Kona II: Brume – Review

Kona II seems to take place immediately after the events of the first game in 2017. The first game was unique in its pacing and aesthetic, so creating a sequel that lives up to its predecessor’s standards would be quite a challenge.

In this new release from Parabole, a game studio out in Canadian, we follow detective Carl Faubert as he delves deeper into a conspiracy involving the murder of his client and a series of supernatural killings. The story is set in the 1970s, and as Carl seeks help and tries to escape, he finds himself facing a deadly snowstorm named “Brume.” Along the way, he uncovers the true cause behind the events of the previous game, Kona.

Now if you haven’t yet had the chance to experience Kona, you may be missing out on one of the most immersive portrayals of winter. Its clever humor and compelling narrative immediately draw you in, with elements of survival simulation and horror adding to the overall gameplay experience. Although the original ending left much to be desired, Kona II has pulled it from the depths and has put in the effort to improve upon the game’s blueprint.

At first glance, you will immediately notice the stunning graphics of Kona II. The game’s depiction of Canada’s sparsely populated provinces is both massive and breathtakingly beautiful. Even when you’re taking a break from the action and warming up in abandoned cabins, the visual design still manages to create a cosy and comfortable atmosphere.

Initial release date: 2023

Platforms: PlayStation 5, Nintendo Switch, Xbox One, PlayStation 4, Linux, Microsoft Windows, Xbox Series X and Series S

Developers: Parabole, Ravenscourt

Series: Kona

Publishers: Ravenscourt, Plaion

Genres: Adventure game, Indie game, Puzzle Video Game

Engine: Unity

Winter is coming!!

At first glance, you will immediately notice the stunning graphics of Kona II. The game’s depiction of Canada’s sparsely populated provinces is both massive and breathtakingly beautiful. Even when you’re taking a break from the action and warming up in abandoned cabins, the visual design still manages to create a cosy and comfortable atmosphere.

Regrettably, a decision was made during the design process that has had a negative impact on the core gameplay. Unlike the original Kona, which featured some detective work that made Carl out to be a mystery-solving detective in the eyes of those in charge, Kona II doesn’t quite live up to that standard. Instead, you are now at the mercy of various non-playable characters who are oblivious to your past experiences, and the whole situation feels like a unique concept that has been drastically scaled back to meet some unknown criteria.

The game has undergone some changes, including a shift to a first-person shooter format. In the original Kona, combat was not a common choice and players were encouraged to use distractions like throwing meat at wolves to avoid confrontation. However, in Kona II, the main character’s background as a Vietnam war veteran has transformed combat into an experience reminiscent of Cabela’s Big Game Hunter, where you will encounter and take down a variety of wild animals.

It’s important to note that even though Kona II deviates from the original slow-burning style, its combat is still more than satisfactory. The situations that Carl finds himself in are intense and provide great feedback, while the selection of weapons all have their own advantages. That being said, it feels like an element that doesn’t quite fit with the overall experience.

You find yourself asking if the combat contributes anything to Kona II’s focus on the people and their individual efforts to maintain a deception?  Not really!!

While the game appears to have a vast open-world environment, it has been reduced to smaller play areas with only three large sections. The transportation option, a charming dog sled, serves as a mere break in between the critical mission areas that occur away from the dangerous snow. The majority of your gameplay time will be spent in these significant mission areas where you’ll be tasked with solving intricate puzzles, which seems unusual for a game like Kona II.

Just keep in mind that “elaborate” doesn’t necessarily mean “complicated”. The game in question started out fairly grounded, but now you’re solving puzzles involving spinning globes and finding hidden walls to uncover the truth about a mining operation that has put a large portion of Nord-du-Québec at risk of radiation. Wait a minute, did I miss something here?

Ok! Gang…. to the Mystery Machine!!

The mystery, in its attempt to increase the intensity, seems to have lost its original essence or at least, it seems that way. The first Kona package had a bow on it, but Kona II has opened it again, feeling that something crucial was missing from the story. The initial small-town mystery, which slowly turned into supernatural horror, has now transformed into an episode of Unsolved Mysteries just missing good old Scooby Doo!!.

One of the most frustrating aspects of Kona II is its apparent belief that it has improved upon its presentation with the addition of a narrator who constantly praises the game. This happens whether you’re exploring the beautiful Canadian winter scenery or solving the few puzzles the game offers – the narrator will always commend the game’s complexity, direction, and tone. It’s a shameless act of self-promotion that speaks for the player instead of working alongside them.

Although the narrator in the original Kona had some flaws, such as conveying information to the player with uncertainty and providing glib narration during tense moments, there was a sense of humanity behind it that added to the overall experience.

Compared to Kona II, there is a noticeable difference in their approach. While Kona II may come across as an annoying cheerleader, constantly whispering in your ear like Slugworth from Willy Wonka, the other individual is much more helpful and doesn’t disrupt the atmosphere with loud proclamations. Without giving away any spoilers, the ending of the game brings back memories of Dead Space 2.

When comparing Kona II to its predecessor, it may be easy to criticize it for its differences. However, as a sequel, it is expected to offer new insights and perspectives on what was once seen as a singular event. Interestingly enough, some of Kona II’s unique characteristics, which were designed by a committee, may actually attract a whole new group of fans who were previously put off by the lack of excitement, intensity, and ambiguity in the original.

Final Thoughts

It’s interesting to note that Kona and Kona II: Brume have distinct advantages over each other, which is a rare occurrence in games. This title has undergone a complete transformation in terms of its theme, execution, and visual style, yet it still manages to maintain its quality. If you enjoyed the first game, you might discover some hidden gems here, although it may be overshadowed by a desire to be a part of a more general audience. For those who haven’t played the original or didn’t enjoy it, this is a great place to start.


The shooting gallery is absolutely incredible, with exciting battles that keep you on the edge of your seat. The graphics are also unmatched in their depiction of a beautiful winter setting, and the overall aesthetic is even more diverse than the original.


The storyline is difficult to follow due to the disorganized and unclear portrayal of the villains. The narrator seems to be a step down from the original, which is unfortunate. The investigation aspect of the gameplay is not as strong, resulting in less control for the player.

Entertainment – 3.5/5

Action – 3.5/5

Extra – 3/5

EAX score 3.5/5

A big shout out to our friends over at Prima Interactive for giving us the chance to make some waves and a few skid marks all over the place.