Version Reviewed: 1.0
Graphics / Sound [rating:4.5/5]
Game Controls [rating:4/5]
iPhone Integration [rating:4/5]
User Interface [rating:4/5]
Re-use / Replay Value [rating:4.5/5]
What is it
Kaloki Adventure is Fun! I start out with this simplistic statement because, well frankly I'm just not sure I'll be able to do this game justice. So whatever you read from this point forward, just remember, Kaloki = Fun.
The style of the gameplay is what I'm going to call a Space Station Tycoon game. Your goal is to build profitable space stations where different aliens can come and waste their hard earned cash on food, gossip, science attractions, and trading posts. You can't just rush build structures though because you'll also have to worry about the maintenance and power needs for each thing you build. As 'the hero' of the game, you begin by showing off your skills as a builder and winning the fancy of a young alien princess who is later, in the classic Mario Brothers fashion, kidnapped and you're sent out to save her. Your crew however is not the most competent of help and during your pursuit push the wrong button, sending you from one random galaxy to the next (through 14 levels), each with it's own scenario to beat before you can jump to the next. If the interface and gameplay weren't enough the game is made all the better with a unique type of surreal humor that seems to combine both characters and story lines from The Hitch Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy books and one of my all time favorite games, Earthworm Jim.
Graphics / Sound
The graphics in this game are extremely solid. Your camera angle for the game is a zoomed out view of your space station in which you are able to rotate it to any angle you would need. The 3D mapping and the details of structures are terrific. One thing I would like to see added is the ability to zoom in on your station. Zooming would be incredibly useful because as you add more and more objects to the stations they become extremely cluttered and my fat fingers were having a tough time selecting the correct structure. A nice addition is the back drop of stars and supernovas which adds that little extra something that really takes the game to the next level.
The sound in Kaloki is not just a part but it's really what makes the game, at least it is in my opinion. It's because not only is there a wide variety of sound effects but more importantly an amazing sound track. Sure, they are the same loops over and over again, but they're very catchy and somehow just never get old... even to my roommates who have had to put up with several hours of it playing while they were trying to watch TV.
The best way I can describe this is a combination of Sim City, a tower defense game, and Roller Coaster Tycoon. As you read above, the game is broken down into a 14 different levels/scenarios. Each one gives you a very well defined set of goals and restrictions on how to complete it. The first few levels act more as a tutorial helping you get your feet wet with different strategies. You'll progress pretty quickly but then all of the sudden you will get to level 6 and you may not be flying through the game like you originally thought you would. After the first few levels I thought I'd be done with it in a few hours but now here I am after a couple of days of gameplay and still have a few levels to go.
Each level uncovers new things to build. There are several categories of structures to build from (i.e. Social, Nature, Power, Maintenance, etc.) each with half a dozen or more well defined unlock-able structures within it. Each structure provides different pros and cons, for example a Newspaper Stand may have a higher desirability then a Lemonade Stand but at the price of power, maintenance, and upfront cost. Within each scenario you have to weigh these options vs. what each customer wants, all while battling a timer as well. It sounds complicated but once you're playing it, trust me, it's not.
While I never personally had any exposure to the Xbox Live Arcade version of the game, everything I've heard and read has raved as to how well this ported over. To me I never would have known it was developed for another system first. The point and click menus and rotations are amazingly intuitive and easy to use. The only complaint I have is sometimes when you're rotating your structure from above or below it tends to stick and continue rotating when you would otherwise wish it to stop.
The main screen provides the user with all of the information the he or she would need either just at a glance or a finger touch away. The status bar on the right shows customer's desires, power output, game speed, how broke or rich you are, and how much time you have left. On the bottom of the screen it shows all of the most recent customers, their comments and the ability to zoom in on their specific ship. One feature I would like to see added is a screen that lists all of your currently built structures. Once your station is packed with alien ships and buildings it can be tough finding that one News Paper Stand surrounded by restaurants and Herb Gardens.
Re-Use / Replay Value
Although there is definitely a beginning and an end to the game, it's not going to be one you beat in one sitting. While you probably could do it, you simply wouldn't want to. The game has mastered that fine line between not being challenging enough and being too tedious. If you lose after playing a 20 minute level you may be upset and even turn the game off, but not to the point you won't hit the point where you won't want to play it again. In fact you'll probably be back at it in just a few short hours. The developer also added a free play mode where you're able to freely build a station without time restrictions or level criteria. This potentially could give you endless time with the game. Although I myself would find that boring after not too terribly long, I need goals, but to each his own and it's none the less a good feature to have.
• Good story and sense of humor
• Great Sound Track & Graphics
• Challenging without being tedious
• Plenty of structures to build
• Game lags a little bit when levels get very filled
• Can't Zoom in on space stations
Overall, it's hard to find anything bad or any reason not to purchase this game. If you're still not sure there is a light version for download on the App Store so give that a shot, but something tells me you'll be buying the full one not long after.