Darn it. I have to pay more attention to the game titles on the weekly review list. I’m really hungry right now and I thought I was reviewing a game based on chicken curry called Tikka Gods.
And before you alert me to the fact that a game based on a popular Indian dish wouldn’t yield any actual food, I’m well aware of this fact. I have to start the review somehow, and I thought this was a pretty decent link. Don’t judge me.
Tiki Gods: Ancient Times is a 3D puzzler from developer Kalani Games which sees you take control of one of three mini Gods aligning and blasting chains of blocks to create a new island with no chicken curry in sight.
The Tiki Gods on offer are Ku – the God of war and fire, Kane – the God of life, thunder and wind (that’s wind, not flatulence) and Lono who is the God of growth and nature. Where Cu, the God of Custard Creams is, I unfortunately have no idea. The first thing you’ll notice even before you’ve got into the game proper, is just how fantastic the characters look. With the power of retina on show, the intricately crafted models are full of personality and colour. As they bop around the screen enticing you to pick them, their larger than life headgear resembling exotic face masks gives them the mystical aura of Hawaiian deities and make them at once both cute and frightening. Like a puppy with a machine gun.
The levels are also brilliant to behold, full of luminous night-glo environments with all sorts of occurrences in background reminiscent of another cutey cutey iOS game, Creavures (I still don’t know how to pronounce that). Combined with the sharp level of overall presentation, and the bold and distinctive sound effects, like an Olympic sprinter, you’ve got an impressive package.
Gameplay revolves around guiding your little God round mazes stages aligning blocks which take the form of the the elements of fire, water and earth. Blocks must be moved into position based on their type to create chains which are then blown up using your sun power, leaving different different sized gems in their place. Collect these gems to boost your score, power your special ability and make them into a pretty necklace or something.
It’s a game of strategy and swiftness. You have a time limit to reach the score that will allow you to progress and blocks will only explode in your face like a shaken can of Coke if you line them up in lines of more than three. So just like 452% of videogame puzzlers, there’s an element of Tetris involved. And as your mini divinity toddles round adding humorous yelps and grunts to the ‘Chilling-on-the-beach-while-sipping-expertly-mixed-cocktails’ soundtrack, you can see the whole thing has been well assembled.
But that toddling that is one of the frustrations with the game. Movement is handled by swiping to negotiate each level’s maze, but it’s often inaccurate, unresponsive and your sun power button which enables you to blast blocks lives right where your thumb is attempting to make your Tiki move. As a result problems alternate between accidentally firing off your sun power when simply trying to move, and vice versa. I also ran out of time due to not being able to manoeuvre into position more than once. The game also doesn’t auto-rotate. Not very relevant, but I thought I’d add it before I forgot.
Oh, and the many different menu symbols sometimes confuse as there’s no text to explain what they do. So if you want to go back to the main menu, or mess with the settings, it’s not entirely obvious how unless you’re fully accustomed to them. Sorry, I added that in again. Just call this an stream of consciousness review.
But there’s an engaging and fun game here if you can (literally) wrap your fingers round it. Puzzlers don’t come much better looking, sounding or presented than this on iOS, so its all a rather tasty recipe in the end.
A bit like a chicken curry.
Curry up and get to Twitter, where Kevin is waiting for you to follow him @dreagleg
Tiki Gods: Ancient Times is available now for £2.49 for iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch. Get it now on the