Yam Yam: Puzzle Guardians (out now, $0.99) by Honey Tribe Studios features a peculiar group of creatures called the Lifelings, whose tranquil lives are wrecked when the Darklings invade their Yam Yam forest. Now the Lifelings need help in finding their way home before darkness falls.
This aid strangely comes in the form of a hero riding a pink elephant, and you’ve got to toss berries to fix the broken paths in the forest. What makes this different from the usual catapult game is you’ve got to flick while moving. In addition, the Lifelings come in different colors and you’ve got hit the broken paths with a similar-colored berry (or a special rainbow berry). Sometimes, you can also pick up bombs to toss.
Yam Yam: Puzzle Guardians starts off simple and leisurely, but as you progress up the levels various obstacles will block you from striking with a straight trajectory. Such challenges are most welcome, unfortunately, the game controls don’t allow for precise aiming. You can control the height and force of your toss by the speed of your flicking, but lobbing your berry in the right arc involves a whole lot of trial and error. This is made worse by the fact that you don’t have all that much time to experiment since your target will eventually move out of range. And of course, your supply of berries is limited.
Though you aren’t severely penalized for missing your targets (i.e. you can still progress to the next level as long as you fix one broken path), the poor controls spoil the game. This is indeed disappointing for a game that starts off fresh and charming. Moreover, the overall gameplay starts to feel repetitive after a while.
iFanzine Verdict: Yam Yam: Puzzle Guardians offers a unique take on the typical catapult-styled game, but despite this freshness, the iffy controls are a letdown. The game may perhaps appeal more to kids and casual players, but it doesn’t appear addictive enough to hook more avid gamers.