Full disclosure: Here Comes Niko! is a game I never would have purchased (and certainly not at its asking price of $24.99). It’s a rare platforming game that draws me in as I’m not very proficient in the genre, but this was in a bundle I bought around the holidays, and I always at least look at the descriptions of bundle games to see if they’re something I might like.
The store page description of Here Comes Niko! definitely made it sound like it was right up my alley, despite the genre. And it is indeed cozy, but I’m not entirely sure I would have classified it as a platformer, myself. Instead, it felt more like a collectathon puzzler, which just happened to have some platforming mechanics to it, which just made it all the more appealing to me.
You play as Niko, the only human in an anthropomorphic animal world, and you’ve just started a new job as a professional friend. What does that mean? It means everywhere you go, you find someone who needs help, and help them. On each island you visit, there’s a handful of folks who have a problem, and also, have a coin burning a hole in their pockets. Collect enough coins, and you’ll be able to ride the train to the next island.
Folks who come in expecting a tight platformer are going to be outrageously disappointed by this title, however. The platforming is super floaty, unpleasantly floaty even. However, for players who are more interested in a cozy, combat-free collectathon experience, Here Comes Niko! just oozes charm. Each island is full of folks to chat with, puzzles to solve, and minigames to beat.
There’s plenty of things to collect on each island, and exploration is delightful, but some of the activities feel a little rough around the edges. The fishing quests, in particular, are outrageously irritating, and although I completed the one on the first island, I can see myself skipping them going forward if there are enough other coins to be earned. And normally, I love fishing in cozy games.
I feel like you get a pretty solid idea of what you can expect in the first few minutes, and if that gameplay loop works for you, you probably have a fun 6-8 hours ahead of you. Personally, I liked it more than I expected to, but that’s really because it leans heavily into the cozy and not very much into the platformer. On one hand, this is absolutely a game I can see myself going back to in short bursts until I’ve completed it, but it’s also not the type of game I feel compelled to fire up every time I have a few free minutes.