You know… after playing YIIK and Morphies Law, I thought that indie games would stay grounded in some form of reality, with the characters acknowledging what they were looking at. But today’s indie title, is such a strange one, that I don’t even know what to make of it’s world or it’s story. So today, let’s talk about a game that, oddly enough to add to the line of oddities, was developed by Devolver Digital, Pikuniku
So Pikuniku is a game… that much is true. Pikuniku is a game where you play as a little red thing with eyes and legs named Piku as he leaves a cave for the first time to explore the world. From here, we are met by scared villagers who wait eagerly for the arrival of an eccentric billionaire, Mr. Sunshine, who takes garbage from villagers in exchange for money. However, this is really a front for Mr. Sunshine’s real plan to make the world beautiful in his own way, so Piku joins a group of odd rebels to stop Mr. Sunshine and his robots and to take back the island for themselves. Yeah, this is a rebellion game. To think that Pikuniku was fighting off evil corporations in the same way the Phantom Thieves were
So Joker Piku doesn’t really have much abilities aside from a jump and a kick, which can be used for all sorts of puzzle solving or to be a menace to society and kick the friendly locals. Most of the puzzles are simple. You kick a lever to move platforms or you can use them creatively to get secret items like hats of coins to buy items in stores. How you manipulate the platforms to get all the stuff you want is really fun. I remember feeling pretty smart about myself for solving a vent puzzle near the end of the game. Granted the puzzle itself is easy and I am horrible at puzzles in general but this is a kids game, so I can see children having fun with these puzzles and feeling like they accomplished something on their own. I also really like the art style of the game, despite it being as simplistic as possible. Sure, Hollow Knight and Cuphead are pretty and they will always be praised for their graphics, but just the simple dot eye design of the characters in Pikuniku give them a sort of children's book vibe to be and I really adore it.
That said, the game does not offer too much variety in the gameplay. Solve puzzles, do simple platforming, feel like you are in a crazy story book fever dream and before you know it, the game is over. But the game doesn’t really need that much variety. It is a fun game on it’s own and can still be a lot of fun for short bursts here and there. The game also has a co-op feature which I have not tried out yet, but I hear that it can make the game a lot more fun. I mean, any game is made ten times more fun with co-op, but maybe I’ll do an updated co-op quick review to see how it is. Who knows?
Pikuniku is a very simple, very cute, and very French indie game that doesn’t do anything too crazy or new in indie games aside from feeling like a weird dream you had once, but that’s perfectly fine. Some times it’s nice to review a more simple game that is a lot more chill and laid back than say insanely hard indie titles like Super Meat Boy. It’s charming, it’s pretty funny, and it is not insanely pricey compared to other indie titles (At least not when I bought it. It was on sale for $2 on the Switch). If you are looking for a wacky adventure to play by yourself or with a friend, give Pikuniku a look. You may enjoy yourself
Up next: We’re gonna fight scorpions and ghosts