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Play Kalei Review
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Play Kalei, Chillingo’s new hidden object game with a twist, is now available from the app store. Using a series of static images and simple drag-to-match controls, Play Kalei can be played as both a relaxing experience or a frantic speed challenge.

Play Kalei Pros:

  • Appealing source images and great kaleidoscopic imagery
  • Simple controls that are fun to use
  • Infinite replayability, use own images as source
  • Head-to-head multiplayer
  • Crystal integration for leaderboards and achievements

Play Kalei Cons:

  • Soundtrack is a bit boring
  • Would like multiplayer between devices rather than using same cramped space

There is actually a surprising amount of content available, given the random nature of the “hidden objects.” There are 16 different levels to play, with 5 images per level and 3 “objects” to match per image. Each “object” is actually a kaleidoscopic view of a point on the image. Your goal is to drag your finger around the screen, which creates your own dynamic kaleidoscopic image, until the two match. The speed with which you match the two images will determine how many stars you earn. Stars are used to unlock later levels and images. Since the object to match is randomized, there is no need to worry about running out of new content or gaming the system by figuring out where the target locations are. Additionally, you can use your device’s built-in camera or photo album to create images to use while playing the game. This really creates infinite replayability for as long as you enjoy the game. There is also a head-to-head multiplayer mode that allows you to challenge a friend to see who can find the object fastest.

Visually, Play Kalei has a very pleasing style, with a series of nice images that you might expect to find as a sample picture in a brand-new picture frame. Most offer enough contrasting colors and shapes that you can quickly determine the general area of the target image, though some can be fiendishly difficult to pinpoint. The source image takes up the lower half of the screen, while your viewpoint and the target object reside in circles in the upper half of the screen. Your target point appears on the source image as a bright yellow dot, allowing you to remove your finger from the screen without losing your place. If you take too long to find the match, a shrinking spotlight hint system slowly starts to target the appropriate spot, slowly blacking out the incorrect areas of the screen and alerting you to the correct area to search. The soundtrack is very laid back, akin to elevator music, which seems appropriate for this type of game. Controls were spot-on and fun to use.

Replay value is outstanding, as Chillingo gives so many options to keep gameplay fresh. The star-system also provides plenty of reason to continue play so that you can earn all stars, which will likely become easier as you play. Even if you find some difficult objects to match on your first few plays, it’s likely you’ll get some easier ones down the road due to the random nature of the target selection. Crystal integration allows for a global leaderboard and achievements to earn. There is a separate iPad version that may be easier to use given its added real estate. For $0.99 (or $1.99 for the HD), Play Kalei is 4.5-Dimple fun for the whole family.

Play Kalei Review, reviewed by Kevin on 2011-05-14T19:35:39+00:00 rating 4.5 out of 5

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