Kinetic Edge is a platformer/racing game that has the player navigating neon dreamscapes. The visuals are bright and the music is electric, coming together to give SCT‘s game a very Tron-like aesthetic. The game itself is broken up into different game modes. Single player modes include Race, Maze, Golf, and The Gauntlet. All these modes are multiplayers as well, letting you compete with friends. Arena is the last mode, and wouldn’t really work single player, being a king of the hill style fight for a point. Because of this, Arena is the only mode I won’t be going over, as there were no available online games at the time I played it.
The player takes control of a shape (be it a sphere, cube, pyramid, icosahedron, hexagonal puck… the list goes on). From here, there are two main movement tools the game gives – a double jump and two dashes. Your jumps recharge whenever you hit the ground, and the double jump has some oomph behind it. This means you can stay airborne for a majority of the time, which is how I like to play. Dashes blink your shape forward a bit, and recharge with time.
Without further ado, let’s break down each of the modes that Kinetic Edge has for us! (And yes, I did title each section after a synth song)
Personally, I found Race to be my favorite mode in Kinetic Edge. The simplicity of “make it to the end” being the goal but still racing against time to beat your own record keeps me coming back. Platforming is all about precision and ease of control. Kinetic Edge definitely has that going for it. The different shapes all handle exactly how you’d expect! The sphere obviously being the most straightforward to control, and something like the cube being a bit erratic. The controls themselves are intuitive as well. I played on a keyboard and felt that gave the the precision I was looking for, but the game also supports controllers.
All modes have built in leaderboards, but I feel Race is the best to make use of them. In the days I was playing, the rankings did shuffle a few times. I got some #1 spots and lost some as well. That’s one of the things I always look forward to in speedrunning and games in general. Some friendly competition always spices things up, which is another reason I’m excited for Kinetic Edge to be officially released and speed through these levels against friends.
The Maze mode is exactly what it sounds like: players have to navigate a maze as quick as possible. Mazes come in 10×10 up to a whopping 50×50. Each time the mazes are loaded up, their layout is randomized, so each run-through of the sizes is different.
I’ll mention the soundtrack here, as each mode has a different bumping electronic beat behind it. All of them are solid and drive home that electronic vibe the game exudes. They also all encapsulate the game modes well, setting the scene for the big race or wandering through a maze.
When playing alone, this mode wasn’t at the top of my list. The maze divvied up into its neon quadrants looked rad, of course. After playing through the races, I felt the solo maze was lacking. I’m sure bumbling through the 50×50 labyrinth with friends is exactly what this mode needs!
Where would a weird shapes physics based game be without a golf mode! As in the other modes, bopping your ball/cube/golf object through certain gates will change its shape and make it easier/harder/impossible to make it in the hole. The main mechanics at play are aiming and gauging power, so pretty standard golf game stuff.
Like Maze, this mode didn’t resonate with me solo. It’s golf, simple as that. It was a solidly implemented version of mini-golf, but as with all golf based games, it needs a group to go to tee with. A lot of the fun/frustration/rage will come when we discover if there’s collision with others players’ balls (I hope there is!).
I’m going to come out and say it: I haven’t finished this one. The Gauntlet is a long, grueling obstacle course that truly tests your Kinetic Edge skill. Also, it doesn’t have any checkpoints. You fall off and you’re back to the very start. You’re given 7 minutes to traverse this behemoth, and it’s a doozy. This is just the kind of test of skill I like in a game, it really feels like the endgame challenge it’s supposed to be. It’s this game’s “Through the Fire and Flames,” and when completed it gets that resounding “Phew, I did it!”
This one only gets harder when you introduce other people to bump into you and blast you off the edges. That being said, that chaos is what I live for in multiplayer games, so bring it on.
SCT specifically notes on the Steam page that they intend to consistently update Kinetic Edge with “requested modes and features.” A developer that communicates with the community and is excited to make new features for their game is the best thing for the game’s growth. I’m excited to see what future updates and modes get added.
Ideally, I would love to see this game get modding support. The crazy levels that the community could create and run together would be amazing. The ease of access for this game could also make it attractive to speedrun. That combined with the integrated leaderboards would make tracking top scores easier than submitting them to a site.
Overall, I would highly suggest Kinetic Edge for anyone who loves platformers, neon, or games with friends!
Summary:Kinetic Edge is a physics platformer based racing game where you have to figure out the best way to overcome obstacle courses with a shape of your choice. Play on your own, with friends or multiplayer!