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Ivy needs her mother and is your to job to reunite them.

7.5

Great
Difficulty:
Just Right
Time Spent:
10 Hours or Less
The Bottom Line:
"Innovative"

Summary

The creator of Sonic brings us a unique platformer that tells us the story of Ivy, a little chick thats has just hatched and wants to meet her mother that is apparently missing so it is up to you to reunite them.

Personally I like games with a good story, but when it comes to Ivy the Kiwi you can say theres not much to tell, though it is not necesarily a bad thing as gameplay comes first in this quirky title. You only read a few lines explaining that you are trying to find your mother and then is time to beat the games 100 levels.

As soon as you start your adventure you cant help but notice the cute visuals. The actual levels dont really pack a punch in the graphics department, though the backgrounds do look really good, they look just like a storybook and it helps to fill the screen quite nicely. A little more detail on the levels and stuff inside them is needed.

Now where the game really shows its potential is in its gameplay as it is quite unique but needs a couple of extra polish here and there. Yes it is a platformer except that you dont actually control Ivy, she moves automatically and only right or left. Thats when you come in and help her by using vines to help her pass any obstacle in front of her. For this you only use the wiimote to slash the screen to where you want your vines to appear.

Does Ivy have a problem going up?, No problem just use a vine to help her go up. Are those spines down there? No problem just make a vine and she will use it like a bridge. There are many other ways to use these vines and each level has some great puzzles for you to tackle on. Just like mario, you have to get her to the finish line and within the time limit but be careful cuz its 1 hit KO.

But there are a couple of problems that can be annoying, like the automated movement of Ivy because it sometimes can get annoying to move her to where you want her to go and there are plenty of times that she got stuck within a couple of vines. There are some puzzles that will also test your patience, like the boulder levels, in which you have to deal with Ivy and moving a boulder at the same time.

The ingame music is alright but I cant decide if it is soothing in the relaxing kind of way or in the make you sleepy kind of way. At first it may seem an easy game, but the difficulty is just right. It starts easy but it gets harder as you go on.

There are 100 levels in the game which is a nice amount though they are for the most part very short, like 3 minutes each. Completionists will have a blast as there are feathers in each level and getting all of them is quite a feat. Theres also a decent multiplayer mode but its a shame that theres no online leaderboards.

Ivy the Kiwi is indeed a quirky title, anyone looking for a unique title you will find it here.










While working with Yuji Naka, Prope ensured that everyone would love this enjoyable game featuring a modest bird.

8.0

Superb
Difficulty:
Just Right
Time Spent:
10 Hours or Less
The Bottom Line:
"Instant classic"

Summary

You know you've fallen in love with Yuji Naka again when he creates a videogame such as this one. It's called Ivy the Kiwi? and it dazzles us all with the storybook graphics and extremely whimsical gameplay.

The stage is set upon the furry bird, lost and bewildered in a forest looking for its mother. It's up to you to guide this charming creature and to locate its mother through an assortment of levels with the use of your Wii remote.

The gameplay is essentially straightforward in that all you need to do to guide it to safety, is to draw vines for Ivy to cross, jump or walk on. Though as the chapters continue you'll eventually have to dodge obstacles, create more inventive ways for the vines to be made and locate certain objects and power ups before progressing any further.

One salient fact about the vines is that you have a pre-ordained amount of 3 in which you use throughout the level to escape from enemies and smash through barriers. You are also made to keep an eye out for the length the vine can be stretched before it breaks.

This game enables single player in which there are 100 levels for the DS and Wii and 50 for the DSi Ware and WiiWare platforms. Multiplayer is also available for up to four friends where you are capable of drawing vines in each others' screen- which can become hectic, but fun- and compete in versus mode to make it to the finish line first.

Ivy the Kiwi? is an amusing yet challenging game that uplifts anyone's spirits when played.

Enjoy and happy gaming from Charlie!




Nothing can be more fun or rewarding than reuniting a lost baby bird with its mother.

9.0

Editors' Choice
Difficulty:
Just Right
Time Spent:
10 to 20 Hours
The Bottom Line:
"Grows on you"

Summary

A baby bird has lost its mother. Are you a bad enough dude to reunite them? If you've graciously accepted this monumental challenge, consider Ivy the Kiwi? (the question mark at the end of the title is where it's supposed to be) your proving ground. The latest brainchild from Yuji Naka (the creator of Sonic the Hedgehog) explores unfamiliar stretches of territory to deliver a unique, unparalleled game experience that is sure to please audiences of every age; nothing too easy for veterans, nothing too difficult for the young ones, and everything purely innovative and refreshing inbetween.

Recently hatched from the polka-dotted egg firmly stuck on her rear end, the ambiguous Ivy discovers her mother to be nowhere in sight. So, naturally, she takes it upon herself to find her. But she can't possibly hope to succeed on her own---not with all those nasty obstacles, traps and wayward enemies standing in her way. The player is unable to control Ivy directly; a fact compounded by the realization that she plods along arbitrarily on her own two feet, moving automatically forward; oblivious to the dangers around and in front of her. Even worse, she cannot climb, jump or fly on her own. This is where you come in; the brave and sympathetic gamer. Your adoration for baby hatchlings need not apply, though it certainly helps.

As the unseen guardian angel of Ivy's inexperienced life, it is your solemn duty to help her negotiate the nefarious obstacles and clever designs of each of the game's 100 levels (called Chapters)-divided up into five areas each. And you do so by means of magical, elastic vines that you draw with only the company of your trusty Wii Remote pointed directly at your screen. Sharing the elasticity of a rubber band, these vines can be used in a variety of different ways. You can swing them around, stretch them to a comparable limit before snapping (everything has their limit, you know), and pluck them like a guitar string using the B button. As mindlessly fun as it is to play with these vines willy-nilly, it is important to bear in mind that they serve a crucial purpose in helping Ivy smoothly navigate the game's cleverly-designed stages. To prevent our feathered naivete friend from meeting an unfortunate fate (which only takes one hit from either a trap, a bed of spikes or an enemy scooting around the playfield), you must strategically draw vines that become makeshift bridges to help her traverse wide gaps, and ramps that allow her to effortlessly climb steep stair-like elevations. You might also draw safe covers overhead to shield the hatchling from potentially fatal water droplets and other falling hazards. If you pluck an outstretched vine while Ivy is directly overhead, you can launch Ivy like a firecracker to greater, unreachable heights as well as destroy collapsible obstacles (like rock walls) and defeat enemies in her line of hindsight. Just be mindful when making use of your vines; depending on your actions, they serve as much a curse as they do a blessing. (i.e. getting Ivy stuck in a tangleweb, or inadvertently launching her towards a spike trap) The basic context of the Wii Remote control scheme, when practiced to its utmost, acts only as a precursor to its surprising amount of sheer flexibility and innermost depth; yet it all comfortably conforms to a simple, easy-to-understand accessibility to gamers of all ages and skill brackets. But, just in case, a tutorial is available when you get Ivy to interact with the talking sunflower found at the start of some stages.

Many of Ivy the Kiwi(?)'s Chapters aren't impossibly difficult to complete if you don't factor the special feathers that Ivy finds throughout her perilous journey---as collecting ten of these at a time will award her an extra life. In many cases, you can simply beat the stage without ever collecting these valuable tufts, but the going does get a lot tougher from therein, so gathering as many play chances as possible is worth the extra effort. And in some cases, Ivy isn't completely vulnerable to the traps and enemies she comes in contact with (like rats and crows)---she can gain temporary invincibility if she happens upon a rarely encountered "star cookie"; an item almost remarkably similar to a certain mustachio'ed plumber's means of plowing through turtles and fire-breathing Koopas. Oh, and lest I forget, there's also a reasonably generous time limit that ticks down, so you'll need to be as quick as you are clever in reaching the podium at the end of the stage. You'll even earn a score for that level depending solely on how fast you clear it, but don't take too much of your sweet time unless you deliberately want to lose lives. Because that in itself is wrong on so many levels. Please think of the baby bird.

In addition to the main story mode, you also have the opportunity to replay any stage you've cleared as a time trial of sorts---meaning, you'll earn medals depending on how fast you can defeat a level. But there's a rub---you need to find ten hidden Red Feathers within the stage before being given any sort of chance at a medal ranking for that stage. While I find this requirement to be rather unnecessary, it does offer some incentive in going back to playing stages more than once. All of this, in its own end, serves as a nice diversion from the rigors of Ivy's mommy-seeking journey of self-discovery and stamps an approving seal to the replayability factor. It might have been nice if you were able to upload your scoring exploits to online leaderboards like you could in most other games. Furthermore, the inclusion of a multi-player mode further promotes Ivy the Kiwi? as a pretty fun party game---with up to four players embroiled in a race to see who can get their Ivy to the end goal first---by any means. (i.e. drawing vines on an opponent's play screen to mess up their chances.) It may not be a subtle stand-in to the likes of Mario Party or Mario Kart, but it works admirably well to a degree and can make due for some good times with family and friends.

The visual style of Ivy the Kiwi? is amusingly appropriate-laid out like a children's storybook---with charming, antiquated gameplay environments. From lush forests to quaint villages, there's a great deal of variety to be had in each stage, and the hand-drawn animated presentation (similar to the likes of older Disney cartoons) is a nice touch. Some of the music can be nauseatingly cheesy at times, but there are some songs that are worth noting---like the one heard during the Rainy Plains. It isn't all bad; hardly enough to turn the volume down. To its credit, it fits the theme perfectly.

Few tasks are ever as harrowing (or rewarding) as helping a baby bird find its mother, so if you feel you're ready for such an undertaking on your part, or are just looking for a fun and interestingly different gameplay experience, Ivy the Kiwi? foots the bill quite nicely. It's simply one of the most innovative and unique games to be released this year, and one you won't regret taking part in.





Adorable and fun

8.0

Superb
Difficulty:
Just Right
Time Spent:
10 to 20 Hours
The Bottom Line:
"Just plain fun"

Summary

I love going to my local game store and browsing the shelves for the unusual. The games that have that kind of uniqueness that just jumps out at you and says " Hey! You never heard of me so buy me!"...and so this is the case for Ivy the Kiwi?.

The story is about a tiny bird named Ivy that fell from the sky and lost her way. Now you must help her on her quest to find her mother. But you don't get to control Ivy, instead you get to create these vines to guide and flick her across the screen. Ivy will continue to walk towards the right until she hits an object then turns around and walks to the left. There are multiple platforms and other obstacles in her way so you must use your vines to get her form the beginning of each level to the goal at the end. It starts of easy with just some platforms to get around, but, as you progress, more obstacles such as spikes and droplets of water are added to the mix. The beginning levels may see way to easy at first but keep playing and you will find out the more you continue your quest the more difficult it will get. Also you don't have to just go through the level there are feathers to collect as well. So each stage has a set of 10 feathers you can fond and yes it can be tricky to fulfill this achievement.

I will say unlike most Wii games i haven't had a problem with the controls but it can still be frustrating. Creating the vine isn't the problem but getting Ivy to go where you want can be an issue. It is very sensitive with the vines and if your not careful and you go too fast you'll send Ivy flying in a direction you didn't plan. Soooo I have come to the conclusion this game is about patience. Take your time completing the levels and you'll do fine....however...there is a time limit on each stage so you can't go super slow either.

This game may lack the super awesome graphics of today's technology but the artwork will amaze you. The music is also wonderful but sometimes the music was so smoothing I felt like taking a nap.

Overall I enjoyed this wondrous wonder! It reminded me of the NES platformer days and I was pleased. I recommend trying this game out. It may not look like much at first but you will be surprised at how much fun you will have.




Beneath this game's pleasing veneer lies a satisfyingly challenging experience.

7.5

Great
Difficulty:
Very Hard
Time Spent:
10 Hours or Less
The Bottom Line:
"Just plain fun"

Summary

Ivy the Kiwi is hard. Hellishly hard. It may look like something out of a children's storybook, but make no mistake: beneath its charming, inviting exterior lies a frustratingly difficult game of escort. It coaxes you in with its unassuming storybook aesthetic only to run you down hard with myriad obstacles with relentless abandon. This is a game that single-handedly disproves any claims of games becoming too easy, harking back to the days of extreme trial-and-error and requiring fast-action to succeed.

If that sounds menacing, then I've successfully conveyed the level of challenge present in Ivy the Kiwi. (Okay, so that last line is rather hyperbolic. You get the point, though.) Rather than be a deterrent, however, the relentless challenge is the appeal. Much like the bullet-hell variety of shooters, Ivy the Kiwi is a game that revels in its difficult nature, making no compromises whatsoever for the sake of accessibility. Harsh? Perhaps, but it's that no-holds-barred attitude that makes Ivy the Kiwi endearing and immensely rewarding.

What exactly the game is from a gameplay standpoint is hard to say. It doesn't really fall under any of the conventional labels. Classifying it through such would be a disservice. To put it simply, Ivy is a game of guidance. You're given no direct control of the adorable titular, fiery red, eggshell clad bird with whom your charged with babysitting; she moves on her own, pressing onward constantly without regard for whatever danger lurks ahead. Your role is guide Ivy through the 100 plus perilous, obstacle-ridden levels using vines, which you can call out of thin air wherever you like.

The Wii remote pointer is your means of interaction. Holding down the A button summons a vine that you can stretch in any direction and place by letting go of the button, with the pointer directing where it moves. It's swift and intuitive control, if a touch inaccurate, complimenting the manic pace of the game.

You wouldn't know it by looking at screenshots or listening to its cheery soundtrack, which betrays the manic nature of the gameplay with its controlled pace and mix of cheery and moody tunes to match the static background images that accompany each new world, but this game is very frenetic.

The game climbs in difficulty at a fair and steady clip -- the first couple of worlds are almost effortless, requiring little from you to achieve success -- it doesn't take long for it to start upping the ante. In terms of obstacles, the first real threat are spiked walls, which are easily rendered threat-less by placing some vines before them to act as barriers. Then enemies, both ground and airborne, are introduced. Then blocks that can only be destroyed by boulders, as opposed to using Ivy as a bullet for a makeshift slingshot made of vines. Then drops of water that somehow inexplicably kill. Then all of it gets thrown together, at which point you begin to curse the developers for their fiendish level designs as the whole game begins conspiring against you.

When you combine all of the above and put them into tight, intricate courses, and add a three-minute time limit on top of that, you get Ivy the Kiwi at its finest: remarkably fast and devilishly challenging. Replete with obstacles around every corner, you're forced to react quickly and with the utmost accuracy to survive each course. The game moves so fast, however, that accurately placing vines on the fly is a very trying task, particularly when trying one of the more advanced techniques. For instance, using vines to catapult Ivy upward over spiked floors or simply ascend. Even when propelled upward, Ivy continues to move left or right, granting not even a hint of solace throughout her journey.

That's journey being a search for her mother, presumed to be missing. The set-up is that Ivy wakes up in a forest clearing, one day, freshly hatched from her egg, and doesn't see her mom anywhere. Panicked, she sets of looking for her mother, which leads her through a number of static locales such as a city, the frigid lands of the mountaintops, and the sky itself. Nothing stops this bird. She's on a mission and she ain't stopping for no one, regardless of the many dangers ahead. She's a tough bird to manage, therefore, forcing you to be comparatively speedy with the vine dropping to have any hope of guiding her safely.

Again, trial-and-error is a crux component. Death is inevitable, and with each failure comes greater understanding of how to proceed, that knowledge bringing success closer and closer. Frustration starts setting in after the fourth or fifth consecutive failure -- doubly so when you die right on the cusp of victory -- but that also makes your eventual triumph much more satisfying. Overcoming the many obstacles before Ivy is exercise in vexation oftentimes, teetering on the border of impossible in a couple levels, even. The strong sense of satisfaction you get from finally getting past that choke point that's been tormenting you for the past half-hour counters the immense dissatisfaction of failure perfectly.

Finishing the story once, which should take around 5-8 hours depending on your level of skill, unlocks a slightly harder version of the story mode for your masochistic pleasure. From there, you may also partake in some competitive multiplayer for up to four players in a race to see who can finish a level first. You can also replay individual levels to improve your score, improve your time, and find all of the feathers dispersed throughout. All of them do a fine job of extending the game's longevity.

They say you shouldn't judge a book by it's cover; Ivy the Kiwi is easily a perfect example of such. It seems like a children's game on the surface, what with the storybook narrative and cutesy art style, but in reality it's well suited for just about anyone -- particularly those with a penchant for playing nail-bitingly hard games. It's an enjoyable little game, if a bit on the vexing side, but that's just part of Ivy's charm.
7.5

Great
7.4
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