Krai Mira is a crowdfunded isometric RPG in the style of the old Fallout games. It had an initially rocky launch which saw the game delivered in a barely playable state; riddled with bugs and other technical issues. The developers remained committed though, and sought to relaunch their title all fixed up and dubbed the “Extended Edition”. You don’t get two chances at a first impression though, and despite the work that went into eradicating all the bugs and tech hiccups (which I never encountered, to be fair), Krai Mira may have been pretty much dead on arrival.
It’s first hurdle was narrative. It opens with an ominously badass-sounding guy explaining how the post apocalyptic world is all scary and stuff. You have to be tough to survive and whatnot. Then you assume control of an unnamed dude with his friend out collecting supplies for their settlement. You come across some soldiers who are looking out for some killer cannibals and… yawn. It’s totally stock post apocalypse plot in Krai Mira. In that respect, its much like the old Fallout games that inspired it. In every other regard however, Krai Mira is just a disparate golem of a clone.
The game plays over an isometric field where enemies like bandits, cannibals and stray mutts are all out to steal your lunch money and kill your face. You can see enemies on the map and can sometimes manoeuvre around them unperturbed with your party. Alert them, and you’ll find yourself embroiled in an awkwardly slow and painfully boring turn based battle dictated by a stingy allocation of action points. It’s hilarious to watch; you and your pals are running around the map like gazelles, then BANG, a scary bandit stops you and now you can only move a few inches at a time. It’s incredibly frustrating to get within a centimetre of a bandits smelly unwashed face only to find you’ve run out of action points, allowing your foe the first strike with a splintery bat upside your generic, unnamed face.
Literally everything is dictated by your action points; attacking, moving, using items, changing items, reloading items – just everything. I know that’s how a lot of turn-based games work and some people may actually like it but I just felt strangled by them and how they never allowed any wiggle room for a battle to go in a different direction. If you’re mercilessly slaughtering a bunch of enemies for example, you have to ride out the boring regulations that only allow you to kill one at a time because you have to spend tonnes of points reloading your firearms and moving from one to another. Wait a minute? Can’t I just sit in one area and shoot all the baddies from miles away? Nope. Don’t be stupid, this is the apocalypse, and your cable-tied guns aren’t worth jack. You’d be better off throwing dog shit at your targets as it would probably go farther and possibly do more damage if you got them in the eye.
Luckily, Krai Mira isn’t exactly a visual car crash, and effectively conveys an adequate, albeit unexceptional, atmosphere of post civilisation. It kind of reminds me of one time I got my eyes tested and had to endure a drop of dye that made everything look as if it were steeped in cold tea. That’s it, Krai Mira has been liberally swabbed with an old soggy teabag to give it that exquisitely browny brownness. Do not adjust your colour calibration folks, you’ve just been teabagged.
Kudos to the developers for staying aboard their sinking ship and making Krai Mira at least playable enough for the 12 people that loved it beforehand. Honestly it does warm my heart in all seriousness to see developers sticking to their guns especially after a crowdfunded project. Regardless, no amount of technical improvements or bug testing could ever save a soulless and chronically unfun game from the depths of its, now well-earned, obscurity.