The first thing that caught my attention when I saw screenshots of KrimsonĀ was just how absolutely stunning it looks. Anyone familiar with the site will know that a unique aesthetic is enough to grab my attention, and this seemed like it was going to be a visual rollercoaster. After looking into the game further and finding out that it’s basically a rhythmic platformer for metalheads, the game suddenly made perfect sense.

As someone who dabbles in a wide variety of musical genres, including metal, I instantly knew that this game was going to be fucking awesome. And it absolutely is.

Many thanks to the publisher for the review code.

Krimson has a straightforward concept at its blood-drenched demonic heart: it’s a platformer where the hellish landscape arounds you moves to the beat. Whether it be expanding platforms or obstacles changing their form, everything shifts in a predictable rhythmic way that allows you to pull off some rather tricky platforming by timing your actions to the beat. Imagine Carlson Games’ 140 if it was some type of drug-induced fever dream, and you have the general idea.


The first level starts you off with something easy; there’s no music, no worries, just you and your blob-like spawn rolling around until you reach the exit. It’s an underwhelming start, but it’s also an important one for a number of reasons: most importantly, it allows you to get used to your slimy meatball and its rather slippery movement. The momentum and its awkward jumping is hard to get used to at first, so this is the perfect environment to leap around and cling to walls without any external pressure. The jump button is also unintuitively mapped to the A button, which is annoying but as its the only button you really need to worry about, it’s also tolerable. The other reason is that this stage shows you how you need to finish a stage. Rather than simply hitting the pentagram at the end, you need to light it on fire by grabbing onto a flame beforehand. It’s a cool, and appropriately metal, way to end each stage which I rather enjoyed.

After that, the game starts kicking into full gear and never lets up. The fantastic electronic metal music pumps out a very clear and distinct beat, that helps you keep in rhythm with all the various moving parts. Spikes expand, platforms move, and you need to try and avoid it. It feels completely fair whilst also being challenging too. The game is every bit as sadistic as all the best splatformers, and the beat-based elements makes up for the slippery controls – which is something that can ruin this type of game. The punishing nature of the gameplay is also alleviated by some rather generous checkpoints in the form of skulls, and they ensure that you never have to repeat lengthy sections upon failure. There may be some that are further away than you may like, but they’re never really all that far either. Considering how stressful things become as the difficulty begins to soar, this is very much appreciated.

Part of this stress though is also down to the game’s visual style, which also shifts and moves with the beat too. It can be a bit headache inducing at times, and will no doubt be problematic for anyone sensitive to flashing images; however, the rhythmic pulsing also added to the vibe, and reminded me a little bit of the excellent Thumper, which did something very similar. Perhaps the game could have had an option to remove the effect to help make it more accessible, but I’d say that it’s pretty good if you can endure it.


Even though the entire game is an intense thrill ride, the main stages are next to nothing when compared with the fantastic boss stages. These levels don’t have you attacking, as your little meatball doesn’t have that capability, but rather has you facing off against a foe under the pressure of tricky platforming and frantic music. As the beat starts pounding, your only hope is to react fast and be at one with the music. It’s very sweat-inducing as you attempt to stay alive, and are some of the most memorable moments in the game. One earlier boss revolving around spiked balls was a particularly memorable moment, but they’re all a blast – even if they’re also incredibly tough at times.

KrimsonĀ is a game that fans of splatformers like Super Meat Boy and the like should really enjoy – particularly if you are a metalhead, since the game perfectly captures the essence of the music and transforms it into a rhythmic platformer. The visuals may make things tough for some people to play for extended sessions, and the movement is nowhere near as tight as it should be, but these still don’t stop the game from being a phenomenal experience.