When dealing with crystalline structures in space, lightning scepters, and leading a group of followers, you can’t help, but think of a cult. Kiwanuka is a new iOS game that uses these elements to create a relatively unique puzzle experience that really snuck up on us. The basis of
the game revolves around use of a magical staff to guide citizens across various space structures in an attempt to save trapped members of the clan. The game uses touch to its advantage allowing you to drag your finger from the magic scepter to activate a lightning bolt, which everyone will follow.
The heart of the game is building bridges out of townsfolk to help cross various gaps, and you do so by dragging a lightning bolt straight up in the air. The citizens stack on top of each other to the height that you draw out, and then you push the stack to have it fall into bridge position. As you advance you will need to create various size bridges, and push in either direction to combat the introduction of dangerous parts of the environment that cancel out the magical bridges you create. There are so many intricacies to the level design for a continuous supply of variation that will keep you actively engaged, and challenged throughout. It’s lucky that the citizens are such strong believers as you will walk right over them, and sacrifice them just to save a select few.
The theme isn’t meant to be taken literally, but it does surprisingly set the stage for a unique experience that keeps you going from level to level. You never know what’s coming next, and each level completion, and new level entry is a neat little treat to witness as well. There’s a lot to appreciate in the visual design, and the game just grows on you like the people bridges you will create. There is the occasional problem in sending your player off a cliff rather than creating a bridge, but that’s on the rare side. There are also some levels that are a bit tedious in getting just the right length of a bridge to clear obstacles, and reach the next point. Overall, it’s a finely crafted puzzle experience that is a joy to interact with as you deal with a well designed difficulty curve.
Kiwanuka ($1.99, Universal) creates one of the most unique games in recent memory that deserves its own cult following, and is a must buy.