Each year we see a number of awesome games come from independent developers. Unfortunately, some of these fly under our radar, especially with the influx of new AAA-titles. Initially, I missed the release of Pikuniku when it came out early last year, but with its recent addition to Xbox Game Pass, I’ve finally had the chance to check it out.
Pikuniku is a short and simple experience, but at the same time, it’s incredibly fun. You’ll be in control of Piku, who’s essentially a red oval with legs. Piku recently awoke from a long slumber, and after winning over the local townsfolk, you’ll need to help them deal with Mr Sunshine. He looks like a nice guy at first glance, but ultimately Mr Sunshine’s goal is to strip the land of resources in order to further his own wealth.
On his adventure, Piku will need to solve some puzzles and help out others along the way. The gameplay isn’t challenging by any means, but there’s plenty of fun to be had here. Most of the time you’re just kicking things into place to open a door, or reaching new heights with some light platforming. You’ll also come across a few minigames while helping others out, which are also really fun.
Pikuniku certainly isn’t groundbreaking from a gameplay perspective, but damn is it charming. The game’s greatest strength is in its humour. The plot is ridiculous and the cast of characters aiding Piku have some great lines. It’s unfortunate that this game is so short, as I would’ve loved to spend more time with these characters.
The game also features a cooperative mode, where two players work together to solve puzzles across 9 levels. Again, there isn’t much of a challenge to be found here and the levels themselves are quite short, but having to navigate and communicate together (while sometimes tethered to each other) is a lot of fun.
Pikuniku is a great game that you can complete in only a few hours. With its charming style and humorous story, it’s hard not to recommend Pikuniku, especially when it’s available on Xbox Game Pass and frequently on sale across other platforms. If you’re looking for a quick game to play, Pikuniku is one that you should definitely consider.