Go! Go! Kokopolo 3D (Nintendo 3DS) Review

By Lex Firth 25.04.2017 1

Review for Go! Go! Kokopolo 3D on Nintendo 3DS

Go! Go! Kokopolo was a small success for indie developer Tanukii Studios when it launched in 2011. Its unique brand of platforming found favour with critics and it quickly emerged as one of the highlights of Nintendo's short-lived DSiWare service, finding new fans well into the lifespan of the Nintendo 3DS. Sadly it was pulled from digital storefronts just three years after its original launch, leaving a Kokopolo-shaped hole in players' hearts - but now it's back and bigger than ever in a 3DS incarnation.

Released at the tail-end of the DSi's lifespan, Kokopolo is a platformer with a twist - attacking enemies doesn't defeat them, but rather enrages them, causing them to chase the titular cat around the map relentlessly until they're led to their doom, in the form of a "snap-snap plant" that swallows them up. It's a concept that lends itself well to a full game, using combo rewards and high-score challenges to incentivise players to attack as many enemies at once as possible and having a small army running towards them during one level.

The central mechanic - scratch enemies, run away from them, lead them to the snap-snap plant - hasn't changed since its predecessor, but it does adapt itself over Kokopolo 3D's running time, with a variety of switches, mazes and puzzle mechanics serving to not only truly test players' reflexes (it's a real challenge to navigate complicated pathways with five enemies hot on your tail), but to also give them the chance to flex their grey matter. Boss battles at the end of each themed world give the developers the opportunity to find new ways of using the same gameplay, and it's all wrapped up in an incredibly enjoyable campaign with a length more than befitting its price tag.

The main draw of Kokopolo 3D isn't its gameplay, though, but instead the ridiculous amount of charm it exudes at every opportunity. It's clear to see Tanukii has put in a lot of effort here - evident in the fact that they've opted to create a brand new sequel rather than simply re-releasing the original game on a newer console - and the genius, meticulously-crafted level design is just the tip of the iceberg. The character designs are genuinely brilliant, with all three playable characters looking unique and instantly recognisable in a move that hearkens back to the long-distant days of mascot-based platformer gaming. Twenty years ago, Kokopolo and his friends Tatsumo and Jinbe wouldn't have been out of place next to characters like Sonic the Hedgehog and Rayman.

Screenshot for Go! Go! Kokopolo 3D on Nintendo 3DS

The fantastic designs are exemplified by the gorgeous pixel art that accompanies them. Expressive, bright and vivid, the entire game is a real treat for the eyes, with even generic grunt enemies looking great. The bosses are a particular highlight, with each one having received a great deal of care put into their design, despite the fact that some appear in the game for less than a minute. The excellent graphical design goes excellently with the soundtrack that accompanies it, too, with a host of memorable, groovy tracks to enjoy.

If there's any flaw with Kokopolo 3D, it's that its gameplay does grow wearisome later on in the game - it's hard to build up such a rich, complex game based around one simple gameplay concept. The small scales of its arenas mean that it never feels as grand as the larger-scale platformers it echoes visually, and a host of unlockable content (as well as a disappointingly light story mode) only serves to drill in the repetitiveness of the central mechanic after a little while.

Go! Go! Kokopolo 3D is best enjoyed in small bursts, with the risk of it becoming tiresome being very real. That said, it's an absolutely gorgeous experience otherwise, with expert level design meeting a unique gameplay concept, tied up with some fantastic visuals. Platforming fans could do a lot worse than to Go! Go! to the eShop and download this excellent effort.

Screenshot for Go! Go! Kokopolo 3D on Nintendo 3DS

Cubed3 Rating

8/10
Rated 8 out of 10

Great - Silver Award

Rated 8 out of 10

What starts off as a unique concept for a platformer doesn't stand up to extended play sessions, but those looking for a small arcade game with a lot of heart poured into it will find a lot to love here. Go! Go! Kokopolo 3D takes everything that was great about retro platformers and gives them a decidedly modern spin, and it works fantastically.

Developer

Tanukii Studios

Publisher

Circle

Genre

2D Platformer

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  8/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date Out now   Australian release date Out now   

Comments

So happy to see this making a comeback! With any luck it'll also get onto Switch sooner rather than later.

Adam Riley [ Operations Director :: Senior Editor :: Cubed3 Limited ]
Word of Adam | Voice123 Profile | AdamC3 on Twitter

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