Now, if youíre a fan of hack and slashers, chances are your favorite aspect is exploring the maps. Each of Kiviís stages is laid out like a maze, with traps, multiple locked doors to open, secret rooms to discover, and many keys and triggers to find. Objects are also destructible, containing gems and coins which will increase your score (the higher your end score, the higher your attribute point reward). Youíll also find plenty of power-ups during your travels, and these range from simple healing spells and area of effect ice blasts to the spell brute strength, which causes your character to double in size and gain tremendous physical power. You can carry up to three power-ups at any given time, which isnít very much when they drop so often. Unfortunately, being able to hold only three will drastically reduce your tactical options as youíre going to want to hold on to health and mana replenishing power-ups when you find them, and will end up having to ignore many of the other ones.
…This is a different experience, and itís really refreshing. Instead of controlling a single character that you spend hours tweaking and equipping, Kiviís is built around unlocking lots of unique characters that each play differently. Switching to a new character can completely change the way you play a level, and youíll need to play each level again to fully experience everything.
If you're a hardcore RPG fan, the gameplay and unusual mechanic of Kivi's Underworld might turn you off, or seem repetitive after awhile. On the other hand, it might be just the thing you've been looking for, considering all the isometric action-RPGs (yes yes, "Diablo clones," I know, ::sigh: that you've probably tried out over the years. The developers at Soldak Entertainment really have a knack for putting a unique and enjoyable spin on the tried-and-true formula.