Super Kiwi 64
Publisher: Diplodocus Games
Website: Super Kiwi 64 | Nintendo Switch download software | Games | Nintendo
Genre(s): Action, Platformer, Adventure, Arcade
Platform: Switch (also availble on Steam, and itch.io)
Age Rating: Pegi 7
Release Date: December 2nd, 2022
A code was provided for review purposes
Nintendo 64 gamers will remember the platformer classics like Super Mario 64 or Banjo Kazooie, and remember the good old days of playing those games. AAA companies and also Indie games are trying to go back to the old collectathon days, with games like Super Mario Odyssey and Yooka-Laylee. Today, I focus my review on Siactro’s new game called: Super Kiwi 64.
Now if you’ve heard of Siactro before, you would remember he made Toree 3D and Toree 2, which are based on speed-based platforming, and made a big splash on the market. Making matters better, the games were one dollar each. Siactro also made other games like Macbat 64, aiming for more of a PG Conker game, Beeny, heavily inspired by Donkey Kong Country, and Kiwi 64, a game where you go through a single big level similar to Banjo. Super Kiwi 64 is a sequel to Kiwi 64 and aims to be better, so the question that remains is… Did Super Kiwi 64 fly or did it fail?
Storytelling through Atmosphere
Sadly there wasn’t much of a story in Super Kiwi 64. Most of the story is told by the world itself as you slowly go through its levels and discover its secrets. That reminds me of a story told in Beeny which leads up to how Kiwi got herself stuck on an island, where Kiwi and her companion dog need to collect Powerstones to escape. While the story isn’t complex, the question remains… Does it need to be? The answer is no it doesn’t have to be, nor does it break any enjoyment from the game.
Super Kiwi 64 goes for an old Nintendo 64 look and it nails it excellently. With the world looking so detailed and it having a beautiful atmosphere, there are little to no problems with the presentation of the game. Personally, I also experienced no bugs and there are very low loading times, but it isn’t perfect. Shadows do pop in when getting close and the camera can be put out of bounds. To some, the camera will be awesome because you get to see the outside details of the game, but to others, it could be immersion-breaking.
Sounds of the Island
The composer for Super Kiwi 64 really did their best on the music of this game, every track fits the atmosphere of the level themes you explore. However, the pirate theme? Best track in the game. Sadly while the OST was stellar, I can’t say the same thing about the sound effects. Don’t get me wrong, most of them were very good but I feel like getting a Powerstone needed a more meaty sound effect than sharing it with the gear-collecting one. It’s like instead of the star jingle you get in Super Mario 64 games, it just plays a coin sound. Although the corkscrew attack has a crunchy sound effect that is so satisfying.
Improvements of the Past
What about the gameplay of Super Kiwi 64? For the sake of showing how far the game has come from the 8-year difference of the original Kiwi 64, I will be doing comparisons between the two games. One of the most important factors of any 3D platformer is how fluid the characters move. Kiwi in Kiwi 64 felt stiff and too slow but passable. Going from the original game to Super Kiwi 64 the difference is night and day. She feels so responsive to my inputs, her speed of walking and newly added abilities like running and gliding are marvelous.
Kiwi’s attack – the corkscrew – has also seen an improvement from the original game. The corkscrew attack could only be used in the air in the original game, but now in Super Kiwi 64 not only is it usable on the ground, but you can spam the attack (which is a great option for speedrunners by the way) but you can also stick to walls and climb them to get to areas you can reach much quicker. It opens up a lot of the game and the design as well.
Stones and Gears
It wouldn’t be a collectathon without the levels or the collectibles themselves. While Kiwi 64 had one big level to explore, Super Kiwi 64 has eight smaller scope levels to explore where Kiwi will explore forests, deserts, dungeons, and even pirate-based locations. As for collectibles, each level has six Powerstones and a random amount of gears to collect that leads to a Powerstone. You only need forty of them to beat the game. In my opinion, everything is placed perfectly in the levels for you to go out and collect and it’s exciting as well. This leads to a couple of complaints I have.
First of all, the enemies you’ll find are just the same statue type of enemy just walking around some of the levels, and, unless you run into them, they won’t hurt you. Destroying them also does nothing at all, which brings me to ask, why even put them in the game? I feel like they should drop something, not a Powerstone but maybe a few gears so destroying them can feel rewarding.
No “New Game” Option
My final complaint is that I wish there was a way to start a new game without making a new Nintendo user or going into the Switch’s save data, and deleting the game’s save data. I don’t think making an option for a “New game” at the start would be that bad. I have talked with Siactro on this, and while I get his reasoning for being fan-requested it isn’t something I agree with. For those who might wonder, yes the game is perfectly playable without starting a new game but the dopamine you get from getting something new is gone. Personally, I have done over eight playthroughs of the game. In every game I played fresh, it felt delightful collecting Powerstones but when I tried playing on a completed file I felt empty.
Secrets of the Land
Even with those two complaints, the gameplay of Super Kiwi 64 feels wonderful. Although, you might wonder why you would want to collect everything if you only need forty to complete the game. Well, I am not going to spoil it but you might find some secrets in the world and when you get all forty-eight Powerstones you unlock something that puts those secrets to good use. And let me tell you, it felt gratifying to unlock it.
Super Kiwi 64 was a massive improvement from the original game. Not only that, but it stands on its own feet while using the old Nintendo 64 era looks as well to provide a satisfying experience to remember. With that, there is also wonderful music to enjoy in the game, as well as crunchy sound effects. While the problems with the enemies, not being able to start a new game, and the Powerstone sound effect are disappointments, it doesn’t bring down the experience. An experience that is only three dollars and very well worth every cent and more.
Rapid Reviews Rating
4.5 out of 5
You can buy Super Kiwi 64 in the Nintendo eShop here
You can find and read our reviews on OpenCritic.