Version Reviewed: 1.0.1
Device Reviewed On: iPad Air
Graphics / Sound Rating:
Replay Value Rating:
Despite its heavy knitting theme, Knituma won’t actually teach you how to stitch a sweater or scarf together. In fact, the phrase “knit one, purl two,” never even shows up. But if you get past that initial disappointment, the game itself is pretty fuzzy fun.
Knituma is a game about gathering the right objects as they are tossed into the air while avoiding the wrong ones. But in practice it’s surprisingly different from the Fruit Ninja clone that description suggests. Players tap on flying balls of yarn and drag a thread from them into the basket at the bottom. However, if anything interrupts that thread, whether it’s a gliding pair of scissors or the player accidentally lifting their finger, the ball is lost. Combining such a deliberate motion with the pressure to act quickly gives the game a unique rhythm. Plus, the obstacles change nearly every round and introduce new rules. Sometimes cats show up to bat yarn balls away, sometimes moths fly into and ruin the basket if they aren’t crushed, and sometimes nails get driven onto the board to twist up strands. It’s always more than just a bomb.
Making things even crazier are the gonzo graphics. While there’s nothing technically impressive about the look, the outlandish sights - from grandma choirs to octopus fan dancers - are always entertaining as you rack up higher scores. There’s an insane anime vibe to the game, which makes sense considering the name is a pun on knitting and “kuma,” the Japanese word for “bear.” And speaking of that bear, while a bear rocking back and forth knitting is already a fantastic visual, the scarf it knits reacts to the colors of yarn balls players gather - a cute touch. Players can even purchase new outfits for the bear.
However, even with all these positives, Knituma is unfortunately fleeting. While the gameplay tries hard to separate itself from Fruit Ninja, it still comes off as slightly derivative and basic. But the freemium elements are even worse. Paying a few bucks to unlock a costume is fair, but having to pay or wait hours to play more than five one-minute rounds in a row is just gross. That turns players away before they can get addicted instead of gauging them after the hooks are in, so it’s not even good for business.
Knituma isn’t as warm and precious as, say, a handmade scarf knitted by your grandmother. But at least it never fully unravels.