148Apps Network Post
Developer: Gamevil
Price: $1.99
Version Reviewed: 1.0
Device Reviewed On: iPod touch 4G

Graphics / Sound Rating: ★★★½☆
Game Controls Rating: ★★★★☆
Gameplay Rating: ★★★★☆
Replay Value Rating: ★★★★☆

Overall Rating: ★★★★☆

Kami Retro is something of a puzzle platformer – your goal is to get your blocky hero from the green entry point to the red exit. Along the way, you have to collect stars and avoid enemies and obstacles. The controls work by swiping in the direction you want to jump or turn in. The real rub of the game is that you have to move things like platforms, springs, and fans around to help get you to the exits, so the game is as much a puzzle game as it is a platformer. You want to try to get all 4 of your men into the goal, collecting as many stars along the way, and trying to complete the levels as quickly as possible, especially as the next one of your legion of bandana-clad heroes is automatically dropped into play after a short amount of time.

The fact that you have 4 different men to try to get to the goal may seem baffling at first, but it actually is a brilliant element as levels get more challenging. You see, it works both as a challenge to get you to perfect your method of beating levels and getting high scores, but it also serves to smooth out the difficulty curve. While you can easily restart a level (with your object positioning saved on resets), it makes the game just that much more forgiving knowing you get 4 consecutive opportunities. The bonus Star Run levels are fun, just letting you run around rooms utilizing the swiping controls and arranging platform segments to collect all the stars. I feel like a bigger game could have been made around just these levels alone.

The game can become annoying when it starts to demand exact precision, where moving a platform one or two pixels in a particular direction can be the difference between success and failure. The game also doesn’t seem to support the Retina Display, at least on the iPod touch 4th generation. While it’s hard to tell specifically – the game could definitely look crisper on Retina Display devices, especially considering that Retina Display support is a given in other games from publishers like Gamevil. The Game Center leaderboards are also seemingly messed up as they seem to be set to list scores in ascending ranks, not descending, so the higher your score, the lower on the leaderboard you wind up. This is definitely something that needs to be fixed.

Kami Retro isn’t very retro, considering that its graphics are actually 3D models, and the gameplay is very different and original. If you like games like the Mario vs. Donkey Kong games on Nintendo’s handheld systems, you’ll enjoy Kami Retro. While it’s got some room for improvement, it has a lot of good things going for it, has plenty of value and challenge in its 65 levels for $1.99 and is a concept that I hope gets explored even more in future updates and future games.

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