Designed for casual players, features very good gameplay but little incentive to play further.

User Rating: 8.5 | Ivy the Kiwi? DS
Ivy the Kiwi? is a puzzle game in which given the player the task of guiding a baby bird through a number of stages by creating vines for it to walk over. While the general idea doesn't look very fun, the game itself proves to be quite entertaining if given a chance.

The story begins with a small egg falling from the skies on the middle of Quiet Forest. From it hatches our protagonist, Ivy, a female red bird which is unable to fly. As Ivy soon realizes, her mama is nowhere to be found, so she sets of on a trip to go back to her.

This very cute introduction is pretty much all the storytelling you're gonna experience until the very end of the game, which is one of the main reasons why this game is not as good as it should be. The game itself is interesting and fun, but playing through fifty stages on a streak with not a single line of plot between areas can be rather disappointing. Hardcore players should avoid this game, as it features little incentive to play for long or replay it.

The bright side is that the gameplay of this one is extremely fun. The first impression I got of this was that it'd be simply a platform game much similar to "Kirby: Canvas Curse", but there's far more to the vine-dragging and bird-running than meets the eye. Once you get the hang of plotting our little chick's path - which involves drawing vertical lines as walls and balancing the vines with the stylus still on the screen - you'll acquire a very intuitive, quasi-perfect control over Ivy's movements and will be able to send her wherever you want with minimal effort.

Another characteristic of the game engine, one that's neither for good or bad, is that the puzzles aren't so complex you will need to stop and think them carefully. In fact, this is more of an action game with a puzzle-ish feel. You'll hardly - if ever - have to think of the best paths to take or go back to get something else done. This game is rather straightforward on that point.

One downside is that left-handed people will have a harder time moving the chick around. Even though the whole playing happens on the touch screen, most stages are designed on a left-to-right manner which tends to be more natural to the righties.

Something else I should probably point is the game difficulty. Even though I believe a game like this shouldn't feature a life-system (and it does), you'll soon realize lives are nothing to worry about. By following very simple procedures on each stage you'll gain lives much faster than you'll ever get to lose them (until maybe the last area). Most of the difficulty of an area consists on dominating techniques that work them around, like drawing lines over Ivy to avoid her being hit by water drops. The game only truly starts to show some kind of challenge at about the eighth area or so, which is pretty close to the end.

So, to summarize:

Good part: Incredibly cute, very good gameplay, fun and addictive.

Bad part: Lacks more story, too repetitive after a while, bad for lefties, pretty easy.

Overall opinion:
A very good game, aimed at a younger public and people who just want something fun to play. The hardcore player will find a short and repetitive experience with no incentive to play further. The casual player will find the perfect thing to do in bus trips and waiting lines.