Many gamers in this current generation tend to classify games based on captivating visuals and over-the-top gameplay. While better graphics surely do provide some extra stimulation to your experience, gaming as a whole is meant to serve its purpose as being a form of entertainment. When you play a video game, much of your time is invested in things like grinding for XP, or combating against hordes of enemies before standing toe-to-toe with the final boss. Not much of your attention is solely placed on how great everything looks because let’s be honest, they weren’t really that good looking a couple decades ago. This brings us to our current review title, Pikuniku, a game that certainly will not win the award for best visual performance but still delivers in the gameplay department regarding adventure.
What to Expect
There certainly have been a large influx of indie titles that stand out in their own way, and Pikuniku falls under that unique category. By no means is this game terrible because in fact, we found its quirky humor and wonky animations to give it life in its own way. Much of the game has you wandering around a colorful world filled with random tasks that must be fulfilled, such as helping a painter draw a new face for a scarecrow, or escorting leaves to safety. These tasks, while they may sound really far fetched, are actually very fun to do and leave you laughing afterward just because of how random it all is. You can go about it all on a solo journey or, if you have a partner around, the two of you can traverse the world together and enjoy a wide array of wacky objectives while collecting goofy trophies along the way!
As stated previously, Pikuniku is by no means a game that places a lot of emphasis on its visual craftsmanship. In fact, we feel that it’s poking fun at the fact that so much of the industry now has become an act about who can throw the most money around to satisfy the visual needs of consumers, while totally neglecting the overall performance of the game. Now of course we’re only looking at a handful of titles here but you get our point, visuals don’t always define a game and while they certainly do help to better emphasize several areas of a game, it’s not the be all end all. Pikuniku looks like someone just woke up, found a blank canvas and just decided to draw whatever came to their mind. Elementary? Yes, but simplicity in our mind is luxury.
That same simplicity carries over into the sound department as well, as you don’t have any iconic artists dropping hard bass, or satisfying our ears with some bangers, it’s just a very happy-go-lucky soundtrack that really brings out the child in you. The sound and gameplay intertwine seamlessly as both compliment each other really well. Since most of your experience is mostly running around, bouncing all over the place, the soundtrack is just fun loving and keeps you feeling good most of the time.
Pikuniku is very straightforward and doesn't try to stray from that in any way. Most of your game plan is simply to wander around the world, exploring the various puzzles that exist all around you. While the world itself is certainly very colorful and pleasing, you’ll come to find as you play the game that not everything is what it seems. There’s a deep state conspiracy happening and as you progress through the adventure, you’ll come face to face with the truth. Before that all happens, you’re greeted with very simple and intuitive controls that allow you to traverse the world with ease, and complete puzzles without much fuss. Mind you, these puzzles aren’t mind-boggling by any means, but they certainly do help to stimulate the brain and encourage you to figure things out before progressing.
Pikuniku is a game that can be enjoyed by just about anyone, whether you’re a hardcore gamer or simply picking up a game to pass the time. We say that because there’s a little bit of everything for everyone and so you can find enjoyment in the most simplistic of tasks, and get a great laugh or two out of it. It’s adorable, it’s quirky, and most importantly it’s a game that doesn’t try too hard yet it executes what it set out achieve very well: to have fun.
Honey's Gameplay Consensus:
Pikuniku isn’t a long game and we think that it probably wasn’t meant to be anyway. This is a game that you can go at your own pace with and not feel as if there’s a large burden being placed on you to complete it all. We spent most of our time literally just running around kicking rocks, kicking the townspeople, and pretty much just kicking whatever laid in front of us. It gave us the liberty to create our own gameplay experience and it doesn’t penalize you in any way. You can still run through the game and fulfill objectives, but you can also just kick a few people along the way, and collect some FREE MONEY while you’re at it. Will we play this over and over again? Probably not, but we feel the game serves its purpose very well and that’s ultimately what it should be about in the end.
Simple and straightforward gameplay that caters to everyone.
Colorful world that’s funny to look at and be a part of.
Kicking people in the face is always enjoyable, right?
The puzzle-exploration is very pleasing!
The game is short so players may just end up playing it once and move on.
Honey's Final Verdict:
We hope you found our review of Pikuniku to be an enjoyable one, as we found the game to bring out our childish side and enjoy the game for what it is. Be sure to check out our other reviewed titles from Devolver Digital and look forward to more in the near future. Follow us on Twitter and Facebook to also stay up to date and know when we go live on Twitch as well!
As always, for all things sweet, with news straight from Japan, be sure to keep it locked here on Honey’s Anime.
Author: Rob "NualphaJPN" B.
A passionate fan of gaming, writing, journalism, anime, and philosophy. I've lived in Japan for many years and consider this place to be my permanent home. I love to travel around Japan and learn about the history and culture! Leave a comment if you enjoy my articles and watch me play on twitch.tv/honeysgaming ! Take care!