Possibly the most exciting and intriguing game to emerge from the App Store this week, Kiwanuka [$0.99] is a beautifully designed abstract puzzler that manages to be electrifying in every way. There are countless words I could use to describe this game, but none of them would describe just how fascinating this game truly is. Whimsical, magical, and enchanting don’t even come close.

Reminiscent of a Lemmings-esque game, with a primary focus on puzzles rather than powers, you play as a wizard who wields a mystical electric staff, used to co-ordinate a horde of pixelated characters around each level, with the aim of rescuing one of your numerous imprisoned acolytes. Instead of using the typical ladders, ropes and mining tools, you create bridges and man-made ladders using your band of followers, all while assisting the direction with your handy lightning-generating staff.

kiwanuka

Creating a tower using the lightning emanating from your staff, you then can gently push the tower over the edge to create a ladder or bridge of sorts and connect it to the underside or to another adjacent floating rock. Examining your environment is somewhat crucial, as part of your success will be evaluating how long each tower should be and in which direction they need to be swinging in order to advance safely.

Timing is also an equally important factor, as it may be necessary to have to destroy a bridge mid-crossing in order to drop into another area. However, keep your wits about you, as falling off rocks and onto dangerous terrain leads to certain death.

Figuring out how to navigate all the drops, gaps and various other hazards, gets increasingly difficult as the game advances, but the simple mechanics and intuitive controls hide well what is essentially a complex and very intricately-designed puzzler.

What struck me first and foremost about this game however, is just how beautifully polished it looks, and just how much thought has gone into the design of every separate screen, from the menu to the artistic effects and glorious animation. It’s especially relieving to know that there are still developers coming up with original and intriguing concepts amongst all the shovelware.

Kiwanuka is available right now for both iPad and iPhone and it’ll keep you mesmerised for countless hours. This is one game that certainly sets the standards for all future puzzle games.

TouchArcade Rating

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  • therion3

    Wow. Seems nice!

  • markymarkanddafunkybunch

    Peanut butter jelly time!

  • Spudboy

    Who does the soundtrack?

    • http://futbolox.tumblr.com/ Fnurgh

      Unicorn Lazer I think it said.

  • xx99

    Well-deserved. My only complaint was that the difficulty curve moved all over the place instead of a steady progression from easy levels to hard ones. Still, you can finish the game in less than 2 hours and it's awesome the whole way through.

  • iPhallex

    If this is anything like Lemmings, I will consider it an Insta-Buy.

    • mzinn

      If you like lemmings also try Spirits for Ipad & Band together. Spirits turned out to be one of my favs.

      • mzinn

        There are a few games called Spirits. I'm talking about the one by spaces of play.

  • mzinn

    Its a great game. I blasted through 19 levels & couldn't put it down. I love that a few solutions were the exact opposite than I had been trying. Really makes you think about the puzzle & solution. This is a gem.

  • HelperMonkey

    Catchy names sell products. Just saying.

    • https://weheartit.com/cantst0pfallinginL0ve henrycupcake

      yea.. no wonder new start up like Pinterest can now rivals Facebook in referral traffic , you need a catchy / funny / cool name to sell a product but many company seems still don't get it

  • GamerFirst1

    This partly makes me think of The Wonderful 101 on WII U (for the 3 people that have a WII U and The Wonderful 101) just minus the combat.

  • stromstock

    "Countless hours". More like two tops.

    • xx99

      I don't want to read too much into it, but that is pretty concerning. A lot of sites rush to get reviews out ASAP and let quality slip as a result. I appreciate that TouchArcade is one of the sites where the reviews usually don't feel rushed. I don't expect that reviewers will always finish a game before reviewing it, but you'd think they'd spend at least 90 minutes on a puzzle game like this, especially if the reviewer was enjoying it.

      • http://futbolox.tumblr.com/ Fnurgh

        Guys, try 30/40 minutes.

  • http://keiserone.tumblr.com/ KaiserOne

    Well that came out of nowhere

  • https://weheartit.com/cantst0pfallinginL0ve henrycupcake

    #1 cute funny app icon , #2 this game play / feels like 2D pikimin , i am sold !

  • theopla

    Best puzzle game after Monument Valley!!

  • Vicente Ragal

    What on earth is going on in that trailer.

  • http://futbolox.tumblr.com/ Fnurgh

    If you want a stylish game that sounds good and has 30 easy levels that take less than a minute each, then by all means get it...

    Otherwise, don't believe the reviews "it’ll keep you mesmerised for countless hours". I was mildly entertained for about 35 minutes and then it was over.

  • Tom Busler

    This is the most interesting piece of personal branding I've ever seen for an NFL linebacker.

  • Haven't Find It

    very interesting concept..

Kiwanuka Reviewed by Lucy Ingram on . Rating: 5