Publisher: XSeed Games
Release Date: August 24th, 2010
ESRB Rating: E
If you are even looking for a storyline, then I suggest you abort mission now. Being a straightforward platformer, there is no storyline to it besides directing Ivy (who is apparently a Kiwi-bird hybrid) back to her mother, through various missions and worlds. Judging by the level backgrounds, she must have gotten pretty lost to have to wander through mountains to get to her mother…you get my point. But really, when was the last time you played a platformer that required an interesting story to keep you hooked? There is an interesting ending, but doesn’t make the game seem worth it.
What the game lacks in story, it makes up in almost everything else. However, to what degree it makes it up to is the problem, because the game is nothing outstanding. Sure, it’s a platformer that can become addictive over time, but there is no captivating gameplay elements that stand out. The controls of the game are simple, and require players to guide Ivy throughout the levels by drawing vines for her to walk on. While a simple concept, the system seems fidgety at times, and can make it difficult. In the long run this can make the player get frustrated, and turn it off to come back later, which ruins the addictive property a bit. Besides that, the gameplay runs well, having new obstacles/enemies appear as the game goes on, adding one per world. The items are standard platformer objects, such as collecting 10 feathers for a 1-up, stars to become invincible, and using boulders and such to break through stones. As for game length, the levels often take multiple tries to master, but it isn’t anything too long. The developers did a nice job of making the gameplay last as long as the interest of the audience, or at least that’s what I thought.
The multiplayer isn’t anything special, being the same gameplay as the single-player, but splitting the screen and allowing players to draw lines for any character. Actually, that’s one of my gripes with the game, the fact that it lets anyone draw lines for you. This caused a bunch of mess-ups in the long run, and the person I was playing with lost interest quick due to their Ivy being so small due to screen division. No, I’m not playing on some small SD TV, more like a 42” HDTV, on which you should (at least) be able to see your character when you are playing with only two-players.
Graphicwise, the art is great, and increases in detail as the worlds progress. It takes on a darker palette, but does not make it look depressing, just more casual, and that’s always welcome. The music featured in the game is relaxing as well, but could seem repetitive if one was to play the game for a long period of time. One of my personal favorite parts was the music for the star power-up, which had a nice, quirky, 30 second or less piano-oriented song.
What seems to be a cute, charming, and simplistic platformer can bring some frustrating times for gamers, but it certainly is a welcome change in pace from the current market. Simplicity is the key word here, and if that’s your thing then don’t hesitate to jump on the bandwagon. As far as modern-day platformers go, this one stands out with it’s Kirby: Canvas Curse-esque gameplay, and artsy visuals. For it’s asking price, it’s certainly worth it, and presents a fun option for gamers running out of games to play.
The review copy used for this review was furnished by XSeed Games.