Posted 27 Mar 2020 at 16:18 by Ashley Jones
Pikuniku is weird and it wears its weirdness on its sleeve. You play as a gangly-legged red blob that becomes an accidental agent of chaos as your wobbly appendages wreak havoc on the world around you. Some of it is accidental (such as an early moment where you break a bridge by walking across it), some of it can be intentional if you decide to kick everything in sight.
The story follows the formula of some other recent indie titles; everything seems fine on the surface but as you begin to dig (or kick, to be more accurate) you’ll discover not everything is as it appears. Turns out, some random rich guy offering free money isn’t all it appears to be. The residents of this weird little world soon start realising that as well, and together you find out what is happening and race to stop the evil Sunshine Inc.
The real charm of Pikuniku lies in the art style and the writing. I was sold in the opening minutes of the game because of the exchange below that showcases the game’s tone - ironic humour with genuine heart. The characters are all positive, even as they start to realise everything is not as it appears, and fit in perfectly with the bright-coloured world. After initially mistaking you for a fabled beast that will destroy them they are soon on your side and ultimately rely on you to save them.
Obligatory reference to Zelda? Check! But it hasn't been used quite like this before.
The basic gameplay sees you move around, kick things, interact with things, and roll around in a ball. It is ultimately a puzzle/platformer title, but there are enough deviations to add some variety. There’s a brief sports game (known as Baskick) which is essentially basketball played with your feet, a dancing minigame, and a toast-based dungeon.
Pikuniku won’t take you long to play through it and you can easily see the credits within a few hours. There are collectibles (including hats) and a 2-player mode to stretch it out a bit, but the game didn’t leave me feeling shortchanged; it felt like a tight compact experience that was ultimately fun to play. I haven’t done so yet, but I could see myself dipping back in now and then just to mess around; kick a few things, wear some hats. You know, the usual.
If you like irrelevant humour and charm then Pikuniku is well worth considering. You certainly won’t find anything else quite like it.
And if you'd like to try out Pikuniku for yourself, then why not download it before midnight today (27/03/2020) while the game is still on sale for a very reasonable 89p!
N-Europe Final Verdict
A short but fun game that revels in its weird but charming humour and style. If you want a quick fun game to play, it is well worth considering Pikuniku.
Charming art style
Fun and enjoyable gameplay
Uniquely weird and wonderful
Not a lot of replay value