As a relative newcomer to the world of 'apps' I have recently become the owner of a iPhone 4 (something I vowed to never own) and have for the past few weeks spent some time getting accustomed to this new phenomenon of being able to download fun and practical applications to my new toy. I love my phone I have to admit, it's opened up a world I never knew existed and once I managed to get my head round what it was capable of there was no stopping me. I'd heard many a good thing about the game 'Angry Birds' and that ended up being my very first purchase from the 'app store' and subsequently I spent far too many hours trying to fling birds at pigs in an aim to squash them. After seeing how easy it was to download and play games on my phone I scoured the app store for other games that I thought I would like and Tiki Totems 2 caught my eye...
===What is it?===
Tiki Totems 2 from game developers 'spokko' is a puzzle game for the iPhone. Set against a stunning cartoon backdrop of a jungle and active volcano the idea of the game is to destroy a certain number of blocks and obstacles whilst making sure your 'tiki totem' is kept happy. Blocks and logs are destroyed by touching them on the screen on the iPhone and its a game of skill trying to make sure you remove them in such an order that keeps the totem safe. Should the totem touch the ground during the 'Classic' round then the the game is lost and as punishment for angering the Tiki gods they shower hot lava down from the volcano onto the jungle villagers and you are forced to try again before moving on to the next round. The three main levels each have their own variation as to what you have to do with your Totem, they can't touch the ground in Classic mode, in "Altar" mode you have to get the totem onto a platform and in "Love" two totems need to touch. Containing over 270 levels which steadily increase in difficulty Tiki Totems 2 makes for a challenging and absorbing game and is one that I have also spent far too many hours playing recently.
On the surface this looks an easy game when you first start to play, appearances can be deceptive though and as the early levels serve as an introduction to the challenges to come you could be forgiven for thinking its going to be a doddle completeing all of the levels. Once the Tiki gods are satisfied that you know what you are doing you are thrown into the middle of some tricky and complex puzzles which require a great deal of thought. Removing the logs and blocks without disturbing the Totem can prove to be awkard; the obstacles are made up from different componets and whilst some just require a tap to get rid of them there are some that have added complexities to them. There are some blocks which can only be removed if they touch one another, some need to broken by dropping another block on top of them and others explode when they are touched scattering anything that touches them.
The games menu allows you to select either to Play the game or go into 'Builder' mode which allows you to create your own levels and either play them or send to other people. I have built my own levels but prefer to play the ones that are already there so once "Play" is selected you are presented with the levels that need to be completed. "Prolog" introduces you to the game and allows you to get used to obstacles and what they are and once these inital 16 levels are completed you can then choose to play the Classic, Altar or Love levels and take on the various challenges that await you.
Beautifully presented with vibrant cartoon graphics the game does look good it has to be said, it's a fun game even though some levels are absolute killers and the game developers have really gone to a lot of effort to produce a polished and involving game. There are some nice touches of humour (you can destroy villagers by tapping on them if you want to) and the onscreen instructions are clear and easy to understand and follow. The sound quality is good even though it is the annoying 'plinky plonky' type of accompanying music which seems to be a feature of a lot of games these days and to be honest I usualy have my phone's volume turned down or muted as I do find it gets on my nerves after a while. There's little to criticise in terms of how the game is presented or how responsive the touch screen of the iPhone actually is so nothing to worry about there.
I've always been fond of puzzle games and find their complexity challenging so Tiki Totems 2 would have to have a lot wrong with it for me not to like it. Happily there's nothing to complain about with this game, some levels do require a lot of thought and pre-planning but the sense of satisfaction I get from completeing a particulalry tricky level makes the accompanying frustration worthwhile. There are some difficult levels which require multiple attempts to complete and if you haven't got the patience to keep replaying a level then you are offered 5 'skips' which will allow you to move on with the game without completeing a level. For me I find this a game that I can pick up and play for either short bursts or longer periods of time and it never fails to entertain and amuse me.
I do think its more suited to the older player, probably teenagers and above as some of the levels are difficult and do require both a steady hand and being able to plan ahead. I think it's great though and along with Angry Birds is the game I go back to more than any other I currently have sat on my iPhone.
===Techincal Information and Price===
The current version of the game is the 1.5.0 release which has had a recent upgrade and is 18.1MB in size, it took seconds to download to my phone directly from the app store and is quick to load from the menu. I have never experienced any glitches or crashes with the game even when I have played it for hours at a time and best of all it was free when I downloaded it so I definitely had no reasons to grumble about it. At the moment it appears that the game costs 59p and as I have recently discovered there are add-ons that you can buy for it (Unlock all the levels being one of them). During the time I have owned the game there has been an upgrade which I was notified about from the app store and that was installed without problems on my phone and judging by other peoples comments about the game it has been well recieved by the majority of players.
Absolutely yes! even at 59p its got to be a bargain and I would definitely recommend this game for anyone who likes puzzles or games that make you think and have to plan ahead. Five stars from me, thanks for reading my review.
Please be aware that this review also appears on ciao under my username.