Game Review

Ivy the Kiwi? Review

USA USA Version

Posted by Corbie Dillard

Ivy the Ki-Wii

No matter how many video game titles Yuji Naka creates, he'll likely always be best remembered for his work during his days at Sega's Sonic Team. Even despite his new development company Prope's greater emphasis on creating video games with a much broader scope and appeal, there's obviously still a lot of desire among his fans to see him bring another platforming experience to life. With the release of his newest creation, Ivy the Kiwi?, not only is he once again doing what he does best, he's also doing it with the same innovative approach that made his Sonic titles such beloved classics.

In Ivy the Kiwi?, you're given the task of guiding your tiny bird to the podium at the end of each level. Since Ivy will continue walking until she bumps into an object or wall, you'll have to safely guide her along using vines that you draw with your Wii Remote by holding down the A button. You can use these as a walkway to steer her away from dangers such as rats and spikes, or you can flick up the vine as you draw it in order to bounce her up into the air for a short time. You'll even learn how to pull back and slingshot Ivy using with these vines by pressing and holding the B button. It's this simple yet extremely playable method of control that will provide the majority of the challenges throughout each level.

There are basically two modes in the single player portion of the game. Main mode is where the story will play out and allows you to take on each level in a specifically laid out order. There are five levels per area with ten areas in total to take on. Of course once you've beaten the game, you'll unlock a brand new set of surprises to enjoy, many even far more challenging. As you unlock levels via the Main Mode, you'll then be able to go back and play them individually via the Stage Trials mode. Here you can not only try to achieve a faster time, thus earning a better medal, but also collect all of the feathers, something you might have missed the first time around.

If you're feeling a little competitive and want to mix things up a bit you can take on the Multiplayer mode. In this game the screen will be split up to accommodate up to four players in a race to collect medals or reach the podium at the end of the level. This mode generally plays out quite similarly to the regular levels, but one interesting twist is the way the game will allow you to draw vines on other player's section of screen in order to hinder them. It can make for some interesting matches, not to mention some hurt feelings if you run into an overly aggressive player. Still, it's a great diversion from the main game if you've got some additional players on hand.

It's remarkable how the developers have been able to create such a wildly playable gaming experience using such a simple and intuitive gameplay mechanic. While it might take you a few minutes to get a feel for drawing and snapping the vines using the Wii Remote, you'll soon find it perfectly natural and an extremely enjoyable way of controlling the action onscreen. The Wii Remote controls aren't quite as precise as those found on the DS touchscreen, but they do offer a little more range of motion at times. Given the various modes of play and sheer number of levels to take on, players of all ages and skill levels should find plenty to enjoy throughout the adventure, not to mention plenty of reasons to keep coming back for more.

The hand-drawn visuals look like they just stepped out of a fairy tale storybook, and you couldn't ask for a more delightful way to carry along the light-hearted adventure. These captivating backdrops also do a nice job of making the foregrounds really jump out at you as you make your way through each of the game's levels. When you toss in the colourful cast of characters and enemies you'll encounter throughout your adventure, you end up with a visual presentation that's as adorable as the main character that it chronicles.

Of course, you can't have a complete setting without some impressive musical tracks to go along with them and the developers have come up with some extremely solid tunes to further carry the whimsical theme. While the musical tracks are used throughout each of the game's five levels in a particular area, they're quite lengthy and given how catchy they are, you certainly won't mind hearing them for extended periods of time. You'll also be treated to a few sweet sound effects that round out an audio package that's every bit as captivating as every other facet of the game.


There's no denying that Ivy the Kiwi? is absolutely overflowing with charm and personality. Whether it's the endearing storybook visuals, the innovative gameplay mechanics, or the heart-warming story unfolding around it all, Ivy the Kiwi? has a compelling way of pulling you into its adventure and not letting go. And with over 100 levels to tackle, not to mention a wide array of replay value, you're likely to find that the game's biggest challenge lies in trying to drag yourself away from it.

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User Comments (31)



Hokori said:

IDK which one ill get DS or Wii, of corse if I won the contest the Wii.



Aronos said:

I played the DS demo awhile ago and it was pretty fun.
I don't know if there are any advantages or disadvantages for one or the other, but I might get it for the wii since that's what I use more.



MeloMan said:

I can say this is indeed a quality game just by playing the demo... if my interests weren't elsewhere in gaming, I'll give this a serious go.



EdEN said:

Still hoping I win a copy of the game but if not I'll definitely be buying it.



Shiryu said:

Definitely gonna pick it up, not sure yet if Wii or Ds... both? Wouldn't be the first time that would happen (Geometry Wars Galaxies).



WolfRamHeart said:

Great review Corbie. This game sounds great and I would have picked up the Wii version if not for the more accurate controls of it's DS counterpart. Still sounds like fun regardless of which platform you play it on.



Punny said:

Wow! The Wii version got a 9 too! Looks like this is year of the Kiwi with strange question mark placements! I still need to find out who won the contest, though.



accc said:

I'm torn on which version to pick up -- the DS version's a lot cheaper but the visuals would look so much nicer on a television screen! Plus I prefer using my Wii over the DS. The controls in the DS demo were great but I really enjoy using the pointing function of the Wii remote so I don't think that the controls would be any more difficult for me on Wii.



Taya said:

I think I'll get the Wii version and play it on the bigger screen.



Hokori said:

Everyone buy this I dont want to see it wind up like little king's story or



OldBoy said:

Ivy the Kiwi.So good they reviewed it twice .
This looks good though.I'll probably give this a whirl.
EDIT:Just noticed this is a US release.Any word of a european release date?



Mabbit said:

man, if i wasnt saving up money for Other M, i would totally buy this game



Tails said:

@Otaku: I still have my copy from launch day of Muramasa. Its a title that everyone should own. Still have the wallscroll and everything too. I haven't even taken it out of the package it came in. But otherwise this would be amazing for me to win my first ever game. Not trying to say i will win but if i did i don't even think i'd open the game.



TKOWL said:

You'd think that a game made for the DS ported to the Wii would be bad. But I guess this is the exception



Corbs said:

Actually it's the other way around. The Wii version came first and was later brought over to the DS as well.



Paperclip said:

I'd buy this if there wasn't a billion other games I still want. Oh well, I might get it eventually.



hulklol123456789 said:

Wow, pretty pretty nice, my only question is why isn't these game a 10/10 it is really good, The demo was just awesome, and oh man, I probably get both versions It really looks sooo good, but I think I will geth the Wii version first, so I can play with my friend and with my mother Sadly in the DS I need to play alone. Good review Corbie, ah and when will be know the winners of the contest?



47drift said:

I'll get this when it's in the $15 bargain bin. Metroid has my money for now.



Corbs said:

We'll be announcing the contest winner on Wednesday. Stay tuned.



Big_A2 said:

Well hey, it was able to make Corbie change his avatar, it must be good! (Or they payed out.)



zezhyrule said:

Hey Corbie, I'll be gone on Wednesday, so in the small chance that I do win, make sure no one else gets it.



Betagam7 said:

I just bought this game new for £3.99! from play.com

Hope it loves up to this review score!

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