GDC Preview: Kachina – Sandbox Physics where you’re the Hole


Kachina was one of my favorite games that I played at the Media Indie Exchange Mixer during GDC.  The game is made by Ben Esposito, who helped with the visuals of Unfinished Swan.  He opted to leave Giant Sparrow after he put together the prototype for Kachina during Molyjam.  The game is described as a physics based toy drawing from Hopi Native American culture.


The game has a unique look that blends Katarmi Damacy’s bright 3D look with a flat minimalist 2D color palette.  Kachina can best be described as a sandbox puzzle game.  In the game, you control a hole.  That’s right you play as a magical hole in the ground.  You move the hole around with the mouse or by touching the screen and eat up objects in the play field.  As objects plummet into the pit, the hole increases in size.  The challenge of the game is figuring out how objects interact with one another and solving each scene’s puzzle.


Each level has its own unique objective. Sometimes it’s as easy as swallowing up everything in sight, but most are more complex. One puzzle required me to help the chickens cross the road.  In Kachina, this is achieved by sucking them down into your magical abyss and then spitting them out on the other side of the road.  Don’t let the simple mechanics fool you, Kachina does a good job of introducing new objects that keep things interesting and fun.  Frogs latch onto things or can eat flies with their tongue and later you can even fill your hole with water and spit it up to saturate a cloud.

Kachina is being developed for PC, Mac and iOS in Ben’s spare time.  Check out the official Kachina page to keep up to date on this game’s progress.

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