Physics Games and Physics-Based Game Downloads

Fowl Play: Kumoon

Sunday, March 12th, 2006 by Matthew in Physics Games
1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (Rate this game! 167 votes, average: 3.89 out of 5)

Kumoon by Mikko “Mayoneez” Oksalahti is a bizarre little game. It plays a bit like a physics demo with some rough goals slapped on top. Despite that, though, it’s actually a lot of fun. The official site describes the game as:

Kumoon is a hybrid of a third person shooter and a puzzle game. Player controls a chick that tries to knock down boxes in various rooms by shooting them with a revolver, shotgun or a bazooka.

Wait, What?

It’s a bizarre combination of play styles. The goal of the game is to turn all of the red boxes to white without incurring too many negative points. You turn the color of a box by jarring it, either with one of your weapons to by pushing something into it. Using your weapon, past the first free shot, will cost you points. Touching a red box will cost you points. You get points back by turning boxes white, which can be multiplied by bouncing a shot off something en route to its target.

Puzzle Elements

Despite its puzzle influences, Kumoon doesn’t resemble a logic game. Most of the stages play in a very free-form fashion. Instead of a single “correct” solution, you can change the blocks’ colors in any order you see fit. There are some rules you should apply, though. It’s best to start with higher blocks and leave low-lying blocks for last. It’s easy to push white blocks against red blocks on the ground.

The later levels introduce platforms, pedestals, and other means of isolating red blocks. Sometimes you really do need to use a weapon, which means you need to save up your points. I played through the game without doing a lot of combos, which made some weapon-heavy levels much harder than they could have been had I learned how to properly combo.

More Puzzle, Please

The last stage of the game is the only one that plays like a puzzle. It actually forces you to pass by scoring combos; you must figure out exactly where to bank your shots. It’s very billiards-esque mechanic. It was fun to figure out exactly where to shoot in order to pass the level (stand next to the pedestal and aim at the 7th line up on the wall). It makes me wish more of the game leaned into this style of play, aided additional features to easily tell where the last shots went: tracers, paint dabs on the wall where they bounced, predictive lines, etc.

Then again, the freedom in the game as it stands has a certain addictive quality to it. You could play through the game as a block-pusher, or figure out how to rack up points with combos, or meticulously set up physics domino sequences to get all of the red blocks. The game definitely supports a number of different play styles.

Physics Engine

Kumoon uses a custom physics engine written by the author, called MOPE. It’s an impressive effort for a one-man job. The physics perform very well, although it does seem like the engine has no concept of mass. The large objects tend to float and feel as if they weigh the same as the smaller objects.

Kumoon Screenshot Screenshot of Physics Games
(Kumoon Game Screenshots)

Not Just for the Birds

Kumoon is totally free. It’s a great example of how physics games can take simple mechanics and turn them into a surprising amount of entertainment. The room setup files are in a documented format, too, so if you burn all 39 levels in one sitting there’s always the option to make some more. If you do, shoot me an email–I need more levels to play!

Download Kumoon game here (6.18 MB) or head over to the official website for more information and a MacOS build.

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19 Responses to 'Fowl Play: Kumoon'

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  1. walaber said,

    on March 13th, 2006 at 3:16 pm

    i believe this game was presented as an entry to a demoscene competition, as I got it off the website a while back… I’m glad you found it too! It’s a really well done game, with much more depth than you might think at first.

    There was another 2D physics based game I got fomr a long time ago where you were swinging from a rope in these cool caves… can’t remember the name though for the life of me.

  2. Thomas said,

    on March 14th, 2006 at 3:14 am

    Is the fantastic µ-Ziq track featured in the game, or did you have the fine taste of adding it to the video, Matthew?
    I’ll be sure to check this out though! Looks like a really sweet game. Another one that might benefit from a level editor perhaps?

  3. Matthew said,

    on March 14th, 2006 at 9:34 am

    I added the music to the video. How’s the Ski Stunt Simulator level editor coming along?

  4. Thomas said,

    on March 14th, 2006 at 1:58 pm

    Great choice!
    Quite good actually! I haven’t had much time to spend on it the last few days, just been implementing some GUI stuff here and there, but it’s nearing completion. Course data export is working perfectly, and will finish the code for the “special goals” stuff later this week during the breathing holes of my other work. Here’s an in-editor screenshot of the interface at the moment:
    Note that some of the stuff, like menus etc. will look far from this when it’s finished. The drag&drop stuff feels very smooth and intuitive though. Every separate spline can have different parameters for resolution, splash and friction.
    I’m also looking into adding more entities to the levels, like pickups (coins for example). I like how the whole of the game is more or less available through clear text script files.

  5. walaber said,

    on March 14th, 2006 at 4:46 pm

    whoa, that is looking really cool. every time a have a bit of free time, I find myself booting up ski stunt extreme, and playing the levels!

  6. Syler said,

    on March 15th, 2006 at 2:44 pm

    Interesting game!

  7. Steve Swink said,

    on March 16th, 2006 at 6:06 pm

    A working Ski Stunt editor would cause my penis to explode in a mist of gore and semen!

    Would you mind if I used it for my Level Design classes at the Art Institute of Phoenix? I could get you some rigorous feedback and testing – my students have to do what I tell them ;).


    sswink (at) yahoo (dot) com

  8. Thomas said,

    on March 17th, 2006 at 4:21 am

    Hah, ok a bit more graphic than my current breakfast-consuming state usually can endure, but I see your point ;)

    Of course you’re free to use it for your class later when it’s finished! Feedback and testing is always welcome.
    Hopefully I have the time this weekend to finish a first version for you to try.

  9. Steve Swink said,

    on March 18th, 2006 at 12:17 am

    Fantastic! I await it with bated breath!

  10. Sporbie said,

    on March 28th, 2006 at 1:16 am

    hey walaber could you be the same 1 that is developing that great trampoline game and has made stunt playground?

  11. Verners said,

    on April 3rd, 2006 at 1:43 am

    That ski Stunt editor is looking absolutly georgeos!!!!!

    Will it be possible to make realy long levels? I mean atleast 2x as long as the skill course 1….

  12. Thomas said,

    on April 3rd, 2006 at 6:26 am

    Yeah sure, I haven’t run into any level size restrictions yet. So I guess you could make a marathon level ;) I’m working on the win conditions part at the moment (where you define certain goals that need to be completed, like spins etc), and as soon as that is finished, i’ll put out a test version.

  13. Verners said,

    on April 3rd, 2006 at 8:10 am

    Well, i could live with 1 win condition – getting to the end, as i just love the skill course #1 level. Cant wait to be able to make my own skill course super long pack!!!!!!!

  14. walaber said,

    on April 17th, 2006 at 4:11 pm

    @Sporbie- yes that’s me. my name should take you to my website.

    just so stay on topic, really looking forward to the ski editor, and Kumoon is a lot of fun for such a simple premise :)

  15. Blobicus said,

    on May 14th, 2006 at 8:08 pm

    EH MEH GED…AMAFUGINGAD.beytaugh!?!?!? alfaugh!?!?! i don’t care how unfinished it is….I VANT EET!!! Sorry, my English evaporates into mist when I’m excited.

  16. Wrestler#1 said,

    on May 27th, 2006 at 3:04 am

    Kumoon is a great game!
    I made A level just for you. Put the file into the folder “Rooms” and have fun!

    Here is the link (File will be deleted after 30 days if nobody downloads it):

  17. Benjamin Molini said,

    on May 20th, 2007 at 2:54 am

    Isn’t this a finnish game? By what i remember it was on Assembly 2005.

  18. oksalahti said,

    on July 11th, 2008 at 1:35 am

    The game itself is in english but made by finnish guys, yes :-)

    New game is coming out from me at the 2009 Assembly (yes. not 2008). I hope it will be as fun as Kumoon is.


  19. Xeroxax said,

    on August 9th, 2009 at 10:53 am

    …I want…ragdoll

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