Ivy the Kiwi

Common Sense Media says

Fun retro platformer with beautiful storybook graphics.





What parents need to know

Positive messages

Ivy just wants to get home to her mama. Nothing wrong with that.

Positive role models

Ivy is a cute baby bird, whom you must protect. By assigning you the role of protector, the game is essentially making you the role model.

Ease of play

There are basically only two things you need to learn to do in the game: Make vines and stretch vines. Using those two powers to safely guide Ivy to the finish line can prove quite challenging, however.

Violence & scariness

Ivy can be hurt by spikes, water drops, or bad rats and crows. If she touches any of these, she gets a surprised look on her face and drops from the screen. Bad animals that she rams into squeal and run off.

Not applicable
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Ivy the Kiwi is a sweet-looking, old-school 2-D video game with quaint storybook visuals. It is easy to learn, but can be quite challenging. There's very little than can be considered violence in the game.

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What's it about?

IVY THE KIWI is about a strange baby bird who hatches from a polka-dot egg and runs off in search of its missing mommy bird. Ivy will just run willy-nilly into anything in her path, so you need to guide and protect her along the way. You do so by stretching, long springy vines across the screen. With those vines, you can bridge gaps, create barricades, arrange ramps, and even pull back and release to launch Ivy like a missile into lurking enemies, like rats and crows.

Is it any good?


In some magical way, Ivy the Kiwi manages to feel both comfortably familiar -- in an old-school platformer game kind of way -- and excitingly new and different at the same time. In some ways, it feels like a strategy game, as every level is really a big maze to be navigated -- but it moves so fast that it also feels like an action game. While playing, you're constantly on your toes, without a moment to breathe until you reach the end of a level. The graphics are gorgeous, but laid out in a retro 2-D format, and while the level structure and point system harken back to the days of the cartridge games, the line-drawing control system is, of course, thoroughly modern. All of these seemingly contradictory elements can be found in Ivy the Kiwi, yet they all work incredibly well together. If we're to have one complaint about the game, it's the very short learning curve -- things get moving awfully fast straight out of the gate, and it is up you to catch up.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about how it feels to be charged with protecting a baby character in the game. Rather than control the protagonist of the story, you need to watch out for her and protect her. How does this make you feel?

  • This is, in many ways, a very old-fashioned type of video game. In it's format and presentation, it's much more akin to an old Super Mario Bros. game than something more modern like Halo. Is there still a place for simpler, 2-D games like this?

Game details

Platforms:Nintendo Wii, Nintendo DS, Nintendo DSi
Available online?Not available online
Developer:Xseed Games
Release date:August 24, 2010
ESRB rating:E for Comic Mischief (Nintendo DS, Nintendo DSi, Nintendo Wii)

This review of Ivy the Kiwi was written by

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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