State Of Play’s KAMI Now On PC: Could Use A Hint

By John Walker on January 27th, 2014 at 1:00 pm.

KAMI, the puzzle game from Lume creators State Of Play Games, is now out on Steam. And as is rather often the case, the PC port of the mobile game is definitely the superior version. There are still some silly issues, though.

I find KAMI incredibly difficult. It’s such a beautiful game, in which you are tasked with turning the screen one colour by flipping adjacent coloured tiles. As you apply new colours, the screen flips and flaps, cascading the change in the most hypnotically entrancing way. Better yet, it allows you to change colours before the last lot have finished, creating the most wonderful patterns. Take a look:

On my phone’s screen it looks pretty. On my fifteen mile-wide desktop monitor it’s wonderful. But better yet, unlike the mobile version, you get rather a lot more for your entry fee. The Android version is about £1.80, but that only gets you the first set of puzzles, and rather quickly starts trying to gouge you for payments for hints. And this is a game where I need hints. The PC build comes for £2.55, with all the levels unlocked, and ten “hint credits” a day.

Okay, so that’s not perfect. In fact, it’s pretty ridiculous. The PC build doesn’t have any means for further payments, so run out of hints that day and it’s not going to give you any more. Why? I have no clue. It is an utterly stupid choice, and one I suspect they will very quickly patch out if they want the game to be taken seriously by PC gamers. Once a game has been bought, a player should be able to get as many hints as they want – let them spoil the game if they so feel the desire. It’s irrelevant to the developer at that point. Artificially restricting hint access is… well, it’s going to put a lot of people off.

Like I say, as someone who eats puzzle games all day and night long, KAMI’s ticks and tricks still haven’t clicked for me. The need to think ahead, see ways of connecting colours such that you can reach your goal in as few moves as possible, often eludes me. I’ve found the Android version a lot more fun for prompting myself with a hint here and there, and the flowing forward. (And yes, to do this I found myself paying for the infinite hints pack – sigh.) But without the ability to buy or gain more hints, the game makes it very clear that it’s not interested in supporting me.

Which is all a shame, since this is a very smart, very challenging puzzle game, at an excellent price. If they can only have the sense to take out a meaningless and artificial restriction, I’ll recommend it wholeheartedly.

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18 Comments »

  1. stahlwerk says:

    Agreed on all points. I “own” the version for iPad, and most puzzles involved far too much guessing to ever feel cleverly designed. Which is kind of a bummer, since it is such a well designed game, visually.

  2. golem09 says:

    Why would I ever in a million years buy hints for a puzzle game? Figuring this out is all the game is about, I wouldn’t even use them if they were free. If I’m every really so stuck that I can’t progress, I don’t use hints, I get the solution, online.
    That the game offers hints at all, free or payed, is already horrible, it’s destroying the whole purpose.

    What’s more troubling is, that the android version only contains the first set of puzzles.

    But aside from that, I don’t think the game can get better than on a tablet. I’ve only played the free demo version, but wasn’t that thrilled. Replaying Picross DS it is.

    • Mr Chug says:

      Completely with you here, particularly in a game such as Kami which creates difficulty with such simple rules. I played through the Android version on my commute dementedly not using hints, as the satisfaction on completion that is the entire reason I play puzzle games isn’t diluted.

      When playing through Spacechem I abandoned the campaign a world and a half away from completion because it had finally got to the point where I couldn’t reasonably progress without cold brute force iteration over layouts, and I don’t regret not looking up a solution or walkthrough for those levels. My battle of wits with Zach Barth had ended in a loss for me, but the match up until then was all the more enjoyable knowing I did it without his help.

  3. Penguin_Factory says:

    I got this for my phone a few weeks ago. I appreciate the visuals but I just couldn’t seem to wrap my head around the way of thinking required to complete the puzzles.

  4. TechnicalBen says:

    [edited to correct the misunderstanding on the payment method]
    “The PC build comes for £2.55, with all the levels unlocked, and ten “hint credits” a day.”
    Pow. Shot down and off the radar. Bogey confirmed dead on arrival captain.
    Sad that, as it had pinged a really nice contact on my “gaming radar”, but alas, the “anti annoying gameplay mechanism to air missiles” got it.

    Ok, I’ll go back and check it out, it might not be totally set up for f2p mechanics and social media “ask your friends for a cow”. Don’t get me wrong, a cow clicker or Kandy Krush can be fun, but I don’t want the “hook” that might reel me in to eat my tasty wallet.

    • John Walker says:

      I think you may have imagined a “scam”. There is no scam. There’s just a poor design choice. The PC version has no micropayments.

    • Serpok says:

      I don’t get it?
      Are you going to ignore this Puzzle-Game because it doesn’t have unlimited hints?

      If anything,I would think, a puzzle-game should be ignored if it has hints at all.

  5. Pubjead1970 says:

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  6. Tomatoboxer says:

    What a baffling criticism to make. If developers want to pace their players with their deployment of hints, that’s a valid design choice. It means players may have to /think/ about puzzles in a puzzle game before solving them, maybe even for a whole day, and that’s fine. Good puzzle games aren’t that much fun to burn through anyway. Although that may be just me, because you’d like to not play as many stages as is possible over the course of a day.

    • Llewyn says:

      maybe even for a whole day

      Or about 18 months in the case of my current Spacechem assignment. I’m still targeting completion before the end of the 21st century, but that’s looking increasingly optimistic.

  7. bhauck says:

    I’ve had this exact game mechanic on my phone for years as “Flood It 2.” I don’t remember where I got it or if it was free (probably), and I don’t know which game came first. It’s relaxing. Thanks for reminding me of it.

  8. Eddy9000 says:

    Gotta say that I love the ipad version. It’s true that it isn’t a meticulous planning ahead logic game, and might feel like trial and error if that’s what you were hoping for, but without wanting to sound poncy I think it’s more of a puzzle game where you go by the ‘feel’ of what colours to put down, feels more intuitive rather than logical and it does that feeling really well where you can be trying and failing for ages just to notice that a really simple answer was in front of you all the time, and then you feel super smart for getting it. I’d say it’s like ‘Go’ is compared to something like Chess.

  9. amateurviking says:

    Ask me about Lume(tm)

  10. raydenuni says:

    Let’s say I finished HexCells and HexCells+ and I want more. What other games out there scratch the same itch? John Walker, you need to make a “John Walker’s Top X Puzzle Games” list where X is a prime number.

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