The Kiwi's Tale is a simple side scrolling 2D platformer definitely made with an audience of children in mind and, since I'm basically a child at heart, I enjoyed it. Designed by Erik Hogan, who is known for Derelict, a space marine shooter found here, A Kiwi's Tale is the polar opposite in tone and atmosphere. I found it delightful with it's charming music and cute graphics. It's really just a pleasant game to play.
The premise of it is as such: You play the role of a kiwi bird who's mates have been kidnapped by alien sheep. I say "mates" because the developer is a New Zealander, and as such the game is riddled with references to New Zealand culture, most of which were lost on me. However, A Kiwi's Tale comes with a manual that explains them all to those of you who are interested. For example, you can pick up coins that spell AEOTEROA, the Maori word for New Zealand, to get an extra life. Also, you can also collect a variety of other items, like kiwi fruits, Jandals(like sandals), and a Lord Of the Rings Oscar, and upon collecting 50 of these miscellaneous items, you get an extra life.
You are armed with your jumping skills (kiwis are flightless birds, after all) and a bow and arrow, but you can find other armaments such as a bazooka dropped by enemy sheep or a biplane, the latter of which would render this kiwi not technically completely flightless. You must travel to a number of locales through New Zealand such as Stewart Island, releasing your kiwi friends and battling a variety of enemies. For instance, there's a fast running Pukeko bird, a Hedgehog that flings his quills, and sheep with bazookas, the latter of which sometimes drop their weapon for you to pick up. Finally, you must defeat the UFO sheep that kidnapped your friends at the start.
My complaints with this game are relatively few. The game gives you as many continues as you would like and once you reach a level, it's unlocked for good. This makes the game terribly easy, but given that it's most likely designed with small children or casual games in mind, this may be what the designer intended. Still, I would have liked if the game made the player start over from the beginning and had a save game system in place.
New Zealander or not, if you are a fan of platformers or know a child who loves computer games, this title is a must-download.