KAMI is a puzzle game centered around a very basic mechanic – you are given a field of colored squares. You can choose any color and change any other continuous section of squares into squares of that color. Your goal is to change the entire field of squares into a single color (though it can be any color) within a limited number of moves.
As a pure puzzle game, there is no story to this game.
There are no real twists to the gameplay; every level in the game operates identically. Your progress is measured in how many moves it takes for you to succeed; if you complete a stage in the minimum number of moves possible, you get a “perfect” grade for the stage, and if you take one extra move, you get an OK grade. If you take two or more moves more than the minimum number of moves, you fail. You can restart each stage at any time, and three times per day, you can get a hint, which simply tells you what the first move in the puzzle is.
There are 9 stages in each “set” of stages, and 8 sets of stages overall, for a total of 56 stages. The stages start out fairly easy, but get progressively more difficult, adding more colors and more complexity to the patterns, and requiring increasingly greater numbers of moves. Early on, the puzzles can frequently be solved in three moves; by the end of the game, the final set’s easiest puzzle requires 8 moves, and the hardest set requires a whopping 19 – the initial “pattern” on many of these later puzzles looks almost like a random set of squares.
The closest thing to a “twist” the game throws at the player is a single set of puzzles which uses black and white patterns on the squares in the place of the colored squares used in all the other puzzles; unfortunately, while it looks somewhat pretty, it makes the game harder primarily via interface screw, namely making it more difficult to tell which squares have which pattern.
Oddly, there are a few puzzles in the game where the so-called “perfect” score isn’t; there are a few puzzles where it is, in fact, possible to actually beat the “perfect” score. Whether or not this is intentional is hard to tell, though it doesn’t really detract from the experience; it is just an oddity.
The game actually looks very nice and clean; the colored squares appear to be made out of construction paper, and the patterned squares have a very aesthetically pleasing visual appearance as well. The entire game’s user-interface is very straightforward and easy to use, though the “get a hint” system is somewhat strange in that hints cost three “points” to use and you get ten points per day – meaning that you end up with an extra, leftover useless “point” if you use up all your hints for the day.
As a mobile game, this is a fairly reasonable choice; it is ideally suited for a touch interface, and the games are quite short, with the puzzles taking only a few minutes to solve each. Unfortunately, as a PC game, it is fairly lacking; it is not a very substantive experience, and while it is “enjoyable” in the same sort of way that solving a Sudoku puzzle is, it isn’t especially entertaining, and similar levels of entertainment can be found for free on the internet. There isn’t anything wrong with it; it just isn’t a very fulfilling experience.