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.