Each puzzle in Kami 2 looks like something you’d want to put on a wall — you almost don’t want to mess with it to find the solution. But Kami 2 is also more than just a pretty game. Its puzzles, a series of colorful, connected triangles, offer just the right balance between challenge and relaxation. It’s the kind of game that pairs perfectly with a morning cup of coffee.
Kami 2 starts out simple, perhaps a bit too much. The goal in each stage is to turn the patterned screen in front of you into one solid color. To do this, you select colors from the right side of the screen, and use them to “paint” areas of the puzzle. Each stage needs to be completed in a set number of moves. Early on, it’s almost comically easy to solve the puzzles. It took nearly a dozen or so before I started feeling any sense of challenge. But once the difficulty ramps up — with more colors and increasingly complex patterns — Kami 2 turns into quite the head-scratcher.
But even as it challenges you with puzzles that seem impossible at first, Kami 2 remains an almost uniformly relaxing experience throughout. Much of this comes down to presentation. Kami 2 looks like a game made of paper, with puzzles that fold and flip in realistic ways. (The developer, State of Play, is no stranger to this realistic art style, with games like the paint-spattered Inks and the paper world of Lumino City.) When you finish a level, it folds itself into a nice, tidy, and incredibly satisfying little package. It’s a pleasingly tactile experience.
As the name suggests, Kami 2 is a sequel, and it switches up the formula in a few ways. For one, its puzzles are made from triangles, whereas previously they were squares, which the creators say has led to more variety in terms of what can be created. “Triangles join to each other very differently to squares,” says State of Play’s Dan Fountain. “It gives you so much more freedom within a small area to create interesting joins and patterns. We can now have puzzles which do many things on just one sheet of paper.”
Kami 2 also differs from the original in that it is almost entirely free. You won’t come across paywalls or timers that limit how much you can play. Instead, the paid elements are limited to a hint system and some options for the in-game puzzle-making tool. It’s almost startling how much you get for free: Kami 2 features more than 100 levels to play through, regularly updated daily challenges, and a creation tool to design and share your own stages. You’ll need a lot of coffee to get through it all.