Play Kalei, is a seek-and-find game with an innovative twist. Unlike Little Things, Where’s Waldo, I Spy and the myriad other iOS games where you hunt for hidden objects, Play Kalei takes a novel tack.
Kalei is short for Kaleidoscope, and that’s what you are looking for. You seek a spot on a high-resolution photo where the colors and patterns converge to form the same psychedelic picture as the one already encircled in the upper-left corner of the screen.
You slide your finger around the part of the image where the colors seem most apt, then fine tune the image in your circle to match what is shown. When you create an exact duplicate the game will accept it automatically and put up a new one.
You need to match three polychromatic pictures per round, and while time counts towards your score, if you need help, a spotlight will slowly zoom in on the correct spot to guide you.
Timing is important, though. The game is set up like Angry Birds or Cut the Rope in that you have multiple levels in multiple environments.
You can earn up to three stars per level, all speed dependant, and successful completion of one level unlocks the next. As Chillingo knows, this equates to replay value and action on their leaderboards.
Check out the trailer:
Apart from the unusual choice of what to seek, Play Kalei has two features that make the game even more of a standout.
There is well thought out two-player mode which is great for side-by-side action. And the coolest part is that you can use your iPhone or iPad 2 camera to snap pictures to create you own photo set.
Still have an original iPad? Don’t worry you can import from the photo album too. This not only adds limitless levels, but allows you to customize the game for any one, of any age, and any interest.
There is nothing missing; Play Kalei’s mechanics and GUI are great.
Chillingo’s alternative to Game Center, Crystal, for leaderboards, achievements and social network integration, is incorporated.
And, the devs earn big kudos: a novel puzzle-game angle is hard to come by.
But while the game is fun, it doesn’t suck you in like some of Chillingo’s most famous addictive titles.
I can’t pinpoint exactly what’s off, maybe it’s just too mellow, but I was able to put the game down. That’s not a bad thing, per se. A game need not cause sleep deprivation to be original and fun.
But, unless you are dedicated to seek-and-finds, this will engage for many minutes, but not hours on end.
Notwithstanding, Play Kalei is a clever new take on the traditional “I Spy” genre. If you love seek-and-finds, this is a must have. For puzzle-lovers in general it may not get your pulse racing, but it's still a good time.
At $1.99 for HD or .99 for iPhone, it’s a steal and definitely worth checking out.