Fun game with great graphics, but low replayability due to repetitive levels and objectives.

With the popularity of tablets and more specifically the iPad, I have tried to keep up with the modern tech.  I started with an iPad 2 and advanced to an iPad Air 2.  My children have iPad Mini 4’s and my good friend Nick has the latest greatest iPad.  Being a lover of video games, it has been exciting to watch the expansion of the app store games towards bigger and better games. With the portability and the convenient ease of use combined, iPads are possibly a very reasonable replacement for the home console  Do not forget that these games may not be as big as AAA games on Xbox One or the PS4.  However, the best game may be the game that you can have on hand when you want to play.  Whether you are camping, vacationing, or solely away from home, many of the games are available to enjoy.  I cannot say the same for my Xbox One.

Kazukiki IOS APPThe Kazukiki Friends app can be found on the IOS app store.  The logo has a large cartoonish rabbit with a tropical pine tree island background.  Scanning through the provided game images, you will notice that the game has a very kid-friendly vibe.  Without any app reviews currently on the IOS App store, I relied upon the images and the description for my decision to download the game.  With good looking graphics, I thought I would like to give this game a try.  The images suggest that you will take the helm of little “Rabbids-esque” bunnies, running around an island shooting barrels with coconuts. The game screenshots suggest that you will experience both a daytime mode and a nighttime mode.  The description is rather vague, detailing the saga of the Kazukiki friends.  You are placed into the role of one of the rabbits and your ship crashed on a tropical island.  The separated creatures are trying to find each other and ultimately are working to find their way home.  Run the map, shoot barrels, find 5 gems and collect the magic item.  According to the App description, some of the friends had an evil spell cast upon them and they try to make you fail at your mission.

kazukiki game
After downloading, open the app and you will see a yellow, blue and purple rabbit running around and laughing.  Your first experience with the game will be with the tutorial map.   The graphics of the island are very well done, hand drawn and very cartoonish.  Personally, the game has a rather nostalgic platformer feel to it.  You control the Kazukiki with the left thumb joystick (on-screen) and shoot coconuts with the right button.  Aim at barrels and shoot them with coconuts.  Once broken, they will release one of 4 things:  a heart for extra life, a coconut for more ammo, one of 5 colored gems, or nothing.  You can run into the water as if it were not there.  There are large cliffside mountains that serve as barriers to movement.  Otherwise, if you can see it, you can pretty much get there.  There are huts on the beach, which are used as obstacles.  You can climb up the ramps to get to the barrels.  You essentially run around the island trying to find the 5 gems.  Once found, you will receive an onscreen message stating that the “Shield is deactivated. Go to your Kazukiki friend.”  Collect the item or the friend and you will be taken back to the magical bridge.  You will advance one section of the bridge and see the next magical item that you will need to unlock.

Mission one was a replay of the tutorial.  Mission two was a replay of mission one.  By mission three I was starting to sense a trend.  Each map was the same, they are large and there are many barrels scattered across the map and each map has a different barrel placement.  You will face angry Kazukiki, that will run at you and kick you, dealing heart damage.  You will also notice birds carrying barrels.  If you hold the throw button down, you can do a charged shot that will angle the coconut ammo.  If you shoot an angry rabbit, it will freeze/stun the rabbit for 15-20 seconds.  Each level has more evil rabbits and more birds.  Around level 3-4 you will notice that the special item is a flashlight.  Once collected, you get to run the same map, but in the dark and using a flashlight.  After 8 missions, the same map, the same music, I could not play this game any longer as there was no variety.  About every 4-5 missions you will move from daytime to nighttime.  Personally, the graphics are well done, the controls are good and intuitive and the game flow is very fluid.

There are a few cons to this game. The game never really explains the story.  Why am I trying to get the items?  Why are the angry rabbits attacking me?  Why are the barrels being moved around by the birds?  With each map the same, there is really no sense of accomplishment or advancement.  The game may change in later levels, I personally cannot know this as playing the same map again and again, with the same mechanic and no upgrades, nor change in powers provides a very low replay value.  I did experience two glitches while playing.  On one of the maps, the last gem was hidden inside of one of the barrels carried by a bird.  A charged shot broke the barrel in the air and the gem remained floating in the air.  I tried shooting it with a coconut, but alas it would not drop.  I had to open the menu and then replay the map again.  Yes, the same map.

The angry Kazukiki do add an element of complexity to the game.  Beyond the first few levels, there is really no additional strategy other than not running out of coconuts.  If you do, press the top left button, which will take you back to the main menu options and you can choose to restart.  There is no penalty for restarting the map, as there are no points or lives.  If you return to the game at a later date, you will notice that there are 15 missions, 5 column 3 rows.  I completed the first 8 missions, and as stated above, there was really limited differences between the games.  I wanted to love the game, but there is no way that I could play this long enough to get through all 15 missions nor to find out what the “?” meant along the sides of the screen.  They have a great start to a game, but they need variety in missions and in the gameplay.  Add a jump feature.  Add different creatures as you progress through the game.  Add new weapons as you progress.  Instead of hearts, perhaps use carrots as food.  Choose to either use the carrot for food or as a weapon.  Perhaps add a speed boost etc.  There needs to be more for people to download the game.  What they have is good, but I want more.  At present, I would rate the game at 3/5.

DOWNLOAD – Kazukiki Friends – $2.99

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