Friday, June 13, 2008

krank - a little casual game

krank snake, stone, links and anchors

krank is a game of dexterity, being somewhere between Breakout and billiard, where the aim of each level is to shove floating stones towards compatible static stones. You control a short chain of stones with your mouse to achieve that.

While the game's visual and audible aural style is as simple as the rules are, there is no shortage of variety. Different level layouts provide enough challenge and different gameplay elements (the interactions between different types of floating stones with different types of static stones) are introduced at a reasonable paste. If you find the hardness curve too flat or simply don't like one level: the game permits you to skip one level ahead the last finished one.

Another important aspect, which keeps me playing, is the variety of look and sound. Each level has it's own pretty background and there are different sound themes, which give a subtle but very effective feedback of what is happening on the game field.

Thorsten Kohnhorst is the programmer behind krank. He created some other games, which I will introduce in the future. Michael Abbing is the game's sound designer. Nine others contributed to the game's level designs.

The game was written in python and packages are available for Mac OS X, Windows and Ubuntu (thanks to Vadi for the latter!) On other systems you will have to make a little fix to play it. The code and media appears to be in the public domain.

If you ever enjoyed a puzzle, billiard, golf or an arcade game before, you definitely should give it a try. Especially with it being so easy to start playing (see package links above.) By the way: I haven't seen a game menu integrated so well in a game since the unfree Psychonauts! The only feature I'm missing is a save function.

Update: Ɓukasz Krotowski submitted a patch, which makes the game auto-save on GNU/Linux systems. Now I just have to learn how to use patches. ^^

Have a look at the gameplay in the video below but I must warn you that the sound effects (which I am unable to capture) are an important element of the game and that the video (especially with it's visual quality) is a bad representative of the actual game.

krank gameplay video - pardon the lack of sounds :(


Anonymous said...

Grammar nazi alert: "Aural" is the counterpart to "Visual." "Aural" means "Having to do with hearing," Audible means "something loud and near enough to be heard."
I'll have to check this game out when I get home from work tonight.

skoruppa said...

argh... this is first game that dont whant to run :(

krank version 07
X Error of failed request: BadValue (integer parameter out of range for operation)
Major opcode of failed request: 135 (XFree86-VidModeExtension)
Minor opcode of failed request: 10 (XF86VidModeSwitchToMode)
Value in failed request: 0x1a6
Serial number of failed request: 119
Current serial number in output stream: 121

qubodup said...

skoruppa: what python version are you using?

qubodup said...

skoruppa: also, what resolutions are ok for you? edit line 20 so it looks like this:

fullscreen = 0

skoruppa said...

python --version
Python 2.5.2

Without fullscreen game works.

qubodup said...

apparently the game defaults to an resolution unsupported by your X server.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

I made a Ubuntu .deb, it's available here (

Works for both 32bit and 64bit.

Anonymous said...

We've just published a collection of 50 free games

Would be great to do a collection of you too!


Anonymous said...

See (very simple) patch at:
It adds auto-save on Linux.

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