If ever you wanted to see how great art can make you fall in love with an old concept, grab Kami from the App Store. This game is really all about the execution of a tried-and-tested style of gameplay.
You’ve probably played Flood-It! or one of its knock-offs — games where you have to turn a grid of squares into one colour in a set number of moves, by turning any tile into a different colour that matches it with adjoining tiles. Well, Kami takes that concept and beautifies it.
Kami is Japanese for paper. So each ‘tile’ is a sheet of paper, designed with a beautiful texture like handmade paper, which folds up when you change its colour. Every level has a minimum of three different types of colors which are presented at the bottom of the screen. Choose one and tap a paper to change its color to what you chose. The paper will fold out, as will all adjoining sheets of the same color — and in one lovely animation, all those papers will now take on the new colour. It’s really quite something to watch.
The game pays so much attention to the design, it’s easy to forget about the sound. But it’s the sound that makes you think of paper. That familiar rustle of a sheet being folded or shuffled is what reminds you that this is meant to look and feel like paper. On a hunch, I switched off the sound and asked someone to play the app; after a few levels, I increased the volume and their first reaction was, “Oh, it’s paper! That’s so cool!” Maybe this is why the game doesn’t have a built-in option to switch off the sound.
Each level of Kami offers a different challenge, which get increasingly difficult as you go through the stages. You need to finish the puzzle in a set number of moves, failing which you won’t be able to progress to the next level. There’s a total of 36 unique puzzles, so you’ll be occupied for some time with this app that’s well worth its price. Kami is available for just $0.99 on the App Store.