Gua-Le-Ni describes itself as a game of “taxonomy.” As a “creature” parades across the screen, your task is to classify the animal for the record books. The stage looks like an old, leather bound sketch book where the animals stroll by in front of a tree. The tree looks like a pen sketch and the animals look like the animal was torn apart into segments and pieced together randomly.
The overall effect looks a bit South Park-ish, but not as well done.
How does it work?
To start, there are two cubes at the bottom of the screen that you need to swipe to turn or pinch to rotate or change order. Once the combination on your dice matches the creature walking by on the page it is cleared by a gust of wind and the next creature starts to appear, just so you can classify it. You need to classify the animal before it makes it all the way across the screen because the game ends as soon as the first animal gets across.
As the game advances, it will speed up the animals by letting them get “hungry.” If you don’t feed them, they will move faster out of frame. To appease their appetites, you can tap on passing birds or fruit hanging in the tree to drop food on the ground in front of the animal. They will then pause to eat, giving you more time to flip through the cubes to get the right combination. The game adds a level of difficulty by adding a third cube to the mix.
Is it contagious?
This game gives you something to do for a while, but I can’t recommend it. From the nerd point of view, when you see a creature in the “non-fiction” section appear with the head of a tiger and the body of a lobster, the game loses points; especially since it calls itself a taxonomy game. Not only is there almost no appearance of real animals, the “taxonomy” is simply a syllable of the common name of the animal represented on the cube; no binomial nomenclature, no Latin, etc. Also, the voice and dialogue of the narrator are annoying—the game even says so.
Gua-Le-Ni is reduced to simply spinning a couple of cubes to match what you see, and the novelty wears off quickly.