Cheap Shot: Karuki

What do you get when you combine a smurf gymnast with a ditzy teenage babysitter? You get Karuki, a stylish but ultimately shallow game in which you draw lines to bounce your character around.

These lines, which you can only draw one of at a time, act like trampolines. You need to draw them at the correct angles to bounce the your blue hero into the smaller blue fellows he’s trying to collect and rescue, who will then follow you to the exit of the level.

Smurfs on trampolines.

Much like the star, your interest in this game will probably bounce to great heights before inevitably crashing to the ground. That’s because there’s not much to do here after you get the hang of the initial controls, which involve nothing more than quickly drawing lines on the screen.

You only get one life, and the game always starts on the first level and progresses from there. They’re all done in the same style, and while the impressive artwork really gets you into the game, it’s difficult to distinguish one level from another. There are some enemies to avoid, but they’re a bit difficult to see because they’re usually off the edges of the screen, until you go careening into them at a hundred miles an hour.

For a dollar, this is a fun game, although we wouldn’t highly recommend it because there’s just not that much to it. The online leaderboards are nice, and there are sections for daily, weekly and all time high scores. That said, this smurf gymnast won’t be qualifying for the Olympics.

Editor’s Note: Cheap Shot is a new review feature where we pick a game that costs $.99 or $1.99 and give it the quick review treatment. While you won’t find a 1-4 score or our usual pros and cons, you will get a direct assessment of the game based on a one-hour playthrough. You’ll still find our full-length, regular reviews for other games.

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