Poi is an old-school 3D platformer that takes inspiration from the likes of Super Mario 64 & Banjo-Kazooie. Bright, colourful & easy to play…it’s an impressive release from indie developer PolyKid.
On face value it’s easy to dismiss Poi as nothing but a rip-off of classic 3D platformers. One that doesn’t look anywhere as good. However, look further & you’ll find a fun, fluid & rewarding game.
The story is basic, centring around two youngsters who want to be explorers. They meet an old man, a master explorer who was caught up in a storm & lost all of his explorer medallions. Seeing that the duo is keen, he enlists them to help him find all the medallions.
You’re not playing Poi for the story. You’re playing it for good 3D platforming & Poi delivers on that. Play as either of the youngsters & travel to several different levels that include a forest, a snow-covered land and a desert town. The levels aren’t the most inspired you’ll see but the designs are smart & the number of tasks to complete in them means you’ll explore every inch.
Similar to the likes of Mario games, each level has a number of medallions to collect associated with a task such as playing hide & seek, collecting 100 coins and much more. There is plenty of variety in them but few will challenge.
In fact, the only real challenge comes from the photo collecting, finding fossils & discovering hidden locations. These add longevity to the game, as do the timed challenge levels & hidden medallions.
None of this would matter though if the games controls were a mess & thankfully Poi is fantastically responsive. You’ll never have an issue in this regard thanks to a tight camera controls too.
Graphically, Poi is colourful, cute & the various enemies and characters you’ll meet along the way are good to look at. The added bonus of being able to switch characters whenever you want & find additional costumes is the icing on the cake of a great love-letter to the old-school 3D platformer genre.