Even with the growing popularity of iOS gaming, developers bent on crafting an app that can solely run on an iPad are a brave bunch. Excluding the mobile market is an entirely aesthetic choice, as they are placing a premium on the tablet experience. I pull for such adventurous souls, and Khaba fits right into that gambling wheelhouse. You are an explorer lost in a pyramid, and you may find much more than treasure in this mysterious world.

Although it's described as a mature puzzle adventure, Khaba can easily be played at any age. All that's required is an innate understanding of your tablet, analytical skills, and a love of mystery. As you have an eagle's eye viewpoint of the surroundings, the goal is to move several orbs around the area and manipulate light which, in turn, opens various doors if positioned at the right angle.

Moving your orbs requires a simple slide of your finger, and once you place them at the right location, you will also tap the orb and aim the light at your intended target. The stage is completed once an icon glows before you. Simply touch that gleaming object and progress to the next level. The following photo shows a very early section of the app, and the way out is featured on the upper right hand of the screen.

As the explorer moves forward in his treasure hunt, we also unearth a few clues to his own background which, since I'm not a spoiler kind of guy, won't divulge. Why is this David Duchovny looking dude obsessed with what's in the pyramid, and did he leave any of his own personal treasures back home? Will his quest for riches and glory lead to his doom? With each correct puzzle solved, we get closer to the truth, and having two mysteries to solve (the riddle of the pyramid and the explorer's true motivations), gives this puzzler a refreshing amount of depth.

Credit also goes to the intricate architecture involved within each puzzle. Moving an orb in front of a ray of light and have it refracted to your whims is a great construct, but without any inventiveness within the equation Khaba would solely exist as a one trick pony. Instead, each orb, as well as color of light, has its own purpose. One door may open, yet another section of your room may close. Even if certain levels may take a healthy amount of minutes to solve, connecting the dots has been a total pleasure.

One of the great abilities of iOS games is that players can immerse themselves into a journey for just a few bucks. For $3.99, you can explore the inner workings of Khaba, and since it's not a free to play title, it's devoid of horrible pop up adds and intrusive in-app purchases. The visuals are also not elaborate or showy, but its muted approach places extra emphasis on the puzzle solving.

In short, Khaba is a self contained adventure that, though seemingly simple in concept, is thoroughly sublime in execution. As for entering dark planes, count me out!

Due to my own social cowardice, I tend to mince my words. Khaba, however, is a different story. Maybe it's the mystery of the pyramids, or maybe it's my obsession over learning the fate of the explorer, but I really love Khaba. Sometimes the deepest mysteries can only be solved with a little light and a mirror that's ready for reflection. I'm definitely avoiding that personal journey and will let Khaba do the heavy lifting.


App Store Link: Khaba for iPad | By Know IT HT AB | Price: $3.99 | Version: 1.0 | 107 MB | Rating 4+

8.5 out of 10 arcade sushi rating