Poi: Explorer Edition Review

Posted October 27, 2017 by Kyle Simcox in Video Games

Developer: Polykid

Publisher: Polykid

Release Date: October 23rd, 2017

Platforms: Nintendo Switch, PC, PS4, Xbox One

We get to go exploring in our review of Poi: Explorer Edition, thanks to a digital code provided by our friends over at Alliance Digital Media!

Poi: Explorer Edition puts you in the boots of two young, orphaned siblings who yearn for the life of adventure. Naturally, they run away to pursue their dreams upon whom they meet an old master explorer who seeks their aid. After selecting which sibling you’d like to play as(you can swap between the two at any time) the old man sends you on a quick quest to fetch a golden medallion that’s just out of his reach. Once you complete the task, he whisks the siblings away on his airship and the two begin their journey to explore the Milky Way galaxy and earn the title of master explorer.

A first of many…

What I love most about Poi is that its basically an open love letter to 3D platformers, with the biggest influence coming from Mario 64. The siblings can run and triple jump with the best of any Mario’s. You’ll also notice a bit of Zelda in Poi as well as you seek out coins to obtain items and also in the games health system. While players are given the opportunity to soar around The Sky, the biggest adventures are found among the horizon in the lovingly crafted worlds the siblings get to run around in.

Each world has their own unique charm and personality. The first world you visit, known as Cozy Cove, contains a small village of root-like people who maintain a windmill and a lighthouse. It’s full of floating platforms, a few small stone structures and plenty of paths along the surrounding cliffs. The next takes you from the luscious green sea side village and places you at the base of a lava spewing volcano, where the siblings aid the Lavasaurus Rex who live there. Bones of long dead creatures jut from the ground and flames blast out from various vents around the volcano.

The giant floating whale balloon is your home base.

As you begin your adventures, you’ll be introduced to the Sky which works as Poi’s hub zone and grows as players progress. While in The Sky, you’ll aim your ship and visit the worlds on thr horizon in an attempt to recover lost Exploration Medals scattered within them. Each world is gated and requires a set number of medals but thankfully, exploration is it’s own reward and as the population of the Sky grows, so do the ways to earn more medals. Players will be tasked with digging up fossils, mapping out specific locations in each world, overcoming challenges and recovering lost Golden Gears. It never feels too hard or that it takes too long to collect medals.

That being said however, mission objectives tend to repeat themselves. You can pretty much guarantee that each world will have a mission that involves collecting keys and 100 coins to unlock medals. The first missions always seem to involve climbing up to the top of a tall structure after fixing a problem with it like the windmill in Cozy Cove or the flame tower in the second world. Then, the last level will always be a boss battle, which are usually simple but fun to play.

The bucket won’t save you from the giant bucket head.

As far as the enemies are concerned, I tend to get a little annoyed with how things work. The siblings have a set amount of hearts and getting hit sends you and a handful of your collected coins flying high into the air. Some enemies can maneuver under you as you come in for the landing and immediately damage you again and while it helps promote caution in a relatively easy game, it doesn’t stop the occasional cheap death at the hand of enemies. Thankfully though, there’s a checkpoint system so you dying just sends you back to the nearest checkpoint marker you tagged at the cost of all of your coins.

Overall, Poi: Explorer Edition is a wonderful game that blends many different platforming elements together perfectly. While the mission structure tends to get repetitive, exploring the game’s worlds is fun and a great time sink. The Nintendo Switch is the perfect home for Poi but you can also get the game on PC, PS4 and the Xbox One, you just won’t be able to access some of the content that’s exclusive to the Switch version.

About the Author

Kyle Simcox