Kami 2 Review: Still Above the Fold

By Rob Rich |

I remember having a darned good time with the original Kami back when it first came out, so I figured even if Kami 2 was just more of the same I’d be totally fine with it. Well, it is — and I’m fine with it!

Each level is a mechanically simple puzzle where all you need to do is swap colors around until the entire screen is one color. You do this by selecting the color you want to change something to, then tapping a different color to change it – simple, right? Well, it gets a whole lot trickier once you start seeing more complex patterns and are given a seemingly impossible number of moves to reach your goal.

Being deceptively difficult was sort of Kami’s M.O, and the same can be said for Kami 2. The patterns you’re given, the number of colors available, and the pitiful amount of moves you have to get everything to one solid color make for a pretty significant challenge once you clear the early levels. Clearing out all but one color is fairly easy by itself, because you can just brute force your way through by meticulously wiping out one shape at a time, but doing so when you only have 3 turns is significantly tougher.

And of course, that cool visual trick where the colors fill up via a massive wave of paper folding is back in force. It’s just a fancier way of showing blocks of color filling in, but I love it so much. It makes each move, even if it ends up being the wrong one, satisfying to watch. There’s almost a zen-like quality to solving these puzzles regardless of how challenging they might be. Although the downside is that the familiar can run a bit too deep.

I think it’s great that Kami 2 is more of the same. It’s also great that we’ve been given daily challenges, along with a level editor and the ability to take on other users’ creations. The problem, though, is this also means it feels like more of an add-on than a separate game, all things considered. I really liked Kami and will gladly use any excuse to play more of it, but anyone looking for more than just, well, “more,” is going to be disappointed.

A less wishy-washy criticism (at least I think so) is the lack of an Undo button. You can exit whatever puzzle you’re on with a single button or reset everything in no time at all, but I wish there was an option to just take back a single move rather than having to restart the entire thing. Due to the relatively small move requirements (3-5 tends to be the norm) it’s not necessarily a huge problem to have to replay a couple of steps here and there, but it does become more noticeable when you end up having to restart several times over during the more difficult puzzles — of which there are many.

So long as you aren’t expecting anything new with the Kami formula, Kami 2 is definitely worth a look. Heck, the user-made levels (and the option to make your own, of course) alone make it well worth checking out. This is one of those instances where more actually is better, rather than simply being more.

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