Posted: 2 years ago, last updated a year ago.
Like Knack it combines fast-paced action with Pixar animated storytelling. You use your staff to melee attack and as a bow, as you fight nightmarish enemies. As well as developing your skills you also collect an army of small companions. The Rot are timid and elusive spirits scattered throughout the forest. They maintain balance by decomposing dead and rotting elements. Like Pikmin these small characters offer a puzzle aspect to the game as they unlock doors and move blockages.
"Driven by the belief that you can help these troubled spirits," says the narrator, "but you have no power here." What results is a story about restoration and resilience in the face of elders telling the young girl she can’t do it. Older players may find the linear exploration and hand-holding too much, but for new or younger players helping Kena find both the courage and ability to survive is an endearing experience with little friction. It's an adventure that wants you to progress and makes it clear that to do that will take considerable help from the characters you meet along the way.
11+ year-olds usually have the required skill to enjoy this game. Still, it's important for parents and guardians to consider the maturity required to process the game content. You need navigation and puzzle solving skills to progress in general, but the bosses also require a lot of perseverance, strategic planning and quick reactions not dissimilar to Dark Souls games.
Our Game Pathways reveal how 47-year-olds play this game:
- 47-year-old: Creating A Calming Play Context
On PlayStation 5 this offers nuanced vibration assistance that indicates the location of the collectable Rot. You also get to access the instructional videos and walk-through advice via the Activity Cards that can then be pinned next to the game while playing.
There is some auto aim, although this only works when you first aim near your target (rather than applying as you move your target towards the target). You are also provided with a preview video of abilities before you choose them as an upgrade.
Within the first hour of the game there is a scene with lots of bright full screen strobe-like lightening flashes. You can scan an area to get interactive elements to light up. When there are interactive elements your creatures fly to them leaving a (brief) guiding trail.
Buttons you need to press are displayed on the screen. Elements in the environment light up to direct you where to go, although there is still a lot of free-exploring (going in circles sometimes) required between these directions. There is a map and the ability to fast travel once you have explored the area.
When you are collecting the Rot character a HUD pops up to tell you how many items are left to collect.
Diversity and Inclusion
Our experts have hand-picked the following similar games. These are similar to Kena: Bridge of Spirits in how they play or their theme. These are good alternative games to Kena: Bridge of Spirits, or are a younger rated alternative for players not ready for PEGI 12 or ESRB TEEN games.