While walking to your table, you've flipped your box of folding paper, your origami session is ruined! But wait, they've landed in a pattern, isn't that interesting, what would happen if you just rearranged them a little? In KAMI, you're given the chance to find out.
Puzzle games and brain teasers can be hard to properly quantify. Is it a unique experience? Is the game challenging? Does it engage the player? Does difficulty scale with skill? Is it aesthetically pleasing and consistent? Is it persistently replayable? And when the player is done with a session, will they come away feeling satisfied?
KAMI is created by State of Play
, the makers of Lume
, and named for a folding paper used in origami
, it is a puzzle game where the user seeks to create a single homogeneous grid of paper by changing the patterns of sections of squares. Each level has a series of different types of kami laid out in squares forming shapes and patterns
on the play area. When the player flips one piece of a particular kami, all linked pieces of the same type also flip
, cascading in a way like what a player sees in game of go when a colour gets surrounded.
Reminiscent of Zen Bound 2
for it's Asian aesthetic, KAMI is a very minimalist title without any intrusive elements to detract from it's core. There is one audio track for the game, although not an unappealing one, it can therefore become a little repetitive. It can be disjointing when the music abruptly halts as the player enters a puzzle, and equally abruptly begins when leaving one, no music plays while a puzzle is in progress.
KAMI is a puzzle game, so it will obviously not start your adrenaline pumping, and it won't shock you, but it will tug at your analytical brain
and make you observe the grid and seek out patterns and layers of future moves. Playing through KAMI you must see the effects of your moves often as far as 5 steps ahead in order to get a perfect score
on a puzzle. Once into the swing of things, getting an OK is not too hard, and often getting a perfect score will take a bit more effort, but not to the point of hair pulling or profanity.
The game revolves around finding a way to unite each different kami in successive order
, so if black touches all of the scattered reds then that is your first kami to flip. Hints are available for those having a hard time with a particular puzzle, but you only get one hint per puzzle, and it is only the first flip of that puzzle, and while sometimes that will be enough to show a player what needs to be done next, sometimes it just isn't that straight forward
KAMI comes with the iOS version of the game's premium content
, which considerably extends play time, but once completed, there is little to motivate a player to return to the game. There are no achievements or leaderboards for the fastest completion time, no meta to the game. It would have been nice for the developers to take advantage of online capabilities and the potential of an engaged player base by giving a puzzle creation tool to players, a remote server could store all user created puzzles, assigning them all lowest possible moves and letting players download new puzzles regularly.
Overall the experience is a calming and satisfying play through, with only a few minor caveats to interfere with the title. I would say it's worth picking up for anyone who enjoys a sudoku session from time to time. This review has been done in conjunction with Steam Contests
, celebrating four years running
Posted: January 28th, 2014