Kami Retro, from UK indie outfit Paw Print Games, makes the transition from iOS to PlayBook with all of its chaotic grace intact.

This puzzle-platformer clearly stands on the shoulders of gaming giants, including Mario and Lemmings. However, it still manages to conjure up its own death-filled charm.

The aim is to save the lives of four bearded men as they dash through ever more dangerous landscapes. By slashing, swiping, and tapping your screen you'll hopefully manage to guide them all to the safety of each level's exit door.

Deja vu?

Throughout the game's 60-odd stages you'll be introduced to various devices, such as moving platforms, spring boards, and fans, all of which throw in new mechanics that force you to carefully consider where to place your items and to master your timing.

At first glance, Kami Retro's 2D format and vividly colourful landscapes might remind you of earlier iterations of the world's favourite plumber. But give the game a proper play and you realise it has more in common with retro save-'em-up Lemmings than it does to Mario - albeit with the racing pace of Sonic The Hedgehog.

Kami Retro is remarkable in that it's obviously influenced by various other games and yet manages to create its own unique feel through constantly evolving and challenging gameplay.

Learn by dying

Throughout Kami Retro's five different worlds your army of four blockheads will face death. And lots of it. There are man-eating plants, bottomless pits, bodies of water, and (of course) spikes.

Every time your minions die you'll come to understand some new element. Death isn't so much a punishment as a learning experience.

For example, you might initially place a spring board and fan so that the titular Kami will jump, be blown across the screen, and bounce up to the exit, only to find that the fan is more powerful than you expected and your unfortunate avatar is propelled face-first into a deadly wall of spikes.

No matter - just move your fan slightly and try again.

Throw in the skill element of timing your jumps perfectly and you've got plenty of new gameplay mechanics to consider with each stage.

Jurassic lark

Not only does each stage have the three-star system that has served smartphone and tablet games so well in the past, but there's also a stack of bonus stages and outfits to unlock.

So if bearded men aren't your thing you might enjoy flinging a cat about your PlayBook’s screen. Or a robot. Or a dinosaur.

There are occasionally unregistered swipes, which, despite the fast-paced nature of death in the game, will vex those seeking highscores.

You'll only need to get a single hapless chappy to the safety of the exit door to complete a stage, but those trying for perfection will find that having to sift all four of the guys across each stage can get monotonous.

Those niggles aside, Kami Retro gives the PlayBook both a unique twist on several pieces of gaming greatness that have gone before and a genially death-filled puzzle-platformer.