Super Kiwi 64 is actually the second kiwi-themed game that I’ve reviewed after KeyWe; who’d have thought kiwis would make such good protagonists! Super Kiwi 64 is another solo-dev game from the prolific Marcus Horn, known under the pseudonym Siactro, who’s known for developing passion projects which harken back to the platformers (both 2D and 3D) from the late 90s and early 00s. Faithful homages are not for everyone, especially when the fidelity hasn’t been brought up to modern day standards, but for many others, they’re a nostalgic joyride.
I would certainly describe Super Kiwi 64 as a no-frills experience. Basically as soon as the title screen disappears, you are scurrying around the hub world, with no attempt from the game to tell a story or give any tutorials. You figure out the controls for yourself and thankfully, they’re all pretty intuitive. Kiwi can jump, glide and use his beak to impale himself into walls and scale them (a mechanic presumably shamelessly copied from the pokios in Super Mario Odyssey).
Super Kiwi 64 follows pretty traditional collectathon mechanics; a hub world with smaller worlds branching off. In each smaller world, you can find purple gems which are either placed in hard to find places or appear once you obtain all of the cog collectables in each area. The simplicity in gameplay is also refreshing, allowing you to switch off from the outside world without getting bogged down in stats and whatnot. Super Kiwi 64 is a true plug-and-play escapism experience that you can pick up and put down between chores or on short journeys.
Sonic… Mario… Rayman…How long until we get a kiwi-based mascot character? Kiwis for the win! (Editor’s note: boy, this guy really likes kiwis…)
- No-frills gameplay
- Accessible and escapist experience
- Kiwis… aren’t they cute?!
We all know that the camera can be tricky in 3D platformers, and widely speaking, it works quite well in Super Kiwi 64. You can snap the camera behind you by pressing ZL, which you’ll be doing almost constantly to make sure you don’t careen kiwi off the edges. However, the manual panning with the right stick is incredibly slow, and I have no idea why. I often found myself wanting to look up and down and the camera was moving like treacle while I stood there for a good few seconds just trying to peer on top of a ledge.
You look back at Banjo Kazooie/Tooie and now you realise that the gameplay was pretty basic. However, what made it such a memorable experience was all of the vibrant characters, humour and enemies you met along the way. With Super Kiwi 64 being a no-frills passion project, unfortunately, these are all sacrificed, stripping it back to a pure collectathon experience with nothing else to break up the pace of the gameplay. The enemies you do come across are incredibly limited and may as well not be there at all. This often makes the experience repetitive at times.
Siactro actually marketed Super Kiwi 64 as having ‘Low poly, late 90s retro looks’ as one of its selling points so we can’t really sit here and grumble about those. I do wonder though how someone who is colour blind would find the experience because even for me (who has no known colour blindness), I did find the graphics quite splodgy and hard to differentiate, and the camera clips through pretty much every texture, which unfortunately makes it feel a bit too passion-projecty, if you get my drift.
- Inexplicably slow camera panning
- Lack of side characters and enemies
- Graphics are intentionally simple but difficult to look at
Final Score: 7/10
There’s no doubt that Siactro is a master of his craft, it’s just that his craft might not be for everyone. I, for one, broadly enjoyed Super Kiwi 64 and anyone else would too if they take it on face value. Sure, Super Kiwi 64 lacks a bit of spice and pazazz but on the flip side, it will sate the appetite of many gamers of a certain generation.
Thank you for checking out our Super Kiwi 64 Switch review, thank you to Diplodocus Games for providing the review code and thank you to our Patreon Backers for their ongoing support: