What’s It About? Kya, a spunky, energetic girl, finds herself transported to a magical world where her brother Frank is being held captive by a wicked ruler. How wicked? Well, he’s sinister enough to have mutated some of the inhabitants of the land into vicious wolflike creatures. In order to save her brother, Kya must help the peaceful creatures fight against their oppressors and defeat the dark ruler.

Why’s It Cool? The first thing you’ll notice about Kya is how beautiful it is. The environments are lush and bright, and the character models are extremely detailed and fit well within the game. But there’s much more than just good looks here. Kya offers a multitude of exciting gameplay options. You’ll find yourself running, jumping, sliding, fighting, and even free-falling (when the ground gives out below you). And that’s all in the first level!

The combat system also involves much more than just punching and kicking. You can ride enemies into walls and even kick them into other enemies. Kya is also quite an acrobat and frequently shows off her moves during battles, such as when she leaps off the shoulders of one enemy and does a back flip into another.

Should We Worry? The build we got our hands on was pretty smooth and clean, but it lacked polish. Most of the story text hadn’t been implemented yet, and that will be key to developing Kya’s personality and turning her into a memorable character. She needs to be unique if the game hopes to compete with all the other action-adventure games out there.

Bottom Line Kya looks very promising. The gameplay should be a lot of fun, but we’ve yet to see if the leading lady’s personality will make it great.

Publisher: Atari

Developer: Eden Studios

Number 4

October Hot 10

Big Bang!

Kya can use a variety of attacks in battle. For little enemies, the best thing to use is her boomerang hair clip, which takes them out before you even get to them.

Copyright © 2003 Ziff Davis Media Inc. All Rights Reserved. Originally appearing in Game Now.