Game Reviews

KamiCrazy

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KamiCrazy
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I'm one for multi-tasking. Don't believe those old sexist idioms about only women having the brains to do more than one thing at once – that's merely an excuse upheld by lazy men eager to sit around watching the footy instead of doing any housework. Indeed, those very footy fixes are the perfect example of just how and when men can multi-task: television, beer and a curry, all vying for their attention at the same time.

KamiCrazy taps the same part of your brain, throwing numerous burdens upon you all at once, albeit swapping the Tikka stains with bearded ninjas. Using nothing more than your finger, you help prod and poke a group of 'KamiCrazy' soldiers (tiny little men with bandanas around their heads) towards their goal, moving parts of the landscape and giving them a push a right in the direction to insure that as many soldiers as possible make it to the exit.

These soldiers are intentionally stupid, doing nothing more than running in the first direction they happen upon. They're so idotic, in fact, that without your aid, they achieve nothing more than running to their deaths. This is what makes KamiCrazy part action title, part puzzler, because while you're almost overrun with setting up the path that'll lead your soldiers to their goal, you have to work out just what that path is in the first place.

The basic premise is that the KamiCrazy soldiers, differing in number, drop out of an opening one at a time. You can push them in any direction, just as you might expect, by literally using your finger on the screen to nudge them a certain way, or can give them a lift, achieved by throwing them into the air with a swipe on their position across the screen. As fun as that sounds, all of your actions are designed to get them safely to the exit.

You don't have to save the entire troop, however. Each jungle-themed level comes with a set number of soldiers that you need to rescue and, beyond the first few opening encounters, you very rarely need to save each and every one. Fatalities are almost an inevitability as the levels get more hectic, and success often relies on your ability to temper your desire to look after all of your little men. Sometimes saving the many depends on you sacrificing the few.

At least in the short-term, anyway. KamiCrazy is a learning experience from the off, with the precise positioning of springs and fans often acting as the sole separation between success and failure. The fans have a very specific use, for instance, acting as a backdraft that can push your ninjas across the entire width of the screen, but only when sat in exactly the right spot. That spot can only be found in one of two ways: guesswork, or repeated experience.

All of the objects tend to have just one specific use, which means repeated play is part of KamiCrazy's architecture. That's not necessarily a bad thing, however, as return trips mean you have ample opportunity to make a better go of it, saving those soldiers from more of the game's pitfalls (the spikes ready to pierce them open mid-jump or the pools of jungle gunk that sucks those poor blighties under) the second, third, fourth, fifth or sixth time around.

This need for repetition is itself fairly repetitious, with each level unlocked offering a distinctly different challenge that will lead to failures aplenty, even though the formula remains largely the same. It's a formula that's without major fault (moving some of the objects is, very occasionally, a little sticky) and is full of snappy levels that can conversely keep you tied up for hours, but KamiCrazy isn't necessarily the kind of game you'll have on your iPhone for month upon month.

But don't let that put you off. Not every title has to be a revolutionary classic, and KamiCrazy has the kind of instant appeal that makes it good value, even if it has a short shelf life. It's fast, it's hard, it's as cute as it is crazy. It's essentially Lemmings meets Pitfall, on acid, and if that doesn't intrigue you just a little bit, then you just might be a little barmy yourself.

KamiCrazy

Simple, accessible and slightly crazy fun, KamiCrazy is a less complicated take on Lemmings, but one that proves to be just as hectic
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