Elegant iOS game Kiwanuka will charm you with puzzles

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Thank goodness for a game with just a few things to learn how to do.

Too many environmental puzzle games try to do too much, packing in all sorts of stuff you have to figure out to solve the ever-increasingly difficult levels.

Not so with Kiwanuka, an elegantly smart game that only has a couple of mechanics, but tons of fun levels to solve with them.

Oh, and it’s a little bit weird, too.

Kiwanuka starts with one little adorable torch holder. You’ll need to move that little person, along with all his tiny followers, down some crystal cavern to a pyramid within which another little cutie is imprisoned.

You’ll just drag this weird lightning torch from his starting point to where you want him to end up on your iPhone (or iPad) screen. Drag the lightning off a ledge, and all the little followers will fall with your torch bearer, like little lemmings.

Once you’ve saved the first little guy, you’ll get another little guy (he has an eyepatch) who will carry the torch. The next level is a bit trickier, but it’s where you learn the next trick of the game. Drag upward from the lightning staff and all your little lemming folks will stand on each other’s charmingly rendered shoulders to form a human column. Swipe the column and it’ll fall across the large gaps between the crystal platforms, forming a little bridge. You can then walk your small group across the human bridge like so many kindergartners on a field trip.

kiwanuka screens

Each new level has more and more to figure out, but you’ll only have to solve them using the few tricks up your sleeve. Some levels have pink or blue crystals that will destroy your magical people bridge. You’ll need to make sure you tower your lemming-folks just the right length to complete these levels. You can double tap your bridges to make them disintegrate, too, so that you can precisely drop down to the next pyramid level exit. I haven’t heard any screams when I do so, yet. Maybe the tiny pixel people like being disintegrated while they’re in the form of a human bridge?

The odd music and strange level map (it’s a tower of people, folks. A tower. of. people.), along with the cute little cubist characters, combine just right with the intelligent elegance of the level designs. Kiwanuka kept my son and I busy all afternoon, passing the iPhone back and forth and helping each other solve the tricky levels.

If you’re a fan of environmental puzzle games and enjoy art and sound that’s just a bit off-kilter, CMA Megacorp’s Kiwanuka is the game for you. It’s totally worth the $1.99 the devs are asking, so go grab your copy today.

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About the author

Rob LeFebvreAnchorage, Alaska-based freelance writer and editor Rob LeFebvre is Cult of Mac's Culture Editor. He has contributed to various tech, gaming and iOS sites, including 148Apps, VentureBeat, and Paste Magazine. Feel free to find Rob on Twitter @roblef

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