Game: Super Kiwi 64
Genre: Action, Arcade, Platformer, Adventure
System: Nintendo Switch (Also on Steam (Windows))
Developer|Publisher: Siactro | Diplodocus Games
Age Rating: EU 7 | US Everyone
Price: US $2.99 | UK £2.69 | EU € 2,99
Release Date: December 2nd, 2022
Review code provided with many thanks to Diplodocus Games.
All Kiwi, no Bear
Super Kiwi 64 is a colourful 3D platformer with an emphasis on collecting. As its title implies this game does have the look and feel of the N64 generation with its low poly look. If you’re looking for a short experience, which will unlikely raise your stress levels, then this is an easy recommendation at a generously low price.
There isn’t a lot of storyline to go on. Once you begin the game you control an adorable little Kiwi with a backpack. The goal of the game appears to be to jump into each of the eight levels and collect at least 40 gems in order to fix up a plane and fly away with your dog engineer pal. For any semblance of plot, you’ll just have to use your imagination and create it yourself as you explore the levels. I ended up thinking this has a somewhat Indiana Jones vibe and I was grabbing these jewels in order to make a daring escape, though no boulders chase you in this game.
The reason I came to this conclusion is a lot of the levels have a sort of Aztec feel to them with weird skeletons just randomly placed on the level. It seemed to be quite contrasting to the vibrant colour presentation and generally charming protagonist. The weirdness doesn’t stop there; some levels even have these odd switches with what looks like a pixelated fetus inside. It’s like cute and horror being mashed together and it doesn’t feel like the right tone. But for every weird environment, you explore there is a level where you have some woodland and giant mushrooms to bounce off so I guess that makes up for it.
Explore and Collect
The gameplay has a simple 3D platformer design with very casual vibes. Levels are decently sized but there is not really any semblance of threat in the game. All you need to do is explore the level collecting cogs and completing small missions like flicking switches in order to spawn one of the six gems hidden through the level. There are no boss encounters, just collectable exploration levels. You have four bars of health represented by kiwi fruits in the top right of the screen but I found these rarely diminished.
There is sometimes an odd walking statue wandering around which I think is an enemy, however, there is so much space to avoid them, they are rarely a threat. The entire tone is extremely casual making this more platform meditation than stressful. Even the platforming segments are generously sized giving you plenty of space to manoeuvre. This serene calm design will most likely be quite appealing to those looking for that type of experience but I felt a more hearty challenge even if confined to an extra level would be welcome.
Controls are easy to pick up although the game strangely lacks a tutorial. With some light experimenting on the first level I discovered my Kiwi could run, glide and use a corkscrew attack, which also allowed you to stick to walls and climb up to higher platformers. When sprinting or gliding your backpack will reveal a fan or plane wings which was a nice touch to the design.
Nipping around the levels as a kiwi is a lot of fun and feels comfortable. But a significant niggle is the awkward camera controls. For some reason, the camera points kinda down towards your kiwi at an angle making it often hard to get a lay of the land in front of you. You can use a shoulder button to centre the camera and then rotate it with the shoulder buttons but it feels quite stiff and if you do pivot upwards you often see through the bottom of the map. It doesn’t totally ruin the experience and is less of an issue if you’re on top of the map but it does niggle.
Over and Done
The game only took me just over 2 hours to finish on my very first playthrough and I scored 100% on every level. I mean this was a pleasant calm playthrough with satisfying collecting but I was left wanting more. There is one neat secret to discover. If you collect all the gems you will unlock a level where you can input codes which you find hidden in the main levels to activate cheats. These include a first-person view or a play as a different character plus many more. It’s a pretty cool feature that adds some extra legs to the experience. Other than that it’s up to you if you just want to replay or maybe even speed-run it.
Conclusion – Leaves You Wanting More
For the price of entry Super Kiwi 64 is a nice platformer to enjoy on a game night when you just want something casual and wholesome. It is a bit too easy with 100% completion being accessible in a single game session for most gamers. It is an experience that definitely leaves you wanting more. But what is here is pretty good. The Kiwi protagonists are adorable, the graphics are vibrant and colourful and it’s a lot of fun zipping around the level. If you’re looking for something wholesome this will undoubtedly warm your gamer’s heart even if it’s only for a short spell.
Final Verdict: I Like it