Colourful, sentient blobs reminiscent of Mr Men? Check. Eccentric characters to guide you through a series of challenging puzzles? Double check. A dystopian undertone that fuels my ever-present desire to overthrow the bourgeoisie? This game has got it all.
This is PikuNiku, a puzzle-exploration game developed by Sectordub and published by Devolver Digital.
You play as an ovular red guy with characteristically long legs, exploring a happy little world and uncovering some slightly less happy secrets along the way. The wobbly legs you sport are integral to solving puzzles – and also kicking the other creatures you’ll meet with reckless abandon and absolutely zero remorse.
The game features a 4-5 hour campaign, a unique world to explore at your own pace, and custom levels to enjoy in local cooperative play.
From what we’ve seen of the gameplay so far, you’ll meet a bunch of alarmingly cute creatures with goofy personalities. You help them to solve their problems through platforming, puzzle-solving, and minigames (like the dancing extravaganza featured above). At the core of the game, there’s a thinly-veiled conspiracy centred around ‘Sunshine Inc.’ and a whole bunch of robots.
The main thing people are saying about this game so far is that it will make you smile. In the words of Tom Phillips of Eurogamer: “If you need a game that will put a smile on your face … It’s ace.” Its ‘absurdly wonderful’ style speaks for itself, and its recent nomination for the ‘Innovation in Games Award’ at Ludicious only serves to bolster its acclaim.
And the great news is, you don’t have to wait long to play this 2019 release. PikuNiku releases 24th January, for Switch and PC.
This article is the first in a mini-series led by Taylor – watch this space to keep up-to-date with everything indie.