Nikoderiko: The Magical World First Impressions – Bringing Back the Old School Platformer Feel

I imagine I am not the only one who grew up loving Donkey Kong Country games. Straightforward, but challenging, they offered a lot of fun secrets to find and, as a little bonus, you could even tag in with a friend, if you wanted! So, when I heard that Nikoderiko: The Magical World was like a modern-day version of that experience, I was certainly excited to give it a try. Sadly, the demo was pretty short (it only covered the first three levels of the game), but still feel like I got a solid first impression.

In Nikoderiko, you can choose to play as either Niko or Luna — there is no difference between them gameplay-wise. From what we could see in the demo, they are traveling together to stop someone named Grimbald, who stole a relic from them and then promptly took over the island. The two are now looking for their chest hidden somewhere within, that presumably either has the relic or something that will at least help them against Grimbald. There’s no more to the story in this demo, so we will have to wait until the full game to see how this plays out.

The gameplay is fairly straightforward, and the game does an excellent job introducing you to everything you need to know right away: your character can glide, slide across the floor, slam down while in the air, jump on walls, and a few more things. These moves are used to platform and grab treasure, but they can also be used to take out most enemies. Important to note, even in the three levels I had a chance to play, there is a steady increase of difficulty, especially when it comes to platforming.

nikoderiko animals
You can find animals that will help you navigate and defeat enemies

Since we are on the topic of platforming in Nikoderiko, I found it pretty smooth for the most part, blending the feel of old platformers such as Donkey Kong Country with more modern features and gameplay mechanics. A particular mechanic that I really enjoyed here was the ability to summon certain animals that you can use as mounts to assist you.

Progression and navigation are very linear — you choose the level you want to tackle from a world map, and progress through it in a very linear fashion (meaning, at least so far, there aren’t any branching paths). Still, there are a ton of hidden collectables within levels ready to be found, which I found to be quite exciting. The most common ones have been floating things that look like golden flies, but there are also large coins, diamonds, and even letters that spell out NIKO in every level! There are also secret challenges, which will reward you with keys when completed.

As of now, it is not clear what you can get from any of these collectibles, but it’s still fun trying to find all of the secret openings and grabbing everything possible. It helps add a fun little extra challenge to the levels, and potentially add another reason to go back to them later if you missed anything.

nikoderiko results
At the end of a level, you can see the results of what you collected and missed

Overall, I think Nikoderiko: The Magical World is a really fun experience for fans of old school platformers, and I would definitely recommend keeping an eye on it. While it was not available in the demo, we could see that there is even a co-op option intended for the full version of the game, and we all know it’s double the fun when you can play with a friend.

I’m more than excited to get my hands on the full version of the game, and see what it has in store!

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I'm a huge gamer who especially loves the Final Fantasy series. I will play just about any game, especially if it has anything resembling a Dragoon.

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