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Pikuniku Review – Damn

I’ve played a lot of weird games in my day, including random Japanese anime games and several children’s educational games. Pikuniku is a whole other breed of bizarre. I asked myself several times why this game even existed, but as I continued to play, the charm overwhelmed and won me over. I think there need to be more games like this one, where developers just have some fun with their creations.

Pikuniku isn’t that long of a game; I was able to beat the game in around three hours. I think it was an appropriate length. It doesn’t overstay its welcome and says what it wants to say before it bores you. Do I think you should spend your time and money on this quirky indie game? I can optimistically say yes, and here’s why.

 

Story?

 

Pikuniku Intro

Going into Pikuniku, I wasn’t expecting a heavy emphasis on story and dialogue. It’s definitely there, and the game wouldn’t be the same without it. I won’t go too deep into the story. What I will say is that it revolves around a corporation handing out free money to the masses in exchange for… you’ll have to find out when you play.

The dialogue in this game is quirky, makes plenty of references to other games, and is even hilarious at several points. It’s not really a game where I expected characters to say “damn” but damn, do they say “damn” and it’s comedy gold. This isn’t supposed to be a literary, philosophical trudge through human existence. What it ends up being is a lighthearted romp with some hard-hitting reality sprinkled in as jokes. This game will bring you some laughter and it’s well earned.

 

“Look, mom. No hands!”

 

Pikuniku Review

Pikuniku is a physics-based, adventure puzzle game. Your character, a red jelly bean with eyes and legs (my interpretation), makes his way through the game by jumping, kicking, and wearing sunglasses. As you progress, you’ll have to use other abilities and the environment to get through.

I was frustrated several times as I played, due to the finicky physics. Sometimes I would kick a boulder like 15 times and it wouldn’t move. At other times, I made a jump but the gravity gave me issues. These problems were the case only a handful of times, but I wish I faced them less.

The game doesn’t throw an overwhelming amount of new information at you and does a good job of explaining how mechanics work without being overbearing. I enjoyed the boss fights and a random encounter with a huge slice of sentient toast and would play through the game again.

 

Graphics

 

Pikuniku Review

The visuals remind me of paper cut-outs, with vibrant, solid colors. The physics engine seems very early 2000s, flash-game inspired. The art style fits the tone of the game and I can’t really see any other way for the game to be presented. It’s hilarious to see characters tripping over themselves or making sad faces when you kick them for no reason.

 

“Beep, boop”

 

Pikuniku Review

The first word I’d use to describe the soundtrack in Pikuniku is “annoying.” The second word would have to be “quirky.” I don’t necessarily mean annoying in the traditional sense. There were only a handful of times I cringed, but most of the time I wanted to laugh at how ridiculous the beeps and boops were. The songs feel like a detuned, retro symphony half-heartedly playing and it’s amazing.

Areas typically stick to a song unless an event happens. There are silly theme songs and surprisingly upbeat boss songs too.

The sound effects are fitting, sounding like they were made with children’s toys. This game seems childish on the outside, but it’s full of moments made for adults to laugh at. It’s very self-aware and uses the music and sound to communicate that as well as everything else.

 

Quirky to the Core

 

Pikuniku Review

I had a great time with Pikuniku, even though it only lasted a few hours. By the end of the journey, I was smiling and thankful someone thought to make this game. It’s a small distraction that you can play in pieces or in one sitting. There are plenty of collectibles to find in the world and some easter eggs you’ll run into.

There are a bunch of hats and even a co-op mode that you can play with a friend. In co-op, there are several levels where you solve puzzles. It’s a nice addition that didn’t need to be included, but definitely adds value.

Pikuniku is worth your money and time. It may not be a revolutionary work of high art, but it’s definitely enjoyable. I’d recommend buying it for the Nintendo Switch so you can play it in pieces, but the PC version (which I played) is perfectly acceptable. This is a game I’m going to tell my friends about and get them to buy.

The game is fully worth the $12.99, so do yourself a favor and go download it.

 

This version of Pikuniku was played and reviewed on the PC. A code was provided to us for review purposes.

I’ve played a lot of weird games in my day, including random Japanese anime games and several children’s educational games. Pikuniku is a whole other breed of bizarre. I asked myself several times why this game even existed, but as I continued to play, the charm overwhelmed and won me over. I think there need to be more games like this one, where developers just have some fun with their creations. Pikuniku isn’t that long of a game; I was able to beat the game in around three hours. I think it was an appropriate length. It doesn’t overstay its…

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8.5/10

Summary

Pikuniku is worth your money and time. It may not be a revolutionary work of high art, but it’s definitely enjoyable. I’d recommend buying it for the Nintendo Switch so you can play it in pieces, but the PC version (which I played) is perfectly acceptable. This is a game I’m going to tell my friends about and get them to buy.

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