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New Zealand Story logo  Format Gold


T New Zealand Story he Japanese have some wacky ideas when it comes to coin-ops: take Bubble Bobble, the tale of two bubble-blowing brontosauruses that went down a storm in the arcades and converted very successfully to the computer.
Another very wacky idea is to have a little yellow Kiwi, complete with white and blue shoes, running around rescuing chums that have been captured and locked in cages by a bad ol’ walrus. Still, it worked in the arcades and even now, thanks to Ocean, every Amiga owner has the chance to play this enchanting game at home.

In case you had not guessed already, you control the yellow bundle of fluff in this oh-so-cutesy platform game that is not a million miles away from Bubble Bobble and Super Mario Bros. The action is all viewed in two dimensions, and there are five levels to play through, each level made up of four sub-levels with the fourth sub-level guarded by an end-of-level nasty that needs destroying before you can progress.

New Zealand Story Again as if you had not guessed, the sub-levels are guarded by a bunch of... well, you cannot really call them nasties, because they appear to be teddy bears and snails! But contact with them will cause you to lose one of an initial three lives. For self-defence you are armed with a small bow, from which to fire arrows at the baddies (a bow and arrow? Well, you might have known, really). There are also other weapons, including bombs and lasers, to be obtained by shooting certain baddies: most baddies simply turn into juicy pieces of fruit, which are collected for bonus points. Some baddies fire back, though, so keep on your toes to dodge their shots.

As well as the baddies, there are objects in the scenery that can kill you, such as spikes on the floor that must be jumped over. The levels (and sub-levels) get progressively harder and puzzles start creeping in: for example, on sub-level three your chum is caged on the right side of the level but there is no obvious way of getting him. Until you realise that with careful timing you can shoot the teddy bears that float around without popping the balloon they float on, then hop onto an empty balloon and guide it over the top. But the bears can pop your balloon and tumble you towards the ground, so beware!

Another problem is the time limit: hang around on a screen too long and a big ‘hurry up!’ notice comes on. Ignore this warning, and a small Time Devil appears and prongs you with his trident, thus removing one of your lives.

New Zealand Story is incredibly cute, and at first you will think you are far too old to be playing such a game. But you are not. This is an incredibly addictive game, and the difficulty tuning has been set just right, increasing your determination to survive to the end of each and every level. Ocean have taken a great coin-op and produced a wonderfully good conversion, which you will no doubt find yourself booting up time and again.
Andy Smith

Amiga Format, Issue 1, August 1989, p.p.38-39

Take big, colourful cartoon sprites that are beautifully drawn and wonderfully animated, add backgrounds that are highly colourful and then jolly tunes that play throughout, and you end up with a great-looking and great-sounding game that happens to be immensely playable too.


New Zealand Story logo CU Screen Star

Price: £24.99

A New Zealand Story kiwi that has his friends stolen by an Atlantic seal and has to rescue them by flying around on balloons throwing bombs and teddies riding inflatable ducks? Oh, please leave it out, what was the programmer of The New Zealand Story on when he came up with this game idea?
In truth, The New Zealand Story is a cleverly constructed example of that increasingly rare specimen hoppus frustratus, commonly known as the platform game.

Take control of the little yellow bird (Tiki to you) and make your way around the screens in an attempt to discover the other kiwis, imprisoned in cages. There are five stages and four maps to each stage, turning the game into an equivalent of twenty levels of mouth-foaming action.

The days of the platform game as a collection of levels that take you up and down in one dimension have long since passed, there are new variations here. The New Zealand Story is set in a national park where there is land, sea and air and the kiwi has to contend with all three environments. Thus odd sections require you to take him underwater. He is equipped with goggles and a very small supply of air to make it through to the other side. An oxygen meter shows you how much time is left.

Making your way around the platforms can be a tedious business so you can take to the air by shooting characters who float down from windows on teddy heads or balloons. Grab one and you move around feely. It is not a passport to completing the level though, because there are prickles and thorns everywhere not to mention all manner of creatures bent on popping your inflatable and ending your little furry life.

As platform games go TNZS conforms to the rule that they have to be astoundingly tough and desperately frustrating to play. It managed to achieve something of the cult status in the arcades, and there are obvious similarities here to that classic with cute characters, fruit picking (for bonuses) and a novel rendition of a well-worn theme.

Ocean’s conversion is near perfect, though I swear I do not ever remember it being this tough. Graphically it is as close a replica as you could wish (and rightfully expect) whilst the sound is spot on too, right down to the little squeak the kiwi makes when he loses a life.

This is a must for all fans of the genre. It is an excellent conversion but beware you need patience to complete this. Me? I am off for a quiet game of Speedball or something a bit more relaxing.
Mike Pattenden

CU Amiga, August 1989, p.p.42-43


New Zealand Story logo  Zzap! Sizzler
New Zealand Story's Tiki
  • Kiwi's Big Adventure…
Ocean, Amiga £24.99

New Zealand Story Tiki and his friends are in trouble. Right Down Under in the land of geysers and Maoris the lovable kiwi has barely escaped capture by the Big Bad Blue, a large and totally vicious seal from the North. After falling out of the net containing his fellow kiwis Tiki unruffles his feathers and sets off to rescue his friends.

Exploring a distinctly surreal world of platforms, ledges and pits, Tiki is hard-pushed to rescue even one captive. Bluey has left behind minions which must rank as some of the oddest around; cats, killer stars(?), firework-throwing crabs, bears wearing sunglasses and many other, less easily identifiable creatures. Not even the most ferocious of kiwi beak snarling will frighten them off but a bow and infinite arrows sure comes in handy. Weapon-toting nasties leave behind weapon icons when they die - a fireball-casting wand, laser gun, a BIG laser gun, bombs and a handy water squirt provide firepower for this Rambo kiwi.

Tiki may not have to gift to flight but, wearing his smart trainers, our feathered friend can leap onto platforms and cross enormous gaps - well, they're enormous for a Kiwi.
Tiki's mate is caged somewhere - often high up - within the maze structure of platforms making up the zoo. One way to reach greater heights is to leap up ledge by ledge, but water often bars the way so the Aqualung allows Tiki to do a spot of scuba diving. The other method of gaining height is to hitch a lift in a balloon. Watch out tough, it's a long way down and the spikes at the bottom take no prisoners.
Every fourth level a bonus screen pops up with Tiki taking on ice-dropping whales and suchlike. By progressing to the 20th level Tiki get to meet Big Bad Blue and his balloon.

Zzap! Issue 52, August 1989, p.71

Robin Hogg There's something that I found irresistible about the Taito coin-op with its immensely high level of playability and different style of action altogether compared with the mass of shoot-'em-ups - a breath of fresh air which is repeated on the Amiga. The conversion is simply arcade-perfect - the sickeningly cute Tiki is the spitting image of his coin-op brother with gorgeous backdrops to match his character. Sound effects are well implemented, especially Tiki's 'cheeps' when he fires arrows. If anything, 20 odd levels may not seem enough but things are far from easy, by level 3 you'll be sweating buckets and beyond that it's nightmare time. A superb conversion.

Randy It's not your normal run-of-the-mill kiwi, is it? Then again, New Zealand Story isn't your normal run-of-the-mill game, as far as quality and attention to detail is concerned. Near-cartoon quality sprite definition and animation, with colour slapped liberally throughout, are complemented superbly by some charming backdrops (I thought the brick walls with the kiwi spray-painted on them was a charming tough!). Bubbly sound effects and tunes add to the enjoyment. I've never spotted New Zealand Story in the arcades but, with this conversion, I don't think I'll ever need to. The best platforms and ladders game to appear for a long time.

6 4
The 64 version should be out before the end of the month, priced at £9.99 cassette, £14.99 disk.

Brief but effective instructions with typically stylish Ocean packaging.
The conversion's got even better graphics than the coin-op!
Cute and cuddly music is accompanied by realistic effects.
As instantly tempting to play as the coin-op with an immediate appeal all of its own.
Not a wonderfully massive number of screens but even tough kiwis will find the going gets very tough very quickly.
An arcade-prefect conversion of a refreshingly different coin-op.