Pikuniku is a pretty weird puzzle game developed by indie studio Sectordub and published by Devolver.
One glance at the game and you’ll immediately see the similarities to other crazy games like LocoRoco, Katamari Damacy, and the new Donut County. Pikuniku is trying to out-crazy them all with environments, characters, and visuals that can only be described as “pure nonsense.”
You play as Pikuniku, a cute red creature that is here to make everyone happy. It doesn’t look like it, but this colorful, crazy world is on the verge of collapse, as technology is interfering with the natural ecosystem.
But have no fear! Pikuniku is here to save the day. Our goal is simple: help everyone without harming anyone in the process. In this open world, you can choose which characters to assist and which secrets to uncover. You can also decide which puzzles you’re going to solve, and what even IS a puzzle; every weird item you come across has the potential to become one all on its own.
Together, you will solve conspiracies, help the townsfolk and have ourselves a thriving Pikunikuish society.
But it won’t be easy, as nothing is as it seems. Trees can come to life, friends can turn into enemies, enemies can become friends, and the gameplay can suddenly flip everything on its head.
Pikuniku is an attempt to make a different kind of game, one with a different goal. None of the game aspects, be it graphics, story or gameplay, is the main focus, nor are they conventional in any way. The developers want you to discover what the game is about through its unapologetic weirdness.
Controlling Pikuniku is intentionally simple, so you can focus on solving the many different puzzles. When you start the game, all you can do walk in a mostly straight line (after a bit of practice), and turn into a ball to roll around.
Later on, you get the ability to swing on special rings, slide down cables and transform into a race car for some reason.
We asked Arnaud De Bock, designer and artist at Sectordub how long he thinks it can take some to finish the game. While it depends on the player’s puzzle-solving skills, the studio is aiming for a 5 hours single-player experience.
However, once you’re done with the single-player experience, you can invite a friend to play. Pikuniku has a separate co-op mode, with levels specifically designed for two players. They are completely absurd and can put a smile on anyone’s face, adult or child.
Every scene in the game is full of the kind of physical humor the begs you to take part. In dialogue, most jokes are told through speech bubbles in all caps, but the way they are presented always manages to convey the tone and excitement. The funny texts will follow you throughout the entire game, and if you’re a sharp enough you might even recognize some references.
Calum Bowen, who previously did the music for the excellent Snipperclips for the Nintendo Switch, composes all the tracks in the game’s soundtrack. Thee tunes add quite a lot to the special atmosphere and work well with the colorful visuals.
Pikuniku is coming out later this year for PC and Switch, so if you need more “weird” in your life, you won’t have to wait long.Some of our posts include links to online retail stores. We get a small cut if you buy something through one of our links. Don't worry, it doesn't cost you anything extra.