Kickerinho World Review: Kickeri-No
It’s no secret that the Nintendo Switch has become a magnet for ports over the past few years. Nor is it a secret that many of these ports being brought on over to the Switch are, well, kind of old. Most of the time, I’m just fine with that. Don’t get me wrong, I understand where people are coming from when they make arguments against it, but if it means that we the chance to re-live some classics again—or, even better, finally get to play some games that the West originally missed out on—then I’m 100% for it. However, even people as supportive as myself when it comes to ports have limits. Previously, I didn’t honestly know what my limits were. However, after playing Kickerinho World, I feel as though I have a much better grasp on where they might actually lie.
Kickin’ Up a Combo
In Kickerinho World, your goal is to juggle a soccer ball for as long as you can. Aside from the fact that you can gain EXP by continuously playing, which, in turn, unlocks new tricks, that’s basically it. While the new tricks that you unlock do technically require slightly different timing, the fact that you only use the ZL and ZR buttons for everything essentially negates any of the tricks feeling unique from one another. In fact, because they’re only ever so slightly different, and the game is horrible with its tells, you generally end up messing up the more tricks you unlock… so the game kind of punishes you for playing it, in a way. The gameplay is incredibly tedious, however, so it’s going to require both a lot of time and a lot of patience if you’re actually trying to unlock everything.
Aide from the fact that there’s really not anything to do in this game, my only other complaint is the fact that the timing for your head-based tricks is so specific that it feels like there might be something wrong with the way they’re identified by the game. At first, I thought that it was just a case of me being bad at the game, but one look at the leaderboard told me that everyone else playing this game was having difficulty racking up a significant score as well. Fortunately, with about 30ish minutes of effort, I was able to break into the Top 10. That was kind of neat.
Let’s Juggle Like It’s 2016
Admittedly, I wasn’t actually 100% sure that Kickerinho World was a port of a mobile game when I first started playing it. Sure, it felt like a mobile game, but that doesn’t necessarily mean anything. However, after looking around in the in-game clothing shop and seeing all of the outdated “2016” shirts, I decided to look on the App Store and did indeed find Kickerinho World. The game did indeed appear to be around 5 years old, and, ironically, it played better on my phone than on the Switch. Head juggling was no problem whatsoever, and things felt much more responsive overall. Sure, playing it on your phone means that you have to deal with a bunch of questionable freemium practices, but at least the game works as intended.
Shoveling It In
Ports can be great, but it’s important to know the distinction between “can I port this to the Switch” and “should I port this to the Switch.” In the case of Kickerhino World, the answer to the first question might be yes, but the answer to the second is most definitely a no. This game’s already been around for years, and it somehow plays worse now than it ever has before. Not by leaps and bounds, no, but worse is still worse when there’s as little gameplay going on as there is in a game like this. It may be free of ads and those all-too-pesky premium currencies, but it’s still not worth the money.
Final Verdict: 2/5
Available on: Nintendo Switch (Reviewed), iOS, Android; Publisher: No Gravity Games; Developer: Orbital Knight: Players: 1; Released: July 1, 2021 (Switch), 2021; ESRB: E for Everyone; MSRP: $4.99
Full disclosure: This review is based on a copy of Kickerinho World given to Hey Poor Player by the publisher.