INOQONI by HIKARI7 icon

INOQONI ($0.99) by HIKARI7 is a beautiful and challenging puzzle platformer.

If there’s one game genre I love, it’s definitely puzzles. Even though they may end up a bit frustrating at times, they’re always a great way to stimulate the mind so it doesn’t turn to mush. And when you combine the puzzle element with platformer, well, then you have something even greater. So while I was perusing the App Store, I stumbled upon the gorgeous screenshots of INOQONI, and I knew I had to give this a shot.

INOQONI by HIKARI7 screenshot

The visuals in INOQONI are absolutely stunning. You’ll find detailed, lush settings, even if they’re a bit dark and gloomy (it’s a big tower in the middle of a forest, after all). The characters are rendered in an alluring way, and their movement animations are smooth. The game’s soundtrack is also filled with magical whimsy, so it fits in very well with the overall mood of the game and it helps relax you at the same time.

The goal in the game is to help the little girl, INOQONI, who was taking a walk with her mother in the forest, escape from a dangerous and mysterious tower. In order to do this, you will have to help her by safely navigating her through each of the bizarre rooms of the tower, to find her mother and get out of there. Each room has a door, but getting to it will be quite a challenging task of figuring out how to get there, with the help of a magical mirror and the ability to flip entire rooms. The game will have six different worlds to discover, with each having 10 levels, so there is plenty of content to go through for the buck.

The controls in INOQONI are quite simple. You will find standard left and right directional buttons in the bottom left corner, which you will use to direct the direction she moves in. The up button on the right side will make her jump, and the longer you hold this down, the higher she can jump. The other button on the bottom right is a mirror, which will flip the entire room horizontally, including where INOQONI is standing.

INOQONI by HIKARI7 screenshot

Of course, this may not make much sense without the most important element: the magical mirror in each room. When INOQONI stands in front of this mirror, and the room is flipped, she will not change her position — the mirror will prevent her from changing sides. Using this, you will need to figure out the way to each room’s door, while avoiding creepy aspects of the tower, such as moving suits of armor. There will also be blocks to push around in order to help you reach higher places, keys to unlock doors, and bonus fairies to collect.

Each level will award you with a bronze, silver, or gold medal, depending on how fast you can complete the level in. Of course, the faster the better, so it may take quite a few tries for each level if you are a perfectionist. Your score also depends on how soon you complete it, and collecting the fairy on each level (before it disappears) will also net you bonus points.

If you’re the competitive type, there is the ability to challenge your Facebook friends with their ranking on stages. However, for whatever reason, there is no Game Center integration. I would like to see this added in the future.

I’m getting to the more difficult puzzles in the game now, but it’s still a great experience. If you’re a fan of puzzle platformer games, then this is a must-have. You can get INOQONI in the App Store as a universal download for $0.99 for a limited time. After this period, it will go up to $1.99.