Poi Explorer Edition Review
Super Mario 64 reinvented a genre by creating a very open world 3D platformer. Gamers had never seen a platformer so big and fully explorable. Nintendo had created something new and interesting with the Mario franchise. Flash-forward to the Nintendo Switch and all the new 3D platformers want to be like Mario 64. Take, for instance, Poi Explorer Edition, which just came out for the Switch. There is a lot of Mario 64 in Poi’s DNA. But does Poi do anything to stand out and should you play this game?
Poi Explorer Edition really doesn’t have a story. There are some quick image “flashbacks” to set up the game but its all forgotten quickly in favor of Poi’s gameplay. This is to be expected. I know I keep hammering it home in every review I do about platformers, but you shouldn’t expect a quality story from this genre. Instead, we must look to the gameplay to see if Poi is a worthwhile game!
You’ll hear me mention Super Mario 64 a lot during this review. The reason behind that is that Poi Explorer Edition reminds me a lot of that game. The platforming gameplay in Poi is very much like Mario 64: run, jump, stomp on enemies heads, timed platforming events, mini-games, etc. Even the areas you visit look a lot like levels from Mario 64. And the goal of each Poi area is collect multiple medallions, much like you collected multiple stars in Mario 64. So is there anything that makes Poi unique?
Poi’s most unique aspect is its hub world. Instead of a castle area, Poi has an airship and the sky as its hub. You start on the airship, but you can visit other airships and places in the sky. To do this, you jump out of the airship and use a pachute to glide around the sky. Gliding is pretty tricky but once you get the hang of it, its actually fun. I liked this hub world a lot more than I liked any of Poi’s levels, though the levels can be fun too. There is just so much to see and do in the hub world and more unlocks as you getting further in the game. And if you played Mario 64, you won’t have any problem getting further in Poi. The controls here are classic and good.
Poi’s controls don’t do anything new. The basic press A or B to jump and analog controls are what we’ve been seeing for awhile now. They work though and you won’t have any trouble with this game’s controls. To its credit though, Poi does include some motion control via the game’s camera tool and this works too. There are no touch screen controls but this game doesn’t need it. And some cool little tools, like a shovel to dig, are easy to use and add nice little collection goals to a good platformer.
Poi is, without a doubt, a good platformer in the vain of the best of the Nintendo 64 and the graphics will remind you of that again.
Poi is a good looking game; fans of Mario 64 will dig the graphics. Though, Poi has a little bit more details then the classic 64 game. I especially liked the sky hub’s graphics but all of the areas that you visit look nice. The characters in Poi, both enemies and allies, are a bit generic though. Overall, Poi isn’t the best looking platformer on the Switch, but it is a good looking one nevertheless thanks to the game’s environments.
As for the game’s music, its not great but it gets the job done. The music is pretty cheery and fits with the platforming gameplay. Poi’s sound effects are less than stellar but they are not bad either.
Poi Explorer Edition is a neat platformer for the Nintendo Switch that will have you remembering the good old days of the Nintendo 64.
Poi Explorer Edition feels like a remastered Nintendo 64 game, in a good way. Most of the platforming moves that were found in Mario 64 are present in Poi. The sky hub world, though, definitly brings something unique to the table. That said, the actual platforming, while fun, doesn’t bring anything new or special. Poi is a good platformer but its not in the running for the best Switch platformer.
Poi is a fun game and after you finish that other platformer thats currently out, you may want to think about visiting the world of Poi Explorer Edition. Its far from unique, but it is a good game.
Thanks to Alliance Digital Media for providing a review copy of Poi Explorer Edition. The game is currently available on the Nintendo Switch eShop!