The Average Gamer

Kudos 2 Review (PC)

Kudos 2 - Socialisation MenuI don’t usually go in for casual games on the PC but Kudos 2 by Positech Games caught my eye recently. It’s a 2-D life simulation/strategy game, kind of like The Sims. Where it differs is that it loses the house-building stuff-collecting aspect and focuses on you character’s day-to-day life; on your job and relationships. It’s turn-based, so you spend less time trying to coordinate your actions and more time planning out the implications of every decision. Every day you get to do just one thing after work, which has all sorts of implications on your character, good and bad. Even walking to and from work makes some impact. Style-wise, Kudos 2 is all done in cel-shading-like artwork by Jamie McKelvie.

Kudos 2 - Character MenusI have to say, I was surprised by how easy it was to get sucked into this game. Every decision has an effect on your stats – walk to work and you get a little healthier but you’re far more tired at the end of the day. Take the bus and it costs you money. On the other hand, you have the energy to have fun with your friends after work and build up your relationships. The year is seasonal too, so getting rained on will probably make you grumpy as hell when you’re already tired. All the implications make logical sense and you see the outcomes straight away. If you you like playing games by running the numbers, this game is perfect.

Kudos 2 - Roulette OutcomeThat’s not to say that it’s just for maths fans. I know I play a lot of RPGs but I couldn’t care less about numbers. I’m in it to build characters – Kudos 2 lets you do that too. There’s a good range of options for everything – after work you can hang out with a huge range of people, each with their own likes and dislikes. You can go bowling (increase your fitness and fun) or go to the opera (take in some culture) or just out for fried chicken (build up that flab!) and grow or lose your friendships along the way. If you don’t like feeling sociable, you can take evening classes to further your career or just read a good book.

The main annoyance I had with the game was the interface. I like to explore things and this game constantly pops up windows that you then need to close individually, which quickly gets tiresome. Even more so when you know that one of your friends likes the cinema but you can’t remember which one of the 10+ it was.
Kudos 2 - Evening ClassesMost option selections are annoying as well – you can only see one at a time and have to scroll through the whole list one-by-one to find the one you want. They do compensate with some good mouse shortcuts like right-clicking anywhere inside to close a window and making use of the scroll-wheel. I still think a quick list view would work wonders.

In short, Kudos 2 is a good game by by Cliff “Cliffski” Harris. Cliff used to work on The Movies before starting up his own small indie games company. He even writes versions of his games for Macs (eventually). Get the free demo of Kudos 2 from Positech.