Review by Tim Turner
This week I have been playing Pikuniku which is described as an absurdly wonderful puzzle/exploration game that takes place in a strange but playful world where everything is not as happy as it seems. You need to help peculiar characters overcome struggles, uncover a deep state conspiracy, and start a fun little revolution in this delightfully dystopian adventure.
The game has a 1990’s feel to it partly because of the familiar side scrolling platform format but also because there are little nods towards games of that era such as Sonic and Mario and even slightly earlier games like Dig Dug. The music is very reminiscent of Sonic in quite a few places also adding to the retro vibe.
I think the main retro feel of the game is the things you need to do to progress. Each person you meet will require you to do something for them in return for an item which will let you progress further. In the ’90s this seemed to be the staple format for most games. Many of the puzzles require a logical approach, sometimes you just stumble upon the solution, and sometimes you may even need a special hat in order to complete a task!
It’s nice to see a developer focusing on the gameplay and feel of the game rather than gimmicky graphics and effects and that really sets Pikuniku apart from others in its genre. You can expect to get around 5 hours of gameplay from the main story mode, maybe more if you are a completionist like me as I still can’t find some of the trophies!
There is also a number of co-op levels to play on local multiplayer meaning you can play with family and friends with the emphasis on helping each other to a common goal rather than smashing each other’s heads in. If you do want a bit of head to head competition then there is always racing or basketball to keep you entertained, although playing basketball with only long rubbery legs and no arms is quite difficult.
Pikuniku is due to be released on the 24th January on Steam, GOG and Itch for only £10.29 making it a really good value for money. As far as a rating is concerned I think the devs have made a little gem of a game here and I’d happily score it 9/10. A little bit longer campaign mode and it would have had a perfect 10!
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