Title: Ivy the Kiwi?
Platforms: Wii & Nintendo DS.
Rating: E for everyone.
Recommendation Rating: 8.5/10
Ivy is a small kiwi still stuck inside her shell with wings that don't make her fly. Instead, Ivy is good at one thing: running! And she is desperate to find her mother at all costs! Ivy must brave 50 puzzling levels breaking through boulders, spinning through rats and crows, and collecting feathers on the way back to mom. There is a storybook (similar to Mario Galaxy's storybook mode) that tells the story of what happens to Ivy during her brave journey.
The player controls a hand on the screen. It is your job to create ivy on the screen to help Ivy dodge enemies, avoid spikes, and make it to the goal podium of each level. The challenge lies in guiding Ivy! She's a fast little sucker who never stops running on the screen! This encourages the player to become creative and use the ivy vines to "hammock" the little kiwi whist preparing for the treacherous obstacles yet to come.
Some of the most important items of this game are the boulders that you can use to push into opponents and also destroy dark black blocks that can only be crumbled by the boulder itself. There are also helpful feathers located in various spots of the level. Collect ten and you get a 1up!
The gameplay itself is a gamer roller coaster of impacts. Spanning from moments of great rewards (beating several levels in a row or saving Ivy in the nick of time). But it also can lead to great frustrations (Ivy always getting lunged into spikes on accident or Ivy just running to places that you don't want her to). Other negatives center mostly on Ivy's turn around game mechanics. If she reaches a peak that she can not cross, it will sometimes take you by surprise when Ivy SUDDENLY changes her course and walks the opposite way you want her to. This can easily be avoided by keeping very horizontal vines, but again, it is something every gamer will experience at least 5 times when playing this game.
Otherwise, the gameplay can be very addicting. It also challenges you to think strategically since you can only stretch out four vines at a time. Plus those vines have a terrible habit of breaking if you stretch them too far! Once you start finishing levels and you hear Ivy's adorable squee of victory at the end of each level, you just can't stop playing until you've beaten every level!
2 Player Co-Op is a highly recommended feature! Although it can get tedious to have your ivy vines tangled with another player's, having a second player provides an almost necessary team force for the BONUS LEVELS of this game. That's right. When you've completed all 50 levels of this game, you get 50 more bonus levels with more enemies, MOOOOORE SPIKES, and the challenge of seeking a key to unlock the exit at the end!
The music for this game was very child-like, calm, and simplistic. Which seems contrary to some of the difficult puzzles this game has to offer! But otherwise, I would say that there are 3 or 4 songs on this game that are very memorable and distinguishable from any other game. Sound effects are AMAZING for this game. Whether it is flinging Ivy into hazards, slamming rocks into rats, or hearing Ivy, "EEEEEEVEEEEEE!!!" at the beginning of each level, this game delivers on sound effects.
In A Nutshell
With an art-style highly reminiscent of Mario World 2: Yoshi's Island ... Ivy the Kiwi is definitely the perfect game for old school gamers who like good, clean, fun. Platformer games need a breath of fresh air. Ivy the Kiwi provides both a creative new gaming experience but also doesn't become impossible for a player to beat in 2 days or less! A highly repeatable game thanks to simplicity and a rewarding moments of victory. And it's only $30 !!!