Kami Retro, a trippy puzzling platformer from Gamevil, is available from the app store. Featuring one of the craziest and most colorful art styles we’ve seen, along with fun puzzle elements and somewhat frenzied gameplay, Kami Retro is as much fun to watch is it is to play.
Kami Retro Pros:
- Crazy, colorful visuals with weird animated backdrops make for a unique presentation
- Interesting puzzle design requires some thought to complete successfully
- Fun soundtrack
- Intuitive swipe controls
- GameCenter integration for global leaderboards and achievements
Kami Retro Cons:
- Fairly easy to whip through the game
- Some control issues that require very deliberate gestures
- Level of precision needed for some object placement is frustrating
There are 60 levels spread evenly across 5 themed worlds, such as Countryside, Spooky, and Disco. Each level will spit 4 men out of a hole in the sky, one at a time, and task you with getting each safely to the end point. The men run forward automatically unless acted upon by the gamer. At first, it’s a matter of navigating some platforms and learning the controls, but you’ll soon need to incorporate objects such as jump pads, fans, cannons, and other items to help the men to cross large gaps or reach taller platforms. There are also a number of twinkling stars in each level for each man to snag on his way through. It’s important to be quick and efficient in your journey, or else the next man will enter the mix and require you to manage an additional runner. After each level, you are scored on the number of men that safely reach the exit, the number of stars you collect, and how much time it took you to complete the level. You can earn up to 3 stars for your performance, and the stars unlock additional levels. All controls utilize gestures, as a diagonal swipe through the man will cause him to jump in the direction of the swipe, and a horizontal swipe through the man will make him turn around. Positioning objects requires a tap to select and a drag to position. It’s all very intuitive and easy to get a handle on, though you will encounter the occasional unresponsiveness or confusion if your swipe angle is ambiguous. Be warned, too, that timing is everything.
The graphics are far and away the star of this show. They are so wild that it’s sometimes unclear whether an item is a platform or part of the background. There is a ton of animation, from spinning stars to bounding bros to crocodiles snapping their jaws at the screen bottom. It serves the dual purpose of delighting and distracting, forcing you to focus on the task at hand amidst the chaos. The soundtrack provides some retro tunes to complement the graphics and round out the experience. The controls work well as long as you are deliberate in your motions and follow through. The control style is a great fit and much preferred over any type of joypad/jump button combo.
Replay value is quite good, whether for the sheer enjoyment of playing through the wonderfully wild levels or chasing down high scores. Recently, additional character models were added, allowing you to play as bears, robots, cats, or bunnies. Character changes are for aesthetics only, but they serve to increase the quirk factor just a bit more. GameCenter integration allows for global leaderboards for each world, as well as over 2 dozen achievements to earn. Recently, a separate HD version was released, allowing iPad users to enjoy the game’s unique style on the bigger screen. At $0.99 for the iPhone version (and $2.99 for the HD version), Kami Retro is a worthwhile value and a 4.5-Dimple trip.
Kami Retro Review,