Forget about matching gems. Chillingo has something special in store for puzzle fans.
While it's too early to declare Play Kalei most innovative puzzle game of 2011, it is without question a potential candidate. Chillingo surveyed the App Store competition (a mess of match-three and block falling rip-offs) and created something wholly original, a game that definitely stands far apart from anything we've seen.
As the title implies, you manipulate kaleidoscopes to locate patterns. Each stage has a unique picture, and every time you play, the game randomly takes a snapshot of some undisclosed area and then presents it as an unidentifiable pattern at the top left corner of the screen.
Next to that sits a working kaleidoscope that you adjust by dragging a finger across it, with the goal to match the pattern by adjusting the many colors and shapes. Succeed, and you move to the next stage, or you can replay the current level, since the game will create a new challenge to complete.
Although you're free to take as much time as you want to solve a puzzle, doing it in seconds instead of minutes gives you chance to earn up to three stars per level; the longer you take, the less stars you'll win.
There's also a two-player mode that lets you and a buddy race to find a kaleidoscope pattern, but what really intrigues us is the option to import your own pictures to create new levels, something that gives the game infinite value.
Chillingo will release Play Kalei on iPad, with an iPhone version soon to follow. For now, enjoy the images for what could be one of the App Store's best puzzlers.