YANKAI’S PEAK ($2.99) by Kenny Sun is a unique puzzle game that serves as a love letter to pyramids. If you enjoyed other abstract puzzle games, such as Stolen Thunder, then you will like what YANKAI’S PEAK has to offer.
Usually, in my times of stress, I turn to good old video games to take my mind off of things. It’s a great escape for me for several hours, or even minutes if I just need a breather. And while I like to play games of all genres, my favorite to turn to are puzzle games, because they’re both relaxing but stimulating at the same time, which I love. Even though I feel like I’ve gone through a majority of the puzzle games that the App Store has to offer, I can’t help but always be on the lookout for new ones. And while this week saw the surprise release of Monument Valley 2, that doesn’t mean that there aren’t other hidden gems that have been released lately. I saw YANKAI’S PEAK on the App Store and was intrigued because it didn’t seem to be like many other puzzle games that I’ve played before. I had to give it a try myself, and needless to say, I’m not disappointed.
App Feels Like
App Feels Like
The visuals in YANKAI’S PEAK are stunningly beautiful, and while it looks simple at first, it is rather distinctive and unlike many other games in the puzzle genre. The game features gorgeous, softly-colored gradient backgrounds that make it easy to see the triangles and pyramids that sit on top in the foreground. The stages are all made up of connected triangles that form a path, and there are even intricate geometric patterns on the colored triangles, which are the spots that you must position the colored pyramids into. The shading on the pyramids is done excellently, so it’s easy to tell the pyramids apart from the triangles. The color palette in YANKAI’S PEAK is well done, as it includes soft pastels, muted earthy tones, and even bold and vibrant hues. All-in-all, everything is rather eye-catching and appealing. To top things off, YANKAI’S PEAK has a soothing ambient soundtrack (composed by JACK+JIM) that is rather mesmerizing and immersive, and it only completes the zen-like experience.
In YANKAI’S PEAK, players will have over 130 levels to go through, but the game itself is not linear at all. In fact, the level selection screen is a puzzle in itself, as you have to control the sentient blue pyramid and guide it to a blue space, which then warps you to a unique stage, and they all have a certain theme to them, which is implied in the stage name. YANKAI’S PEAK also has seven chapters to it, so each chapter introduces another gameplay element to the multifaceted mechanic of the game. Still, no matter which chapter or level you’re on, the main objective of the game is to guide the blue pyramid to its proper spot on the level, while pushing the other colored pyramids into their correct spots as well. Once everything is in their proper place, then you go back to the level selection view and can choose another stage to play.
The controls in YANKAI’S PEAK are simple and intuitive. To move your blue pyramid, just swipe your finger on the screen in the direction that you want to move in. As you come across other colored pyramids, you’ll have to “pin” the blue one and the other one together in order to move them both (or even more) at the same time. To place a pin, just tap the screen in the corner that you want to pin, and then when you swipe, both pyramids move together. Since multiple pyramids move while pinned together, you do have to be cautious, as one pyramid may fall off the path if pushed off, because you know, gravity. Because of this, getting the pyramids into their proper positions on the stage can be a lot trickier than you think. Also, if you have an iPhone 7 or 7 Plus, then the game also has taptic feedback, which is a nice touch.
A pyramid powered puzzle game propelled by push.
Overall, as a fan of puzzle games, I think YANKAI’S PEAK is a good addition to any puzzle fan’s collection. The game has a delightful aesthetic, atmospheric and captivating music, and an intuitive control system. It’s definitely an abstract-style game, but there’s something charming about it, especially if you are one who appreciates good geometric design. And while it’s a bit unorthodox, the level selection being a puzzle in itself is a nice change, because why should the puzzles stop after you complete a level? It keeps things fresh and interesting.
While YANKAI’S PEAK is an enjoyable puzzle game about pyramids and geometry, I am not sure that it’s for everyone. If you are not a big fan of abstract games, then YANKAI’S PEAK is not the best fit for you. Some of the later puzzles can get tricky, so it’s not the kind of game that I would recommend to someone who gets easily frustrated.
I’ve only started playing YANKAI’S PEAK this morning, but I’m finding it to be a nice addition to my growing puzzle game collection on iOS. I’m in love with the remarkable geometric visuals and the music is perfect for me. I’ve gone through a lot of puzzle games during my time here at AppAdvice, and YANKAI’S PEAK is one that stands out from the crowd, which just seems to get harder and harder these days. If you are looking for a fantastic puzzle experience to get you through the weekend, and you already finished Monument Valley 2, then YANKAI’S PEAK is worth a download.
You can find YANKAI’S PEAK on the App Store as a universal download for your iPhone and iPad for just $2.99. There are no in-app purchases.