From the get-go, KamiCrazy from Fluid Pixel Limited was being called ‘Lemmings for the iPhone’.  Best as I can recall, that can only be a compliment considering Lemmings has sold around 15,000,000 copies (if Wikipedia is telling me the truth) in various formats since its auspicious debut on the Amiga (ah, the Amiga) in 1991.  Enough about that though, let’s take a look at this game on its own merit and set comparisons aside.
Starting the game for the first time, you’re presented with a nifty stylized cartoon intro depicting a helicopter crash landing in the jungle and from the wreckage emerge the KamiCrazies (KC’s from here on out).  That’s about it for backstory which is a shame as it would’ve been good to see at least a simple plot evolve as you churn through the 40 levels.  The core gameplay involves a set number of KC’s per level needing your guidance to maneuver dangerous obstacles and safely reach the exit so you can do it all again on the next  (progressively challenging) level.  Said obstacles include spike traps, deadly slime pools, arrow-chucking tiki heads and lava, all with either a funny death animation or sound effect if you let the KC’s wander into harm’s way.  Sometimes you can jump over obstacles but other times you have to manipulate multiple levers and switches to clear a safe path.  You also frequently get to manipulate environmental items like fans, trampolines and bombs for a nice change of pace.  The KC’s are dropped onto the playing field in an interval that’s out of your control and they never stop moving so once a KC enters the board he keeps moving until he dies or exits safely.  You use 2 motions to control them: swipe left or right to change direction and upwards to jump.   The game always gives you more KC’s than are needed so you have some room for error (good thing, that) and in some cases a KC simply has to take one for the team.  Semper Fi.  I found the game difficulty to be just about right as you can get through the first 30 levels without too much sweat, the next 5 with some sweat and the last 5 will have you wringing out your T-shirt (I’m unable to pass L37 at present so can only imagine 38-40).
Neat stuff:
  • When you don’t have enough KC’s to finish the level, the game doesn’t force you to quit (though you can always restart from the pause menu).  I like this as it lets you get in some extra practice to try and master the controls (more on controls later) before having another go.
  • Excellent ‘toon-shaded’ graphics, sound fx and animations.  The background music track is very catchy but not well-suited to the jungle theme; a ‘jungly’ track or 2 added to the mix would be welcome.
  • You can go back at any time and play a level previously beaten so if you’re stuck on oh, L37, you can still get your gaming fix in by replaying some easier levels.
Problems encountered:
  • Strange, infrequent bug where upon failing to complete a level it would throw up the summary screen but take me back to the level (but with no KamiCrazies so nothing to do) instead of letting me restart.  Only way out was to exit and restart the app as a double-tap wouldn’t bring up the pause menu.  I also experienced a level failing to load a few times, needing a full exit and restart to get going again.  Seems like a little extra stability could be achieved in a future release perhaps.
  • Controls controls controls.  Later levels become maddeningly frustrating due to poor responsiveness to input, to the point where I knew the solution after the first couple runs but had to restart innumerable times after struggles with the controls left me in an unwinnable situation.   I often found myself having to viciously swipe to get my KC’s to switch direction or jump, often only to see my input ignored as they proceeded to ambulate directly into the nearest death trap.  A side effect of this mad swiping is it would often cause the pause menu to come up (at the most inopportune times).  Then the game would refuse to recognize that I was pushing (and subsequently repeatedly mashing) continue to get back to the action.  It was also often difficult to move entities (fans & trampolines) as the game sometimes just wouldn’t register that my finger was firmly planted on it.  It almost seemed like the more KC’s onscreen at once the less responsive the controls.  The developer noted the controls were already improved once in a prior version and while I still found them to be an issue, not enough so to ruin the fun factor, which is very high indeed. 
Good things coming.  The developer’s support page mentions the following features that should see the light of day in a future release:
  • More levels (planned), always a good thing in a game like this!
  • A settings menu (under review).  I’m down with that, would be nice to have at least music & sound on or off toggles from within the game.
  • A global high score table (started).  Currently the game does not keep any type of score which oddly enough, I didn’t even notice until it was pointed out.
  • Game credits on the website (under review).

All said, this game is fun, addictive, takes good advantage of the iPhone’s strengths and is definitely worth the purchase price.  It’s another ‘perfect for iPhone’ game as you can play in short satisfying bursts and later return to where you left off.  The developer is obviously devoted to ongoing improvement of the game so that only sweetens the deal further.  Even with the noted control issues it’s still two thumbs up for KamiCrazy!

Version reviewed – 1.8
Lite (demo) version available – yes (8 levels)
iTunes Music supported – yes

2 Responses to “KamiCrazy”

  1. wak Says:

    Check out the “Fuzzies” game on the app store. It is much closer to oryginal Lemmings game :)

  2. Franco Says:

    Thanks for the hint wak! I will try it out :wink:

Leave a Reply

XHTML: You can use these tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>