Gua-Le-Ni (iPad only) by Double Jungle might seem a little old: watching a weird creature with the head of a tiger, the body of a hog and the tail of a lobster stampede away could freak out some people. But according to this action puzzle game, all organisms need to be classified – even the ugly, freaky looking ones. In this categorical game of dice, it is not luck that is needed to score high – it is memory.
A cheery narrator with a bad cough guides the user through play as bizarre, paper drawn animals trample across the screen. Under a strict time limit, users must use the finger to flip and lift the dice to match the correct name of each animal body part.
There are two play options – fiction and poetry. Fiction asks the user to correctly categorize the beasts before they finish stampeding, while poetry tells a story as users are shown the beast first, and then asked to rely on complete memory to name it.
I like that this app, unlike the usual speedy, addictive games, is meant to be played over a period of time. It acts as a nice break from the constant rush of play. I absolutely am in love with this apps’ imaginative, beautiful artwork and the book inspired UI. The odd instrumental music featuring Mozart and sound effects really add to the game’s quirky, weird theme.
There are a few fixes the game could use – one being that the narration subtitles kept overlapping the notes on the upper right hand corner, making it difficult to read and concentrate. Another is that there is no shortcut to start another game without closing the book, which can be quite annoying. Lastly, I found that controlling the virtual dice with touch was a little difficult on my iPad and felt that it could use an increase in sensitivity.
Gua-Le-Ni is great for fans of taxonomy and don’t mind a break from the hustle of fast paced games. Users might be interested to find out that this game is more than just fun entertainment – it is actually based off of psycho-physiological responses conducted through research. So what exactly is a ca-mon, or a rhi-hog? Use dancing fingers to flip the dice and find out.