KAMI
Gameplay 8
Graphics 8
Sound 8

KAMI is a puzzle game that challenges your brain and not your reflexes, making it quite relaxing to play. The visual design is very nice with realistic looking paper textures, but the game isn’t lacking in the gameplay department either. The 63 puzzles can be completed in a day or two, but the lower price point make it a worthwhile purchase if you are a puzzle fan looking for a fresh challenge.

Gameplay: Challenging without becoming too frustrating.

Graphics: The handcrafted look of the visuals is very easy on the eyes.

Sound: Sparse, but very relaxing

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KAMI

Developer: State of Play Games | Publisher: State of Play Games | Release Date: 2014 | Genre: Casual / Indie | Website: Official Website | Purchase: Steam

The puzzle genre is quite crowded so it is always refreshing to encounter something truly unique. KAMI challenges you to turn an entire screen filled with colored paper squares into one uniform color. You have three to five colors to work with and three to eight moves in which to get the job done. It is a very simple concept but by no means easy and will have you scratching your head in no time.

KAMI was originally an iOS title, but the game works just as well on PC and actually looks pretty good. The artists have really gone to town with the whole paper concept with textures that look like you can reach in and touch the squares. The handcrafted look was achieved by using real paper and the effect just wouldn’t have been quite the same if the squares were simple colors instead. The developers also created Lume and KAMI definitely fits their trademark paper and cardboard style. I played the game with a resolution of 1920 X 1080 and everything still looked crisp, although there were some black bars on the sides of the screen. It’s not really a big deal though, and didn’t impact the gameplay negatively in any way.

For less than five dollars you get the original four levels with nine sets of puzzles per level as well as the two premium sets that also contain nine levels each. Sixty three puzzles might not sound like much, but if you are going for a perfect rating on each level be prepared to kiss your spare time goodbye. The premium puzzles use patterns on the paper tiles for an even greater challenge, but there is a handy hint system to help out if you are really stuck. It can only be used a few times a day and I really recommend that you only use it as a last resort because solving the puzzles on your own is immensely satisfying. There are no scores or time limits so you can really sit back (ideally with a cup of tea) and give your brain a good workout. Once you have perfected a puzzle there’s not much to go back to, so the replay value is a bit less than a typical puzzle title.

The soundtrack is quite mellow with a nice tune playing on the title screen, but during gameplay, everything is silent apart from the rustling of the papers. The effect is quite soothing actually and helps with the concentration. Although originally made for touch screens the game works fine with a mouse.

KAMI is a fairly straightforward port so currently there are no Steam extras such as achievements or trading cards. The developers are very receptive to feedback however and have already added a button for exiting the game which was missing from the original release.

I enjoyed my time with the game and while it only took me about three hours to complete all the puzzles I might still go back and try to perfect some of them. The game has the same relaxed atmosphere and tactile feel as games such as Zen Bound which makes for a nice change of pace. The low price also places it in the impulse buy category and you don’t have to waste any cash on in-app purchases like with the mobile version.

*Review originally published January 2014.

System Requirements

  • OS: Microsoft® Windows® XP, Windows Server 2008, Windows Vista® Home Premium, Business, Ultimate, or Enterprise (including 64 bit editions) with Service Pack 2, Windows 7, or Windows 8 Classic
  • Processor: 2.33GHz or faster x86-compatible processor, or Intel Atom™ 1.6GHz or faster processor for netbook class devices
  • Memory: 512 MB RAM

Memory: 1 GB RAM

  • OS: Mac OS X v10.6, v10.7, v10.8, or v10.9
  • Processor: Intel® Core™ Duo 1.83GHz or faster processor
  • Memory: 512 MB RAM

Memory: 1 GB RAM

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