Kao the Kangaroo‘s rebirth last year garnered much attention. In an era where platform games are frequently overlooked, here was a retro star looking to make a comeback. Sadly, what was received was more of a whimper than a bang. But now, a year later, we have a new DLC hoping to right those wrongs. This Kao the Kangaroo: Bend the Roo’les review will see if it can do just that.

Bend the Roo’les is the second DLC pack for Kao the Kangaroo, not counting the many free costume packs also available. The Oh I Well DLC launched back in October 2022. It was a Halloween themed addition. Bend the Roo’les, however, is a simpler addition to the game. New worlds, new enemies, new moves and a new big bad. You know the drill.

Kao the Kangaroo: Bend the Roo'les screenshot

The DLC is added as an option to the main menu. This means you don’t have to have completed – or even started – the main game to access it. Exactly why you’d purchase DLC for a game you hadn’t finished I’m not sure, but the option is there. It’s also not advised, as the Bend the Roo’les expects you to already have a certain level of skill.

The story begins after the main game, with the newfound peace abruptly ended by the Crab King. Who, unsurprisingly, is a large evil crab. After a short cutscene you’re immediately thrown into the action. There’s no tutorial or information on how to progress, as the rules are the same as the original game. Collect coins and find tokens to open doors. The hub world from the original game has now succumb to corruption, meaning there’s some new flavour to the aesthetic. But by-and-large it’s the same experience as the core Kao the Kangaroo game.

Kao the Kangaroo: Bend the Roo'les screenshot

Where things get changed up a bit is in the new levels themselves. The player will find the level design significantly more linear, with the level of challenge amped-up a significant degree. There’s five new levels, each with a different theme. The bulk of the first level is an entirely unforgiving series of time trials. One misstep, and it’s back to the start of the sequence. Enough missteps will cost you and life, and once all lives have expired it’s back to the very start of the level. Lava level and visibility challenges are also present in later levels, almost certain to cause trouble for all but the most cunning platform players.

And that’s the long-and-short of the DLC. It’s more Kao the Kangaroo. But harder. This Kao the Kangaroo: Bend the Roo’les review arguably took longer than the main game. Not because it’s a bigger package, but because of the need for frequent restarts of entire levels after falling at the final challenge. Bend the Roo’les is about pushing your platforming abilities to the limit, all while being wrapped up in a family friendly dressing. If you wanted more of a challenge from Kao the Kangaroo, now you have no excuse.

Categories: Games