Set in a fantasy world where a near-human race, the Lumen, are under threat by Dark Elves, you start off controlling the title character, Kivi. Kivi is a young warrior and sole survivor of a mining accident and, despite his claims about the Dark Elves, his people do not believe him - so Kivi takes it upon himself to tackle this impending threat and find the forgotten city of Defiance.
The game is designed to be played in 15 minute intervals. With each level amounting to that time it keeps things flowing along quite quickly and gives the game a certain “pick up and play” quality, something quite refreshing in this day and age where every other game you play requires time, effort and investment to understand what's going on. Kivi’s Underworld doesn’t bother with any of that. It gives you a little narrated backstory and throws you straight into the dungeons with a sword/mouse in your hand.
Graphically the game is pretty solid. Whilst the design of the characters does its job adequately, the details applied to the environments are nicely rendered and the lighting effect which follows Kivi throughout the game is a nice little touch - adding to that underground atmosphere. It plays from an isometric view, in a style that brings back memories of titles such as Gauntlet.
In terms of gameplay the focus is all on the combat skills and magic that you acquire as you progress. Everything is handled by the mouse and overall the controls are pretty good, but after a while all the zombie/skeleton slaughtering can get a bit repetitive and this will probably give you a bit of RSI for all your hack and slashing efforts.
Never the less, Kivi’s Underworld is an enjoyable title that features a vast array of different levels and characters that will keep you coming back for more each time.
Kivi’s Underworld is available from Soldak Entertainment's website
Verdict: 8 out of 10
- Pick up and play quality
- lots of levels
- lots of items to pick up and use
- Might give you RSI if you play it too long