Escape from ancient ruins with Ankagua3D

Posted: April 26, 2009 in Puzzle

Ever try to escape from ancient ruins? That’s the premise behind Ankagua3D (aka Escape from Ankagua), a well-made game that throws some personality into the game of sokoban. Sokoban is the Japanese game of pushing boxes around a maze to put them into designated areas. With Ankagua, your objective is help your tribesman push green stone blocks over highlighted areas so that he can get that much closer to finding a way out. Of course, the hitch is that pushing stones in the wrong order or placing them without thinking ahead can have fatal results for your tribesman. To succeed in sokoban, the key is to plan ahead, and Ankagua is no different.

The 3D visuals are great, and you can zoom in and out using the “+/-“ button in the left hand corner. In addition, the music soundtrack adds to the feel of the game. Ideally, the game would use the pinch zoom/pan technology of the iPhone/iPod touch, but this doesn’t affect gameplay. Ankagua uses d-pad controls to move your tribesman, which I found more than sufficient and responsive. The new touch/swipe controls work even better so no more complaints about the d-pad. When your tribesman is able to push a stone block, a “Push” button appears in the right-hand corner. As you complete levels, additional levels unlock. In general, the controls are very intuitive and effective for Ankagua so you can easily pick this up and start playing right away. Where Ankagua could use some polish is in the packaging around the game. Ankagua doesn’t offer a tutorial or a significant menu. You literally go from the intro animation into the levels page. Upon completing a level, your tribesman celebrates, and when you leave the game or don’t complete a level, the tribesman will scream as if you’re leaving him behind—it’s a nice touch. To further add to the feel of the game, the devs should consider including splash screens with humorous congratulatory messages when you complete a puzzle.

If you’re into puzzles and games of logic, Ankagua offers fun and challenging gameplay in a polished 3D framework that I think will meet your expectations.  Btw, more levels and environments are on the way.

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