It seems that a video game generation cannot be truly labeled as "retro" until it becomes possible to accurately re-create it in a browser window. And while games like Dino Run and Super Mario Bros. Crossover have kept the pixel-art flowing online, the gloriously chunky polygons of the Nintendo 64 remain in short supply. At least now, though, there's Kiwi 64 by Marcus Horn, a Unity 3D platform game inspired by those "collect everything in sight" games of yore, and a certain one about a bear named Banjo and a bird named Kazooie, in particular. In it, you play as Kiwi, a cute little flightless bird who just wants to enjoy the sunshine. Unfortunately, the evil King Melon is high atop his mountain, and ready to ruin your day with taunting pieces of verse. But legends have foretold of five magical lamps that, if collected, would unlock power unimaginable! Or at least enough to kick that melon off that mountain! Which is probably just as good!
Move Kiwi with the [WASD] or [arrow] keys, jump with the [spacebar], and attack by clicking, either on the ground or in mid-air after a jump. The camera is controlled with the mouse as well. Collect items and fulfill requests made by the inhabitants of the Kiwi 64 world to acquire the five magic lamps and win the game. Kiwi 64 is an awesome tribute to a genre that time has seemed to have passed by, made by a developer who truly understands what gave it such appeal. As a love letter to a very specific gaming niche, it will, of course, be most appreciated by those who played the games it references. Certainly it has all the elements: cartoony characters, breezily humorous dialogue, a few Stop 'n' Swap-esque red herrings (...stupid frozen eggplant), and enough collectibles to satisfy even the most dedicated hoarder. It probably isn't developed enough to win over those new to the genre, but even they will find it a satisfying chunk of fun. While Kiwi 64 is undeniably derivative and relies a lot on novelty and nostalgia, it also has heart, and that's something you can't just cut-and-paste.