Release Date: February 1st, 2017
Poi is a 3D platformer in the vein of old N64 classics like Super Mario 64 and Banjo Kazooie developed by indie studio Polykid for PC. In Poi you play as a pair of young kids, a boy and a girl( you can swap characters from the hub world at your leisure) on a quest with a seasoned old adventurer to find the mysterious Milky Way Globe. You’ll travel through various floating islands and find plenty to collect along the way.
Poi is an example of a genre that is few and far between in this day and age. The 3D collectithon with its cutesy character design and orchestral score will have you reeling to journey back to Treasure Trove Cove with Banjo. Poi wears its influences on its sleeve, the obvious one being Super Mario 64. You collect medals in each world much as Mario would stars and then return to the overworld to find new levels or return to old ones. Mario’s classic triple jump is here, and a snowy level even has some very familiar looking penguins.
As far as new additions to the genre, the player character in Poi can use coins collect throughout the Hub world and smaller levels to purchase upgrades like a telescope, a shovel for digging up fossils and even upgrade their health.
Poi’s gameplay is fun, if for no other reason than we simply don’t get many games like this anymore. A standard playthrough will take no more than six or seven hours, but there’s plenty more to collect once you’re done, from fossils to more hero medallions. You even unlock a new game plus for your efforts. Controls can feel a bit wonky at moments, and the camera has gone completely nuts on me a few times but never enough to make me stop playing.
Visually the game looks charming like a cute little cartoon, but nothing about its art or character design is particularly inspired. I like Poi just fine for now, but these characters won’t stay with me. Poi’s orchestral score is a bit more likely to remain, I can’t get some of it out of my head, that soundtrack is worth grabbing on Steam as well.
Poi is a good game that doesn’t bring a lot of new ideas to the table. It’s part of a genre that has tapered off a bit in recent years and is worth checking out for those who miss classic 3D platformers. The team at Polykid has shown they have a love for this genre and I hope they innovate on it more in the near future. For the fifteen dollar asking price Poi is a great little experience and should tide over lovers of this genre until games like Yooka Laylee, and Super Mario Odyssey arrive. You can pick it up on Steam now.
Score: 7 out of 10