Kova is a side-scrolling RPG with Metroidvania elements. The game has been developed by the independent Black Hive studio. Among other platforms, the game is available on PC and XONE.
The action of the game is set in a distant future, in which the titular main protagonist is a space mercenary, who on her journey through an uncharted region of galaxy encounters a trace of a beacon located on an unknown ice planet. Upon entering the orbit, Kova’s ship falls victim to an attack of another vessel, forcing her to crash-land on the unhospitable globe. Protagonist’s main objective is to discover the purpose of the beacon that probably has been designed by an alien civilization. Moreover, Kova might eventually receive the answer as to why people exist in the universe.
In the PC and XONE release of Kova, the action is presented from a side perspective. What makes the exploration more difficult is the necessity to jump between platforms, as well as overcoming numerous obstacles and chasms. During the game, one can visit diverse planets, each with unique atmosphere and ecosystem – apart from the aforementioned ice planet, one also gets to venture to e.g. densely inhabited futuristic worlds thick with metropolises. The latter ones can serve for establishing the base, where a player can acquire necessary pieces of gear and accept new assignments. Moreover, during his adventure, a player can choose to join one of three factions that influence, i.a., the missions one has to carry out and the dialog options available when interacting with neutral NPCs.
Combat is another important aspect of the game – battles take place in real time. Apart from the weapons equipped by the protagonist and her unlocked abilities, a player has to prove his reflexes and agility. The aforementioned weapon arsenal includes both more conventional firearms, as well as laser and plasma rifles. As the story develops, the main protagonist acquires new perks and special abilities that give the player an edge on the battlefield and unlock access to previously unavailable locations. Also important is the crafting system allowing one to create ammunition and equipment upgrades from the resources gathered on his journey.
Kova features high-quality 2D visuals. The environment has been designed with care for the details, while the rich character animations deserve player’s attention. The game features neutral color scheme. One should keep in mind that all this has been achieved by only a two-people development team.