THE NEWZEALAND STORY / Taito / Arcade
The NewZealand Story is a cute and neat little platformer, hampered only by Taito's usual insistence on insane difficulty for their 1980s arcade games (but less so than their worst examples of the time.)
You play as a little kiwi chick who has to rescue his kiwi sweetheart from a bunch of walruses gone bad. The surprisingly large and well-organized evil walrus army inhabits a number of platformer stages you'll have to work your way through. Kiwi Chick can jump and shoot arrows initially, and power-ups make your projectiles more powerful, such as lasers and bombs. The game's most interesting twist is allowing you to use a variety of floating vehicles, such as balloons (which you usually have to first shoot the enemy out of.) At times there's a bit of a puzzle-platformer feel to it as you figure out how to navigate different pathways and tight jumps over insta-death spikes either on foot or with a vehicle that can be retrieved elsewhere in the level (levels are also timed to keep you hoppin'.) Hidden levels and multiple endings also help the game's replayability.
* Gameplay Video