Puzzle Games! The bane of my existence. No other genre of games gets me more worked up than puzzle games and I’ll tell you why: Because they feed on your desire for perfection. Case in point, Kami.
Kami is a paper themed puzzle game from State of Play Games with a very unique design. You’re presented with a square that looks like a photorealistic panel of interwoven strips of beautiful paper. Your job is to make the whole square a single color. In order to do this, you fold and flip paper to reach your desired results. Honestly it’s a bit too complicated for me to adequately explain without a visual demonstration so maybe you should check out this video:
Get the picture? It’s a fairly simple concept to grasp, but it gets complex fast. By the third level, the possibilities of gameplay open up without ever adding any new rules. I think it’s ingenious that a concept such as this is strong enough to evolve without the addition of new mechanics. It really speaks to the strength of Kami that it can be as smart as it is, while remaining remarkably simple.
The game looks incredibly gorgeous too. One look at the visual style and it’s hard not to be curious as to what the game could be about. The animation and way the papers moves and appear on the screen really evokes the sort of appreciation for papercraft as well. I can’t remember the last time I was so enamored by a game based on visual presence alone, and for Kami to keep looking as gorgeous as it does after the 20th puzzle is testament to its visual aesthetics.
The sound design is also top notch as the sound of paper folding and creasing really takes you back to the days of construction paper. While the music is a sort of ambient, Japanese inspired, traditional music, it’s really the sound of the paper’s movement that captured my attention.
The game get fairly difficult quickly, though that’s supposed to be expected of puzzle games. The game offers hints that can be purchased with points that replenish daily and there’s no shame in admitting you need help here. However, the game does have a learning curve that isn’t taught well initially and some concepts and strategies for some puzzles requires these hints to show you these advanced solutions.
For $3.99 this is a quick game to play in your spare time as it’s really a series of increasingly difficult puzzles. The concept is simple enough but really becomes complex in later puzzles. For the most part though, it’s about enjoying the ambiance and care to the visual and sound design that makes this game worth it. This is craft in video game form.
[+Beautiful visual style][+The sound of paper][+Simple concept, complex execution][+Price justifies content][-Hints necessary to learn advanced strategies]