Kalimba is a puzzle platformer in which the player controls two pieces of a totem pole, each with its own color. Both totem pieces are controlled at the same time, requiring skill to control them simultaneously.
All single-player campaign levels are based on the same concept. The player spawns in a level with two predetermined totem pieces. The player has to successfully bring both pieces to the end of the level. The levels are full of enemies which must be avoided, puzzles that must be solved and gaps that must be crossed.
There are a lot of puzzles in this game, one example is a jump that can only be made when the pieces are stacked atop each other, so that when they jump at the same time the higher piece gets launched in the air.
The game is highly difficult, especially for players that have trouble with controlling two characters at the same time. This is not the case in the local co-op mode, where two players control their own totem pole piece and must work together to get to the end of the levels.