Kami Retro review

Kami Retro review

Kami Retro's a smart and stylish platformer that belies its retro bells and whistles. The aesthetic is the familiar brightly coloured blocks n' bloops so popular on the App Store, with all the obligatory cap-doffing to the Mushroom Kingdom, but Kami Retro's style of bouncing 3D pixels is all its own.

The simple, cheery music sets the pace for a world that bounces with it – a fine rhythm to set Kami Retro's unique four-man challenge to. Each stage is a one-screen platforming trial which you're allowed to eye up and fiddle with certain elements of first – placing a bouncy spring here, a fan that boosts jumping distances there, and so on.

Once you start, though, your character never stops running – simple swipes up make him jump, and flicking the other direction changes the way he's heading. A timer also starts counting down on when the next character will pop out of the stage's entrance – in all, you have to guide four through each level, and if the route you planned has wasted seconds, you may end up controlling multiple characters at once, which never ends well.

Always cute in its solutions, and in the ways multiple protagonists begin crossing, Kami Retro builds into a stiff challenge, though never one let down by the simple inputs. It's a hybrid of simple puzzling and quickfire hops that looks beautiful and is only let down by a few too many repetitions in the level layouts – particularly late on. A lender and borrower with a few ideas of its own, Kami Retro's not quite perfect, but is worth a hundred more generic clones.