What do crystals, electro music and village people have in common? No no, nothing like that. They all feature in new mobile puzzle platformer Kiwanuka.
Kiwanuka is the debut creation of London-based indie developer CMA Megacorp and it blends a crisp art style, slick visuals and intriguing game mechanics to create a pick-up-and-play mobile title that you’ll want to keep coming back to.
You play as the people of Kiwanuka, a tribe of sorts, confined to a crystalline world seemingly floating in space and it’s your job as the staff bearer to lead the people to the rainbow-coloured prism at the end of each level. Each prism you unlock contains one of the thirty villagers who’ll grant you access to the next level and they’ll then assume the role of staff bearer.
So how do you lead the Kiwanukans to safety? Tapping and dragging on the white tip of the staff creates a stream of lightning that draws the staff bearer across the landscape, villagers in tow. You can drag along to move across the screen, drag down to force the villages to jump off a ledge, lemmings-style or upwards, which is where things get interesting.
Depending on how high you drag determines how high a tower of Kiwanukans you’ll create. You can then swing the tower left or right until the villager at the end latches onto the nearest piece of crystal landscape. Then it’s a matter of guiding the rest of the villagers across this tower-cum-bridge.
Each level is a mix of translucent white crystal, with areas marked off by glowing pink, blue or orange which form a no-go zone. If the village leader touches these danger areas, the whole thing explodes and you’re back to square one.
The origami-like design of every Kiwanukan is unique and each one you unlock has a name and a back-story, if you dive a little deeper and check out the developer’s website.
Music is a big part of this experience too, there’s an electro-heavy soundtrack which blends with some of the in-game sound effects, creating an immersive environment that draws you in. The puzzles are also cleverly balanced and give you the same sense of achievement that portal does when you figure out a particularly tricky level.
Check out Kiwanuka on the App Store right now and stay tuned for an Android version that’s currently in the works.
At the start we said that this is a game you’ll want to keep coming back to, but the truth is you probably won’t be able to put it down.