe it myself, I get what you are trying to say. Some parts do look good (like with the sort of genie/wisps fountain), but especially the Lava-segment seems a bit off...ish? Really love the music though, simple piano-tones always work with me, haha:).
@Cashews Yay, does that mean I am also (be it from one of the first six movies) Ghibli-inspired...haha . On topic, art-wise there is not much Ghibli going on here, but maybe they are only refering to the Shinto-like spirits (and with that of course everything nature)?
@wiiware Yupyup, definitely mainly Hyper Light Drifter, but if you look at smaller elements (such as the music notes in the opening, the falling rocks that probably refer to Death Mountain, the clearly Zelda-inspired bomb and bow and the enemies and their attack patterns) then there is also a lot Zelda-ish stuff going on here and there).
I think you guys are overselling it, doesn't look like anything special to me
@RainbowStarFlower I never played drifter, but am getting breaker day 1. I couldn’t ever just pull trigger with 1st one, but the sequel looks amazing and I can’t wait.
Wait. That tanuki’s name is THIEF. Uh don’t buy from him?
Holy crap give those artists raises.
@Bratwurst35 Well no offense, but on that topic "alot" isn't a word.
@Ryu_Niiyama I wonder if the tanuki got that name for stealing from a shop if you know what I mean!
@JohnnyMind well as long as he doesn’t go back. I hear that shopkeeper is a high level mage and punishes shoplifting personally.
Looks nice. I’m pleased to see an indie game like this that isn’t built on procedurally generated worlds.
Definitely a Hyperlight Drifter vibe for sure. Oddly I'm not too big a fan of this kind of sprite work, and I'm not sure why...
Funny to hear people saying there's nothing Ghibli-inspired here. I hit play on the trailer and I was seeing the Ghibli inspiration everywhere, from the premise and setting, to some of the enemy designs. Based on that setting, I'd say a lot of inspiration came from Mononoke Hime. Regardless, I think it's looking very nice so far and I would like to see or hear more.
@jojobar You're right. Feels like it lacks weight or polish or.... something. I cant be sure, I'm no expert but it needs like, cloud shadows? Grass swaying? More animations in general?
@jojobar I'd argue that feeling comes from a lack of good texturing on the environment that makes everything come off as very flat. Terrains are big blocks of colour with a single degree of shading with cloud-like blobs representing the leaves of the trees and that weird copy-paste cobblestone appearance in the walls. It just lacks character and a few too many assets are copy pasted in a game this zoomed-out, which gives a very spacious and artificial appearance.
It sucks that I feel this way because I can tell a lot of hard work and effort went into this game. The animation on the tentacles and whatnot is lovingly hand-crafted with the principles of animation. And that one scene in the trailer with the moss-covered statue is actually great. Shadows dance across the ground, and the trees provide a natural coverage of the foreground that prevents it from feeling spacious as light streams down from above and the rippling water of the waterfalls gives the background life. It needed more scenes like that, in other areas, it's very simplistic without the bold style of games like Hyperlight Drifter or Eastward.
It could have done with more of the soft lighting seen in those games as well as others of this ilk like Blossom Tales in terms of light sources like fire or glow or reflected light. May have given the game more depth and drama in its visuals. Or maybe shadows need to be more prominent.
I don't know what it is but something about this game just seems whimsically derivative and I can't for the life of me pin down exactly why and it bothers me.
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