reviewed on PC
Sites, Sounds and Narration (cntd.)
One aspect about the game audio that was impressive was the unexpectedly good voice acting. At the beginning of each mission, the storyline is read to you by a narrator. This can of course be skipped if the player so wishes, but adds a storybook element to the game that isn’t immediately evident. It’s a nice touch that serves to remind the player that this is about the story of a Lumen Adventurer and not just about a cold and shallow mission objective.
You no smash candle!
Playing Kivi’s Underworld and getting around the playable environment is easy and quick to pick up. Holding true to the traditions set by Gauntlet and Diablo, players set out to destroy whatever gets in their way, be it Orc, Skeleton, or a Barrel. You can’t have a hack-n-slash game without some barrel bashing. Barrels, boxes, candles, statues, mushrooms - if it is clickable, it is smashable, which is vital for the almighty final point total. If it moves, kill it. If it doesn’t move, try to kill it anyway! Each character comes equipped with a primary attack and a secondary special talent. These talents and attacks will change based on what type of character it is. Kivi, being a warrior, has a sword strike and a secondary Power Attack which will use up a portion of his mana. In addition to these active abilities, each character comes will a passive talent that is always active. This could be the rogue's ability to not be noticed by creatures right away or a mage's natural ability to have some resistance to the very element which he controls.
Occasionally line of sight issues cause some targeting grief. It's nothing major, but the player may find themselves running around a bit just to hit back at something that is already beating on him. Otherwise, Kivi’s Underworld is about as straightforward as it gets. The only tricky part would be the hidden secrets scattered on each map. False walls hide a treasure cache for the player to find for extra point bonuses. Find all hidden secrets assigned to the map to get the bonus and stay aware that each level has a “super” secret which is harder to discover but is worth much more if found.
Never overlook the underdog
All in all, Kivi’s Underworld is a wonderful title for those players who enjoy good old-fashioned, straight-forward, to the point, no-frills gaming. It makes a great time burner if you have a stray half an hour or so at your hands. Just be mindful that it can become addictive trying to unlock new characters and hunting down those elusive hidden treasures. Also, with a considerable cast of 20 playable characters, Kivi offers a pretty decent level of replay value. True, it will be nothing more then playing the same mission with another character, but with 20 characters (once they are all unlocked) and 4 different difficulty levels, some variation in the play experience can be expected for a time.
Though Kivi’s Underworld may not be able to live up to the expectations of some gamers or keep up with some of the newer high-end titles on the shelves, it proves that you don’t need to smoke a video card just to play a good and genuinely entertaining game. It should also run well on a Mac and in Linux systems, although you are advised to try out the demo first just to make sure before you purchase the game.
No Pros and Cons at this time