Kometen Review: Languid Pools of Gravity

A comet has been born, please take good care of it.

That's the premise for this interesting, artistic iTunes game. You explore a universe of watercolor planets with a space-debris eating comet by swiping and dancing between pools of gravity. There's no story, no levels. It's pretty straightforward. It's hardly a game. Is it worth the $3 price?

Loved
Art: More than anything else, Kometen is a beautiful game. When you drop into the game for the first time it feels like you've entered a watercolor painting. The approach to the game's graphics is augmented with a surreal aesthetic that gives life to comets and turns space debris into colorful 3D mathematical symbols and geometric shapes.

Music: While the music is pretty singular in nature, the repetition of the song actually makes the game more relaxing. The music is a perfect match with the game's aesthetic, soothing, but upbeat enough to be memorable.

Hated
Unrewarding Exploration: As much as I love the look and sound of the game, the overall experience is slightly lacking. The gameplay, the idea of powering up a living comet by eating the space debris floating around planets and stars, is neat. You maneuver through space with swipes of your fingers and by hopping between the gravitational pull of planets and stars. There are even places to discover, but once you get there your only reward is the planet itself, which is essentially a ball of neat art. Why not change up the music with each new discovery? That would be enough to make the trip worthwhile.

Game? Not a game? Who cares! It's fun, it's relaxing and it's a great way to pass the time. Pick this up, drop into watercolor space and drop out.

Kometen was developed and published by Erik Svedang and Niklas Akerblad for the iPhone and iPod Touch on May 12. Retails for $2.99 USD. A copy of the game was purchased for reviewing purposes. Played with the game over the course of a month or so, discovered several planets. Chilled.

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