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iPad  header logo

Ikue

For: iPad   Also on: iPhone

Shape sorting for adults

Product: Ikue | Developer: Gebo Kano | Publisher: Gebo Kano | Format: iPad | Genre: Puzzle | Players: 1 | Version: Europe
 
Ikue iPad, thumbnail 1
Ikue might seem like a sound you make when you sneeze, but it is in fact a shaped-based puzzle game for iOS devices.

The concept is incredibly simple: find a way to fit a selection of different shapes together into an irregular grid, with no space left over.

You can rotate or mirror your shapes as much as you like, although the tutorial does a fine job of making what are actually highly intuitive controls seem confusing.

Magic trick

You're challenged to repeat this procedure over a variety of different levels.

IAPs explained
Ikue is free-to-play and gives you plenty of content for nothing. But if you like it, you can unlock more and make your life a little easier via real-world cash.

The biggest draws are the new sets of levels, which cost £1.49 / $1.99 each. There's a tempting option to get them all in one go, but make sure you finish the free levels first and like the game enough to make it worthwhile.

You can also buy tilebreakers, which allow you to smash up big puzzle pieces into singletons, making it trivial to solve most levels. Ten cost 69p / 99c, and 30 cost £1.49 / $1.99.

Finally, you can turn off the in-game ads for 69p / 99c if you really want to.
The main draw is the story mode, which attempts to give some form to the experience by tying your travails into some nonsense about a magician trying to re-unite the fragments of an enchanted object.

The tale doesn't really work in delivering a sense of cohesion to proceedings, and feels a bit like a late addition (perhaps when the developer realised that there's not quite enough variety in the concept to carry a whole game).

Visually, though, Ikue is very pleasing, with an unusual organic marbled look to all the interfaces and pieces. And there are different game modes to try, although many of them require you to stump up cash to unlock.

Doesn't add up

Ultimately, however, fitting pieces into a grid just becomes a bit repetitive after a while. It starts to feel like the sort of shape-sorting exercises you were given in maths at school - more work than fun.

It's not helped by a wildly uneven difficult curve that wobbles inconsistently from pointlessly easy to near-impossible.

Saying that, it is competently delivered and free to try. So, puzzle fans probably ought to give it a whirl, just in case it's only me on whom Ikue's enchantments have failed to work.
 
Ikue
Reviewer photo
Matt Thrower | 27 March 2014
A solid and often challenging puzzle game. Its simplistic mechanics aren't varied enough to sustain long-term interest, though
 
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