Deep in the dimly lit rooms stuck behind the glitzy Sony and Nintendo displays, I met with Sonic creator Yuji Naka at the XSEED booth to demo his latest game, Ivy the Kiwi.
Ivy hatches deep in the forest and instantly cries out for her mother. But her mother is nowhere to be found, so she starts off on a harrowing adventure to find her. Your job is to guide Ivy over obstacles and into otherwise inaccessible areas through the use of vines.
Naka's inspiration comes from focusing on one control element and designing a game around it. Here he wanted to step away from direct character manipulation and challenge the player to push the limits on this seemingly limited control scheme.
My hands-on time revealed that Ivy the Kiwi is anything but easy. The cute storybook art style is enchanting, but do not let it convince you that mastering the 100 levels is a simple affair. I barely made it through the first level after an intensive introduction to the controls.
Ivy the Kiwi is due out this summer on the Wii and DS. Each version offers a variety of multiplayer options, though the Wii version clearly steals the show with detail and functionality.