Kenshō ($3.99) by FIFTYTWO is a match-three block sliding puzzle game that provides players with a surreal experience. If you enjoy games like Threes!, but want visuals like Campfire Cooking, then you will love what Kenshō has to offer.
When life gets hectic, I like to sit down and play some games to relax. My go-to for this task is usually puzzle games that make me think, because I don’t like to just let my mind rot away. While I feel like I’ve played most puzzle games that the App Store has to offer, sometimes they slip under my radar and I don’t get a chance to play them. Kenshō is one of those games, and I’m glad that I’m discovering it now.
App Feels Like
App Feels Like
Visually, Kenshō is absolutely beautiful. The game is completely rendered in 3D that is stunning, with blocks that truly pop out at you and vivid dreamscapes of nature that unravel a deeper story. There’s also gorgeous particle effects and lighting that make the game stand out from the crowd. The color palette in Kenshō consists of bold and vibrant hues that contrast nicely with the dark backdrops, and the cutscenes between levels are fun to watch due to the graphics coming to life. The animations in Kenshō are buttery smooth and fluid, so there were no issues with lag or choppy frame rates on my iPhone 8 Plus. The ambient and atmospheric music is also captivating and immersive, while being a delight to listen to as you play. Honestly, Kenshō is a marvel in terms of visual and audio design.
In Kenshō, you’ll find the levels locked away behind doors, with each of them featuring some kind of creature from nature guarding it. While I’m not completely sure how many levels there are total in the game, I know that each stage is broken up into several different parts, so one level can be rather lengthy, especially since things get more challenging as more mechanics are introduced. The goal is simple and straightforward: slide the blocks to match at least three like-colored squares in a line, either horizontally or vertically. Eventually you’ll need to match the blocks with key fragments, which lead to key pieces. The key pieces are necessary to clear that part before moving on to the next one.
Controls in Kenshō are straightforward and intuitive. If you’ve played Threes! before, then you’ll know how this works. Slide your finger on the screen to move all tiles in that direction. You can also slowly drag to see a preview of what that move would look like before you complete it. At the top of the screen is a preview of the next block, so there’s strategy and planning involved.
While things start out easy, it gets more difficult and challenging as you progress. You’ll have black, crumbled blocks that move but can’t be matched with anything, stones that won’t move at all, and more. Key pieces also start having walls on the sides, meaning it will only get cleared out when you make a match on the sides that aren’t blocked. When you take all of these into consideration, Kenshō gets pretty hard. Once the board fills up with blocks that don’t match, then you’ll have to restart that part over.
A block sliding puzzle matching game with a great design.
Kenshō is definitely a puzzle game that stands out from the rest. At this point it’s a bit older, but still worth a download. It has exquisite and excellently done visuals that are immersive and engaging. The original serene soundtrack is another fantastic touch to the game, and it’s recommended to play with headphones to get the full experience. Controls are easy and intuitive, and the various game mechanics that are gradually introduced keep things fresh. And once you complete a stage, the game rewards you with a moment to kick back and relax with the peaceful cutscenes.
Kenshō is a great game, but there’s one thing that I found kind of annoying. While you can "skip” the cutscenes by doing a long-press, this is more of a “fast-forward” function than a full on skip. I feel that sometimes these scenes are a bit long, and I just want to get to the next chapter. I think making it so that it skips the scene entirely would optimize the overall experience for those who prefer it.
Even though Kenshō has been out for several months, I’ll admit that I messed up by letting it slip by me all this time. However, I was going through my iPhone games and stumbled upon this, and decided to launch it and give it a go. I’m so glad I did, because Kenshō is a real hidden gem for me. The game looks amazing, the music is relaxing, controls are simple, and the puzzles are great for those who appreciate strategy and challenge. Kenshō is a distinctive match-three block sliding game that everyone should check out.