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Review Niaki

Brandon Girod
Beautiful aesthetic, solid controls, difficult gameplay
There is only one game mode, not all of the mechanics are laid out in an intuitive way
Niaki for Android is a unique and addictive matching game that doesn’t follow many of the tropes that typical Android matching games seem to fall into. In this one, you’ll try to regroup every color on the board you’re given. There is no easy mode on this, you’re simply dropped straight in the middle of the rainbow, so it’s do or die.
Booting up the game will take you through a pretty quick tutorial. The first few of these gave me the impression that the game was level-based, but it’s not. The tutorial will give you some of the basic ideas. You need to swipe tiles of colors to match other groups of the same color. Smaller groups can join bigger groups, and you can even more through different colored blocks - provided the group you want to move is bigger than the group that’s destroyed.
This game isn’t level-based, however. Each new playthrough is randomly generated and it’s always difficult. In the UI, you’ll see a percentage of how much of the board you’ve matched, along with the number of moves you’ve already made, a hint system, and an undo button.
Gameplay is difficult and can be fun, but it’s very taxing on your mind. Right of the bat, you need to make sure you set yourself up with plenty of avenues to move to, otherwise you’ll end up finishing the board with lonely color tiles. This is the kind of thinking that I’m just not sure I truly enjoy, and this game really made me aware of that.
Unfortunately, there are no other game modes other than the main one I’ve explained here. Undo moves are also limited, so you’ll need to purchase more if you’re really that into the game. To be honest, this game just doesn’t have very high legs to stand on.
Niaki is interesting in your first few playthroughs, but I found the game to become incredibly repetitive. Each new game just feels like you reset the last one. In games like this, I prefer a bit more of a structured experience. That’s not something you’ll find here.

Final ratings

Gameplay 9/10
Story 8/10
Graphics 9/10
Sound 9/10
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