Review: KuGon by IVRealms
This review originally appeared within iLounge’s iOS Gems series within the compilation article, iPhone Gems: Tetris Clones and Other Grid-Based Games. Additional details may be found in the original article.
We’re going to give IVRealms some credit. By iPhone game standards, the puzzler KuGon ($3) may be a math nerd’s sort of game, but it’s pretty smart and reasonably balanced. You’re given a grid with two types of empty spots—squares and octagons—to fill with numbers. Squares are addition blocks, and the octagons are total blocks, such that adding the numbers in the squares surrounding an octagon will lead to the total. You’re supposed to use a combination of logic, hints provided by the game, and the rare occasional guess to try and figure out the right values for all the empty blocks in a puzzle; every six puzzles you solve gives you the answer to a wholly unrelated trivia question and a piece of wallpaper art that can be added to your iPod or iPhone’s collection.
IVRealms has created a game that, while not exactly exciting, certainly keeps you thinking; eventually, you learn how to use the provided hints in combination with logic to solve puzzles, a skill that keeps your mind sharp and actually could prepare you for certain educational entrance exams. The developer also has gone far beyond the boundaries of what we’d call a demo, as well, with slightly varied art, enough stages, and decent rewards that wouldn’t be confused with the sloppier titles we’ve seen on the iPhone to date. And we can’t object to the $3 price tag either, which seems about right for this title; a free version called KuGon Lite gives you a six-puzzle taste of the title if you want to see if you like it. While not right for everyone and light on audio, KuGon is a legitimately good game that will satisfy brainiacs until they beat the nearly 100 levels—serious players could do this in a day, everyone else will spread it out. iLounge Rating: B.