Emaki is typical of a new breed of apps coming to the App Store. Its gameplay is based on an old mechanic that tried and tested to be successful, but the presentation pushes the hardware to its limits. This leaves a beautiful looking game that has relatively simple gameplay.
The gameplay in Emaki is really nothing new. It involves firing little coloured creatures into a line of similarly coloured creatures – make a chain and watch them explode. The coloured creature you have to fire changes each time, and the chain is continually snaking around the board, so precision and speed are required, but not to a level where the game could be called challenging.
As you progress through the game different colours become available and the speed of the chain increases, as well as there being more complex patterns the chain follows. This type of progression keeps the game fresh. The game really lends itself to being played casually. There is a story, but it’s not grabbing in anyway – if you play this game, it’s going to be for the gameplay. If you have a spare few minutes you could easily progress to the next level, and it is this quality that makes App Store games like this just so popular.
The presentation is what makes this game special. Everything from the animated character on the menu screen, to the little creatures you fire all look beautiful and are well animated. When you get a combo score the screen lights up with multiple colours and it truly is a spectacle.
With all the animation and lights you could be forgiven for thinking that the game might stutter, or not run smoothly. In fact the opposite is true, and everything runs perfectly. The loading times aren’t ridiculous and when the game does load the action gets going immediately. This is a well optimized and well-designed game, and it’s clear to tell.
If you are looking for a free to play, beautifully presented and fun for short periods game then there are a lot of options to choose from, but Emaki is certainly up there with some of the best.