Pikuniku – Review
- Disclaimer and introduction to the review
- The review itself
Not a lot to know before you read as it’s a pretty simple, straightforward puzzle-platformer. There are no alternative difficulties so it’s played on default, and I have completed the entire game 100% before I made this review. This does include taking a look at co-op, though I’ve gotten the achievements just by playing myself. The version I’ve played is the Steam version.
Like the rest of this game, the music is… unique to say the least. Surprisingly catchy though!
Some people are probably aware that I’m an achievement hunter. After all, I basically complete all my games 100% before I make a review unless the achievements are too grind-heavy. One of my best friends is also an achievement hunter, and he asked if I could help him with this game called Pikuniku which has a local co-op achievement. I helped him out and from that small amount of minutes we’ve played, I already determined that I wanted this game without knowing any more information. Leave it to Nep’s EX rank RNG to have the best discount the game got so far expire literally an hour before I wanted to buy it. Soo… instead, I waited for the next best discount which was pretty recently with the Devolver Digital sale and out of the several games I’ve gotten, this was the first one I ended up playing. Let’s see if my initial impressions were justified!
The first thing that comes to mind is that the game has my favourite kind of humour: dry humour. There were a lot of moments where I just ended up laughing because of how the characters reacted to each other. Stuff like the botanist unable to grow his flower because he doesn’t give them water, you tell him that but he believes the flowers only need love. Later it rains and his roof is open so water flows through it and his flowers grow, and his reaction is just a generic ”Oh, okay then”, nothing special. But one flower didn’t grow so you water it, and it turns into a massive beanstalk that wrecks his entire house. He looks at it happen, waits three seconds after it finished growing and his response was literally ”nice.”. It’s such a simple reaction but I love it so much, and the entire game is filled with conversations like these. This is the sort of humour I look for in a game, and Pikuniku does a pretty good job at it. The randomness is also incorporated into the gameplay. You have to draw a face for a scarecrow because the painter has lost inspiration, and you can literally draw anything. I… will politely refuse sharing my creation with the world, but the birds have never been more scared so I guess I succeeded? Or what about just casually going into a specific house and breaking all the pots there? The owner won’t even be mad, I guarantee! There are a lot of random moments in this game, and I’ll probably remember it the most for that. You can even kick the inhabitants of the world for no reason other than to get them mad. What I’m looking for in a game is not only quality, but also fun. Pikuniku is most definitely one of the funniest games I have played in a long while.
Who needs arms with legs like THESE?
Our main protagonist Piku is a weird pill-shaped being with long legs. He can roll around, or use his fabulous legs to platform. You can even use them legs™️ as a hookshot! To an extent, you can say it’s a physics-based platformer but unlike most of these, failure isn’t punished and it controls pretty smoothly for the most part. It is also more of a puzzle-platformer, with the puzzles being easy to understand. After all, this game’s target audience is all-ages, but especially children. It’s a very easy game and a very short one as well. I see neither as negatives, but do keep it in mind if you’re planning on getting this game. The main gameplay is good enough, but would have become repetitive if the game lasted longer so I have no complaints here. And besides, there are several alternative gameplay styles thrown into the main campaign. I found the boss battles specifically to be very fun because they all felt so different from each other. What I did find sort of weird though, is that there were a lot of different collectables- and equipable items that apparently just had no function. I’m not the only one who thinks this from what I could gather, as I’ve seen multiple people being confused by why there is a postcard- and a postbox, but no way to use either of them. It’s a minor ”complaint” that has no influence on the experience of the game; I just wanted to point it out. I did hate the missable achievements though, but that’s only something that will affect you if you’re an achievements hunter. Co-op is also present with a total of nine puzzle-platform stages for two people to enjoy at once. It works pretty well and I’m sure it can lead to some fun family moments too.
Pikuniku is a short- and easy game, hence why the review is also not very long. It’s a simple game with a good sense of humour that is especially geared towards the children. It’s a dry sense of humour that doesn’t rely on in-jokes or adultery lines, but instead on good writing with a fun- and diverse cast of characters. It got me laughing out loud multiple times, and I feel that’s a worth accomplishment in its own right. Gameplay-wise the game is fine as well; Piku controls pretty well even with lanky legs, and there is enough variety in gameplay to keep the pace going. The puzzles are easy to understand, and there is a good amount of optional stuff–even though I’m still unsure what to do with all of it. That said, it’s a short but very fun adventure and ideal for the younger audience, but not a bad game to play for the older gamers either. My recommendation for Pikuniku is to beat it, and complete it if you so desire!
Final Score: 8.0/10
That was one of, if not the shortest reviews I have ever made. (Un)fortunately, Pikumiku is very much a ”What you see is what you get” game. I could go more into detail but with this review, I have technically already said all that needs to be said. Because of that I also struggled with giving the game a score, so I’ve actually decided to evolve the review chart even further from here on out. I don’t want to judge games solely based on a numerical score; I also want to emphasize how much fun I had with it, and recommend to the reader what they should do with the game in case they’re interested. So that’s something I’ll keep going for the future!