The KAMI app
is origami without the ori

First impressions 

Most of us, at some point in our lives, have dabbled in origami, which when translated from the Japanese means “folding paper.” Whether its been a rough design of our own making, or something more sophisticated, perhaps learned in a proper class, odds are good that we’ve all folded a paper or three in our lives. 

The word “origami” is actually a combination of two words – “ori” and “kami.” The KAMI app is, therefore, all about paper. It starts out as a very simple idea that quickly becomes more complicated. The goal remains the same as you go along, and the concept is very easy to grasp, but it’s just putting it into practice that’s the tricky part. 

Back in 2000, I took a 10-day cruise on QEII across the Atlantic, and with very few stops on the itinerary, I found myself attending seminars and classes that I normally would have avoided like the plague. By the end of the cruise, I was able to create an origami crane and a very dodgy looking piano. I therefore decided that I had to give the KAMI app a try. 

How it works 

You are given barely any instruction when you open the app, so just in case you think you’ve missed a tutorial somewhere, don’t worry, you haven’t. You’re straight into the first puzzle, and there’s an arrow pointing at something for you to tap. You do so, not really knowing why, and suddenly the “paper” goes from two colors to just one. A-ha. 

Believe it or not, that’s all the help you’ll require to start going it alone. Now, that doesn’t mean that suddenly you’ll be able to solve them all with blissful ease – it just means that you’ll understand the objective, which is to turn each paper from multi-colored into one solid color. It’s not as easy as it sounds. 

Each paper brings a new geometric pattern with it, and it is certainly not obvious from the beginning which color should be the dominant one. You are allowed a certain number of moves in which to complete the task. For example, one paper may give you only four moves. Manage it in the four, and you’ll get a “Perfect!” in return. Go one over, and you’ll get an “OK.” Go two over, and you’ll get the dreaded “Fail!” This app isn’t mucking about. 

Just when you’re ready to give up, crush that cyber-paper into a tight ball, and throw it into a non-existent trash can, you may spy the image of a light bulb over on the lower right-hand side. That takes you to your “Hints” option. You are given five credits for free, and a hint costs three credits. What you’re to do with the other two, one can only guess, but at least you’ll get one hint gratis. 

After that, you’ll be introduced to this app’s in-app purchase scheme. You have to buy further credits if you want more hints. Five credits cost $0.99; 15 cost $1.99, and unlimited hints cost $3.99. Depending on the kind of person you are, you’ll either find the last option a Godsend, or you’ll stubbornly avoid paying it. 

The KAMI app offers a good number of classic puzzles to solve, and you can also purchase some premium puzzles. Each set costs $0.99, although where the price is displayed, I can’t tell you. I only found out when I went to purchase a set and after I’d typed in my iTunes password. 

On the main menu screen, it displays the percentage of puzzles you have completed. 

When I played 

I was perturbed to see how little tutorial there was at the beginning, as I pride myself on absorbing all the assistance given to me before I embark on a new app, but once I saw what I had to do, it was simple enough to take it from there. 

The second puzzle was pretty easy. The third puzzle already had me at one move over. By the fourth puzzle, I was having a hard time even getting an “OK” score over “Fail!” I realized that I was approaching the puzzles from the wrong angle, but what the right angle was, I had yet to discover. 

I’m now on my ninth puzzle, and I have a history of five “Perfect!”s and three “OK”s with one hint. In fairness, I wasn’t really giving the puzzles my full attention, and I was keen to get to a certain stage quite quickly. I’d like to think that I would have had a more impressive score if I’d taken longer. On the other hand, maybe not. 

The background tune is quite soothing. “Is someone playing Oriental music in here?”, one of my coworkers queried, as I tackled the third puzzle. Yes, it was all very Shogun in the office for a while. 

Final thoughts 

Don’t be surprised if you really enjoy the KAMI app. It does require some thought, and each new pattern brings fresh challenges to keep you entertained. The only piece of advice I can give you is to step back and think it through. Don’t immediately go with what appears to be the obvious choice for the dominant color. You may find that if you look at the paper for long enough, the solution will reveal itself … grasshopper. 

KAMI
Cost: $1.99
Seller: State of Play Games Ltd
Devices: Android and iOS
Rating: E for Everyone 

Pros:  

Does not require an Internet connection. Relatively inexpensive. Unlimited hints can be purchased. 

Cons:  

The temptation to use hints instead of figuring it out for yourself. 

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