Kogama Battle - a flawed, but surprisingly fun game
BTW, if you are a player of the game, leave a comment. I would like to meet the people I play with.
For me it is strange that Kogama Battle isn't a more famous game. I am searching for it on the Internet and no one talks about it. And it's too bad, because it has all the hallmarks of a great game: flexibility, action, strategy, team play, accessibility.
KB is a browser 3D shooter game. The 3D models are very simple and require little resources, but the network code is pretty good. There are two teams, Red and Blue, each starting from their own "castle". The two castles are three floors high and separated from each other by a water moat in which there are some islands to hop on. The purpose of the game is to reach the flag that is found in the other basecamp. Sounds easy, and it is. But there are so many different ways to win the game, that it becomes extremely amusing to play, if you have people who know how to play it on both sides.
In this post I will:
- enumerate the different strategies for winning
- talk about what is good about the game
- talk about what is bad about the game
- list the items one can use in the game
How to win
1. Open the gate
The obvious way to finish the game seems to be getting the key to the enemy castle (which lies on your side of the water) and carry it to the gate. You have to do this 10 times, then the door opens, allowing access to the enemy flag.
- shoot the enemy as they get the key (either directly or shooting at the target stuck on the platform where the key is, which makes the entire platform explode and kill anyone there)
- you can use the firewall, too, but it's pretty useless
- after they open the gate, go to the enemy side, get the key and take it to your gate (applying the key to an open gate closes it and sets the counter back to 10)
- this of course means your team must defend the flag from the people who entered the base
- use the builder gun to cover the inside of the gate so that the enemy cannot immediately enter the base
- the enemy might counter this by shooting a bazooka at the gate before they open it
The greatest fun here is to get to the enemy side and steal a key when your gate counter is very low, then enter the castle and wait on the top floor. When the enemy has succeeded to open the gate you jump from above and immediately close it. Combined with the builder gun barricade, it makes for great satisfaction to foil your enemy.
2. Use the back door
On the left side of the stairs to the gate there is a block out of place. It is a hint that you can do something with it. Shoot at it (and the next four blocks) and you open a tunnel to the enemy base. You can only go through it by using the shrinking pill, which means you can penetrate the enemy base, but unarmed and having to wait until you grow back again.
- use the block gun to ... err ... block the tunnel from the inside of the base. Since the enemy is shrunken, they cannot shoot through it
- there is a way for the enemy to destroy the blocks inside, as well as any defenses, and that is to temporarily switch team. Obviously, this is a form of cheating and only assholes use it, but it adds an element of "sabotage" to the game.
- kill the tiny enemies, preferably with the flamethrower, when they emerge helpless from the tunnel :)
- this wastes the resource of a person, but it is fun
3. Come through the window
One can use the block gun in a variety of ways to gain access, but this is almost like it was designed like that. You need to make a stair like structure with the block gun that leads from the shrinking pill outside to the defense window above. Then, shrink yourself and enter the enemy base through the window, just like with the tunnel.
- use the block gun to block the defense window on the pill side
- the enemy can destroy that block easily, though, so it must be periodically checked, from outside and inside
- kill the tiny enemies when they enter the window
- destroy the blocks as they build the stair
4. Any other way of using the block gun to get to the enemy side:
- jump and shoot a block under you, creating a column that pushes you up and allows you to get in the enemy base from the top floor
- attach blocks on the walls of the map and create a bridge to get from one side to another
- warning, when you create a bridge, the enemy can use it as well
- shoot from your base to the other base so that there is a bridge created from the enemy base to the central suspended platform, then use the underwater teleporter to get onto the bridge
- any type of ladder on the enemy base that allows you to get to the top floor
- be vigilant and destroy the block structures constructed by the enemy (a bazooka is most effective)
- kill enemies that manage to get in the base
5. Ugh! Rocket jumps
Someone played Quake when they were young and they implemented the same thing here. In my opinion the bazooka is the worst item in the game, killing people after three shots, but destroying a lot of blocks and allowing rocket jumps. It holds 12 shots! I personally believe that people should be ashamed of themselves for using rocket jumps in Kogama Battle, because they are completely screwing the flow of the game.
That being said, using a bazooka one can reach the other side's flag in less than 30 seconds.
Another type of jump is pistol jump. I only saw it done once and it looks like a rocket jump, but without getting damaged, which is really dumb to have been allowed. I think you might need to have a jump bonus for this to work. Ugh, bonuses!
- the only real solution is basing someone inside the flag room, armed with a flamethrower or a machine gun, ready to kill the attacker, who should be wounded from the rocket jumps
- having health around in the base doesn't really help, though
- some block structures can be erected to deter some sorts of rocket jumps, but it is a trivial matter to destroy them with the same weapon used for the jumps
- use a sniper to hit them before they rocket jump to your base, which is pretty enjoyable, especially if they have a health bonus and thus die not from your sniper, but from their own jump
6. Team work
Playing within a common strategy with other people is the fastest way to win in a satisfying manner. Even unlocking a gate takes just a few minutes with people defending the key bearers and having at least two of those. Once a gate is open, there is almost no way to defend the flag from incoming enemies and a strong team can stop anyone from grabbing the 11th key to close the door.
7. Use blocks to guard your flag
This is more a way to prevent loss, rather than promote a win, but it's necessary. The strategy here involves blocking the way to the flag with blocks. If placed well, they will stop the enemy while the lava wall burns them or force them to fall into a lava pit. Just blocking the entry to the flag room is not enough, usually it takes at least 5 levels of walls. The walls don't need to cover everything from top to bottom, just to stop the movement of the enemy. Sometimes leaving holes in the walls lures enemies thinking there is a way through without having to shoot the blocks out.
Usually this strategy is essential to delay enemies that opened the gate while you run to close it. Then, press K, which commits suicide, and chances are you will be respawned in the base on the top floor, ready to kill whoever is there.
I already said that rocket jumps are shameful, but even worse is switching teams to sabotage because you can't play the game properly. One can do that, and forever lose any self esteem, to use it to destroy block defenses or gain information
As you can see from above, there are multiple ways to play this. If you play beginners you can even harass them in their own base or write insults with the block gun in their own base, rather than end the round by reaching the flag. There are strategies, counters and counter counters, and they all change based on the composition of the teams. It is the thing that makes it so fun for me. Even for people who only care about shooting, one can be a sniper, a machine gunner, an akimbo shooter, using a flamethrower or a bazooka or a shotgun. People can play offense, defense, or both. There are a myriad ways to use the block gun to do all kinds of things.
It's a browser game! Just open the page and play! The game moves smoothly, even if sometimes you see people skipping if they have a network issue. It is a shooter, but you don't need special skills to play it. I personally play it with the little laptop dongle on the keyboard (which also makes me unable to shoot while moving, a strange side effect of using the dongle in web games that I can't explain)
The game is also as short as you want it. I have played 30 minutes rounds protecting the base alone against ten enemies and finished some in 2 minutes.
There is no chat! Actually there is, but no one uses it because it is an option you have to sign in for. You can do this only on the Kogama web site, but most people play Kogama Battle on other servers. This means no one can shout abuse at you or explain to everybody how things are done or collaborate with the team (unless they use some other channel like a Discord chat) and log in together.
The rocket gun! It is so unlike any other item in the game. It destroys everything in its path, except actual players. Carefully crafted block structures are blown away in a second. It holds 12 rounds of ammo! And it allows for rocket jumps. People who rocket jump should be dead when they land!
The flamethrower. It is a very nice weapon, but has low damage and no lasting flame damage. When you stop shooting it, the damage stops. That's not how flamethrowers work.
There is no chat! I know this is a good thing, but it is also a bad one. Many a times people who have no idea how to play the game (or trolls) grab a bazooka and start to destroy the defenses trying to get to their own flag! A special kind of person (that is amazingly common) comes and uses the block gun to cover the lava pits so that the enemy can get to the flag better. And they don't even intend harm, they just want to reach the flag and are scared of jumping, I suppose?
Bonuses. There is a way to get some small perks for the game, like extra life, extra jump, extra speed. I don't know, I never used them. It spices things up, but it also breaks the rhythm of the game. With an extra hit points bonus you don't get instakilled by snipers and you can rocket jump with impunity. I think they are shameful.
The firewall. Each base has a platform that triggers a wall of fire in front of the gate when a person sits on it. The fire doesn't stick, the damage is low and one needs just the smallest amount of time to use the key to unlock the gate. The firewall, as it stands, is useless.
The two sides are not created equal. Differences in how blocks stick to the gate, the size of the lava wall and some random blocks on the lower level makes the red side better than the blue one.
Team inequality is also a problem. One can switch team at any time, join the bigger team, switch again.
Items in the game
- fires slowly and in a limited range, but is very powerful.
- kills someone in two or three shots, depending on distance
- continuous fire and limited range, medium damage, fires through walls
- as discussed above, it looks cool and it can be found in a more accessible area of the base, but it's usually less effective than a shotgun
- akimbo revolvers
- strange weapons that push you back (no other weapon does that) making aiming difficult, medium damage
- they are placed outside, good for quickly picking up and destroying blocks or shooting at platform triggers
- machine gun
- fires fast, low damage bullets, lots of ammo, pushes people back
- perfect for pushing someone of a ledge or for defending the base, as it disrupts enemy movement a little
- good for destroying blocks
- very high damage, usually kills in one shot (see bonuses)
- only 5 shots and it needs a long charging time before shooting
- doesn't affect blocks
- destroys blocks easily on a large area, the explosion pushes the shooter (but not the target), needs three shots to kill a player
- blast also hurts user, but not your own team
- explosion has area damage that goes through walls as well
- nasty and stupid weapon :D
- life gun
- a weird and kind of useless contraption
- when fired at an enemy, it sucks away their life, but once stopped, life jumps back to the initial level
- when used at an ally, it gives life to them, maybe also temporarily. I've never used it.
- maybe it has a different hidden use as well?
- block gun
- fires blocks of destructible stone that can attach themselves to walls or other blocks
- can be used to defend against bazookas, as placing a block in front of the shooter will make them hurt themselves (even if they are your own team, like for trolls)
- pressing long will destroy blocks and return them to you
- there is one in each base lower level that leads in and out and can only be used by the base team
- there is a neutral one under water which leads to a suspended ledge above it
- it is a platform that triggers something when someone stands on it
- there is one in each base to trigger the firewall
- there is one outside each base, invisible, left of the staircase, sounding an alarm every time someone steps there (announcing a possible tunnel breach)
- there are triggers on the key platforms, ringing when someone is on them
- on each side of the water there is a key that opens the gate on the other side
- the key is located upon a platform that has a target trigger attached to it
- takes some time to respawn
- if you are killed when carrying one, the key is dropped for a few seconds, permitting a team mate to continue carrying it
- target trigger
- attached to the platforms on which keys are located
- if shot, they make the platform explode, killing everything on it
- takes some time to recharge
- destroyable blocks
- not only you can place blocks, there are some placed for you
- they can be destroyed to gain faster exit access or to get to the flag or secret tunnel
- lava pits
- found only in the flag room, they can be jumped over easily
- if touched by lava you burn fast until you die, even if you get out of it
- lava wall
- also in the flag room, it moves from one side of the room to the other and back
- touching it makes you burn until death
- lava edges
- there is one on the top edge of a wall of the top floor as well as around the walls of the map itself
- pretty useless and only accidentally can someone get burnt by them
- one for each base, they start locked 10 times
- you need a key with the same color for each of the times to open it
- a key will reset a gate to closed if used on an open gate
- middle platform
- only accessible by using the underwater teleporter (or lucky rocket jumps)
- it allows for some ways to get to the enemy base as well as an overview of the entire map
- people sitting on the platform are easily killed from the top of the base
- shrink pill
- found outside the base as well as inside the tunnel and inside the base
- they shrink you to a size that allows for going through small holes or windows
- you lose any weapon you have when you shrink
- defense ports
- each base has two small ones on the lower level, where one can use snipers and bazookas against enemies going for the key
- each base has two medium ones on the middle level, large enough for a shrunken person to go through
- each base has large holes in the thin wall on the top floor through which one can look and shoot at the enemies
- water makes it almost impossible to see outside it, but you are visible to anyone looking in the water
- stay long enough under water and you will take very little damage
- the long jump
- jumps depend on how long one presses space
- you need to master the long jump before you can play this game well
- access from the base
- you can exit the base by using the teleporter or jumping from the top floor
- in order to exit faster (and safer) use the machine gun to cut through the destructible blocks next to them (or a bazooka, or a block gun)
- the machine gun push
- machine gun bullets push the target a bit, which means you can disrupt their movement, push them into lava or into shrink pills (always fun, that)
- flame through wall
- much stronger than the firewall is using the flamethrower to shoot through the gate or through walls
- warning! Do this in front of the gate and you might promote someone shooting a bazooka at you and destroying any block defense there
- one can sit around a corner or even shoot through floors and give damage while protected from most guns
- initial block setup
- it is important when the round starts to cover these bases:
- block tunnel under the Warning! sign
- block defense window on the right on the middle floor (where the teleporter and small pill lie outside)
- block flag by starting from the flag out: block access to the flag, block access out of the lava pit, block escape from lava wall, only then block the entry to the room. Here you need to not block the lava pits or give your enemy footholds above them, instead you block after the pits so that the enemy falls into them if they jump.
- it is important when the round starts to cover these bases:
This game is a lot of fun with the right people. If someone would make some small fixes, it could be the seed to a wonderful little game.
- nerf the bazooka
- less area damage against blocks, two at most and preferable dealing a lot less damage to a block behind a block
- more damage against people
- less blast pushback (no rocket jumps)
- less ammo
- upgrade fire damage
- increase fire damage from fire wall and flamethrower
- and/or make fire stick to the target for a while
- nerf block gun
- the block gun needs to be fast, so you can't nerf the speed of fire
- so make it so you can't fire it while moving
- this will allow for strategic long range structures, but disallow columns and jump-and-fire escapades from one side to the other
- force teams equal
- make it so you can only join the smaller team
- make the team switch (and initial game join) take a lot longer
- no bonuses
- remove bonuses, all players should be equal
- make it a real capture the flag game. The flag should be captured and taken to your own base before winning
- this promotes teamwork, as the guy with the flag would not carry any weapons
That's it. In my mind, this game would be perfect with just a few adjustments.
You can play this game by googling for it and finding the biggest server at that time. Now, the servers I use are:
- Crazy Games
- any other server where Kogama Battle can be found via Google
Playing the game I've noticed some weird behaviors. They are strange for me, mind you. So people join the game and see 2 people in the Red team and 7 in the Blue team. And they join Blue! Others find a strategy that works, let's say block columns. They try it once, die in the flag room. They try again and are shot because now I know where they are coming from. They try it one more time, with no variations at all, die, then leave the game. Or I switch from a team that has 7 people to the one that has 1. Soon, without the round ending mind you, there are 4 people in my team and 2 in the one I left from. Am I strange for working harder when the conditions are stacked against me? And why are these people not trying different things if one doesn't work? There was a guy today that switched teams, unblocked the tunnel, switched teams again, tried to invade through there. It's like playing tennis with yourself. He tried this like five times, then when I waited for him with the flamethrower he quit the game. People are weird!Siderite