Kick and Fennick is the first game developed by a two-man team from the Netherlands known as Jaywalkers Interactive, with help from developer Abstraction Games – the studio responsible for bringing Hotline Miami and Rogue Legacy to PlayStation platforms. With an interesting partnership developing this game, how does it hold up?

The story of Kick and Fennick follows the adventures of Kick, who, after waking up in a colourful and mysterious world, meets a robot known as Fennick. They’re soon attacked by an enemy, an encounter in which Fennick’s core battery in damaged. This then gives the duo the task to get to the top of the core tower and repair Fennick’s battery.

Kick and Fennick is a platforming game, but the catch here that helps it avoid so many other plaforming game cliches is that there is no jump button – pressing the X button will not help you jump a ledge here, in fact the X button does nothing at all.

Instead of a basic jumping mechanic, Kick is armed with a rifle, yep, a rifle, but this rifle fires Kick into the air when shot in any direction, and this is how he will navigate through the levels in this game. The mechanic starts off difficult to master at first, but after a few attempts you’ll soon get the hang of it.

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Aiming the rifle displays a straight line and a bubbly line, the bubbly line is what you want to refer to when aiming to navigate Kick to where you want him to go, the straight line however, is used for shooting enemies, which start to appear upon reaching the second chapter of the game.

The game is split into 5 chapters, the first chapter has 5 levels and the rest have 10, bringing the total to 45 levels. As you can imagine with classic platforming games, this game gradually gets more and more difficult, which helps make this game feel more genuine and in-line with classic games such as Crash Bandicoot.

Throughout each level there are 50 gears to collect, these are normally hidden in special areas of each level, which helps to encourage exploration as you complete each level. Depending on how long you spend in a level along with how many jumps you do in each level earns you a medal at the end of the level. There are four different kinds of medals you can earn, but the Diamond medal is what you want as this helps you unlock new costumes for the duo.

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Graphically this game is stunning, It’s clear from the get go that the two-man team from Jaywalkers Interactive have really put time and effort into creating Kick and Fennick, their animations look brilliant and detailed – like they have been designed with the due care and attention that AAA developers would give to their mascots.

The audio has been composed by musicbyjonathan and fits perfectly with the game. In the darker environments the music is quieter and actually gives off a bit of a sinister atmosphere, but where it suits, the audio can be uplifting and quite catchy. As a finished product, Jonathan van den Wijngaarden has done a fantastic job of creating an enjoyable and memorable soundtrack.

The main problem that I have with Kick and Fennick is that it seems to be over so quickly, thankfully the 3 difficulty modes really do have a distance between each other and hard mode will really put you to the test. Elsewhere I found that some jumps were rather difficult to pull off, and developer Jaywalkers Interactive have stated that they promise to make things a little easier for players in a future update to the game.

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Kick and Fennick is easily one of the best new IP’s to be exclusive to PlayStation Vita. While it’s not impossible for the game to come to other platforms in the future, Kick and Fennick feels like it belongs on the PlayStation Vita, and hopefully Jaywalkers Interactive plan to branch out and make a sequel, as so much more can be done here.

As a first attempt at making their own game, Jaywalkers Interactive have crafted an excellent platforming game that will certainly raise a few eyebrows. Kick and Fennick is a solid platforming game that really does deserve your attention, and can become quite addictive! Even if you are stuck on a certain part, you’ll constantly want get past any difficulties to see what it throws at you next!

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Vita enthusiast and once declared as 'Champion of the Vita', Liam's love for Sony's handheld know's no bounds. He's happy playing most Vita titles and most recently found himself enjoying indie titles, but will totally give you a good run for your money in any beat-em-up
  • Bitrip

    Definitely feels like a mobile game…but it plays well regardless. I commend the devs for branching out, as this was their first Vita title.

    • ChrisODude

      Disagree with you that it feels like a mobile game, would be impossible to be precise enough on a phone, and like Liam said, the graphics are really really nice

      • Bitrip

        If that were the case, then why would they have put so much effort and emphasis on playing via touch? Do your homework and you’ll see the this company has been making games exclusively for smartphones up until this point. I doubt you’ve actually played the game…the graphics aren’t that nice either…

        • ChrisODude

          I have played it but not much yet, the graphics are nice tho, try to remember that the vita is a mobile device, so the games will sometimes feel more mobile than others

          • Bitrip

            For an indie game the graphics are decent…I can agree with that. Compared to many other games though, the graphics are hardly noteworthy. I enjoyed the game, I really did. The menu/level select screens are the biggest reasons why I was getting a mobile “vibe”.

          • ChrisODude

            Yeh I agree with what you’ve said there, it’s probably hard for them as devs to not make it have a mobile vibe if that’s all they’ve made previously, hopefully with another couple of vita games they will adapt their style 🙂

          • Bitrip

            Exactly! 😀

        • ruefrak

          I really wish someone would do their homework. Where do you come up with that these guys have made games exclusively for smartphones??? As a studio, they have this game and a demo for Oculus Rift. Individually they’ve been on teams working on PC and console games. In fact, I don’t think they’ve EVER worked on a game for a smartphone. So in all this homework you’ve been doing, where did you dig up this fact? Or did you just make it up to sound like you know what you’re talking about?

          I also disagree with the idea that it “feels” like a mobile game. It feels like a really solid platformer that works great on the Vita. It will also probably look great on other consoles eventually as well.

          • Bitrip

            Read article and get back to me bro. The devs themselves have stated this this started as a smartphone game. http://blog.us.playstation.com/2013/08/22/kick-fennick-launches-on-ps-vita-in-2014/

          • ruefrak

            So you translate “this started off as a small mobile game” into “Do your homework and you’ll see this company has been making games exclusively for smartphones up until this point?” No. Wrong. Not true. In fact, “this company” hadn’t made any game up until this point. So if anything, “this company” so far has made games exclusively for the Vita.

            Here’s some reading for you, bro.
            http://jaywalkersinteractive.com/about/

            http://thevitalounge.net/2015/02/16/a-chat-with-kick-and-fennick-developers-jaywalkers-interactive/

          • Bitrip

            Yes because development studios work on a single game at any given time /s. Get a clue…if their first IP was originally a mobile game, one would deduce that all of their games currently in development adopted a similar format of (drum roll, please) mobile to Vita, if not being entirely mobile altogether.

            You can take your negative attitude and shove it. Go troll elsewhere.

          • ruefrak

            Ok. I’ll stop now. Thanks for verifying your ignorance. It’s greatly appreciated. Thing is, when you “do your homework” you don’t have to deduce anything because you’ll know. Take care.

  • vongruetz .

    I know this game is great because I couldn’t stop playing it until I finished it. I can’t remember the last time a game pulled me in like that.

  • MyBodyIsReady

    Its nice to see an indie on plus with an actual bit of a budget, but the game just gets a bit dull quite fast. I strongly dislike how its set out like a mobile game. Each to their own, but this one wasn’t for me.

    But hey, anythings better than Woah Dave

  • ChrisODude

    Lol review on a game you haven’t even completed chapter 2 of

    • Liam Langan

      I have

      • ChrisODude

        The trophy for completing chapter 2 isn’t on your trophy list tho dude?

        • Liam Langan

          No idea what’s going on there then, but I’ve definitely done it

          • ChrisODude

            Ah okies dude, have you played Tales of Hearts R btw? Would love to hear your thoughts as I’m thinking of buying it 🙂

          • Liam Langan

            I have and I personally love it, good JRPG with an easy to learn battle system 🙂

          • ChrisODude

            Are the trophies hard to get, or are they story based?

  • Carl

    A much better game than expected, Kick & Fennick is awesome. Part of is charm is the absence of spoken dialogue. Great stylized graphics, and animation is very good. The jumping, or rather, recoil jumping mechanic is unique, but admittedly some jumps are way too difficult. I hope to see more games like this on the Vita.

    P.S. Woah Dave is fun for a couple of hours, lads 🙂

    • vongruetz .

      I think one of the reasons I enjoyed it so much was that I wasn’t expecting anything. It looked pretty, but it wasn’t on my radar as a game I should play. Had it not been the free game of the month, I might have overlooked it.

    • Kuroneko

      I didn’t care for Woah Dave myself, but opinions

  • Daniel Doran

    Got to say I really enjoy this duo and would love to see more of them.