Ivy the Kiwi? for Wii is a new game from Yuji Naka, the creator of Sonic the Hedgehog. Ivy the Kiwi? is a very simple concept, but the game is not as easy as it might seem. The entire game is set as a very charming storybook. The brief introduction to the game sets up the premise. A baby bird, Ivy, hatches and finds himself alone in the world. He sets off to find his mother. Ivy cannot fly and must run everywhere he goes.
The player of the game does not actually control Ivy. The player’s objective is to keep Ivy from dying as he makes his way through all the levels. The baby bird never stops running, and it is up to the player to create bridges, walls, slingshots and ramps with carefully drawn vines in just the right place. The extremely simple concept can be both addictive and frustrating. If the vines are not drawn in exactly the right place, Ivy can get trapped or start running in the wrong direction. The vines can be used to slingshot Ivy through breakable walls and past enemies.
There are 100 levels to the game, with each one getting progressively more difficult. The player can draw up to three vines at a time, with the oldest vine disappearing as soon as a new vine is drawn. In addition to completing each level, Ivy can also attempt to collect ten feathers that are dispersed throughout each level. Gathering the feathers can be quite difficult, and requires Ivy to do some stunts, and very improbably movements. Collecting all ten feathers is rewarded with an extra life. The desire to attempt collecting the feathers diminishes if Ivy has died too many times, requiring a restart of the level.
The entire game is set against a parchment paper type background, with Ivy blending into the colors. While it’s a charming look, sometimes Ivy is hard to see. The control is fairly easy. The trick is to learn where and when to draw the vines. The game is good if you just want to play something that does not require a lot of thought or remembering complex combinations of controller buttons. It’s also a good game to put on if you don’t want to spend a lot of time playing. It’s easy to finish a few levels and then return to where you left off at a later time. Overall the game is good for people who enjoy classic platform style games.