Ivy the Kiwi?

I know lafigueroa will not like me to take up space talking about this game since 1-he considers himself the expert game reviewer (I won't argue that point) 2-he did not like the game 3-hated the fact I made him help me finish up some levels that required a quicker hand at the wii remote than I could pull off by myself. But, I am going to review anyway since I really enjoyed the game and found it quite refreshing and novel. Besides it was the first Wii game I actually purchased on my own in over a year (maybe two).

The Wii game system has been sitting in the living room gathering dust for some time since any games I have considered buying have been on the XBox (my preferred system) or the PS3. The Wii does not even come close to comparing to either machine in horsepower so it is a no-brainer that I would prefer a more "now" generation machine (which the Wii is NOT!)

I will admit I was attracted to this game when I heard that the co-creator of Sonic the Hedgehog, Yuji Naka, was the game designer. The game is basically a 2-D platform game where you take the "little bird" from one end to the a poduim. The bird has to be placed "just so" on the podium or else the stage is not officially cleared. This could be trying to find what step needs to be touched in order to get the official word that "the stage is clear". The ultimate goal is to get the bird to its mother, so the poduims at each stage felt somewhat strange - it should have been somthing like a bird's nest instead but not the right one so you have to keep looking the poduim made it look like some race. There are 50 stages or levels that you have to navigate before you get to see the bird and mommy unite. I found the idea simple - you don't control the bird directly. You navigate the bird across spikes, rats, and birds by drawing with the Wii remote Ivy or lines. Later in the game you add the ability to "twang" the ivy so the bird can go spinning towards the birds (I found this technique harder to apply on the rats). So what's so hard about all this you wonder? Well, there is a timer counting down at each level and you never have complete control of the bird who keeps moving left or right on the ivy you draw depending on the angle. I threw tons of curse words at that bird and the Wii remote when things did not go as planned (which was often). In fact, I could see many gamers who are into precision and accuracy hating the fact that on the Wii the start and end of the lines could not be done with complete accuracy since the drawing position always changed in sync with where the little bird was moving and the bird was ALWAYS moving. Another added feature of the game was the collection of feathers, exactly ten per level. Alas, I did not concentrate on collecting them since my goal and focus was to make it to the poduim in time to complete the game. I later discovered that there were feathers with extra life bonus. I am now playing the bonus game which is pretty much the same 50 levels with the extra added obstacle of having to locate a key somewhere on the level in order to open a locked door to the podium. The key manages to be placed in places I never bothered visting the first go round (probably had feathers in those locations but I was concentrating on completing the level not scores and feathers.

If a simple game with wacky controls sounds appealing after putting in hours of time on other games that require more strategy and gamemanship than this is the game for you. I highly recommend for youngsters (the game can only improve their fine-motor skills) and old gals like myself who need a respite from all the high octane games.