Ever heard of a Ti-ster? What about a Wart-dor-tle? What, not even a Rhi-mel? In Gua-Le-Ni (or: The Horrendous Parade) you’re tasked with cataloging these and other rare crossbred animals before they move out of sight.
In a nutshell, that’s the core of Gua-Le-Ni. Randomly-generated creatures made up of cutouts of the head or body of various animals walk across the screen, and you must use a pair of dice to catalog it before it walks away. Each side of the dice has an animal part, plus the first or second syllable of the animal’s name. Every die is different from the next, and the key to success is to memorize each one.
Freak of nature.
This concept is expanded in two modes, called fiction and non-fiction. Fiction is a beginner’s mode where you can add or subtract die as you please between rounds. Non-fiction removes this element in exchange for a food system. Here, birds and apples will appear on the screen that you can feed to the creatures as they walk by.
Feeding the right type of food to a creature earns you a stamp, and earning three stamps earns you bonus points. However, feeding an animal the wrong type of food resets your stamp count. Non-fiction also has space ships that drop goo. When an animal eats this, the die count will either increase or decrease. In both game modes, more dice means more points.
Don’t feed the… whatevers.
One of our favorite aspects of Gua-Le-Ni is the weathered British philosopher who guides you through the tutorial and narrates as you play. The voice acting is excellent, and he delivers the witty dialogue convincingly. We lit up every time he began humming to himself, and even his cough is full of quirky British charm. The menu, which is designed to look like a taxonomy journal, helps make this game look as authentic as possible.
If you own an iPad and you’re looking for something unusual, Gua-Le-Ni is worth picking up. It displays a level of of ambition and originality rarely found in iOS games. While it’s not for everyone, if you like odd and quirky games, you’re bound to enjoy Gua-Le-Ni.