The New Zealand Story

  • Taito / Midway

  • FormatArcade & Video Games
  • TypePlatform & Puzzle
  • SystemArcade

As ubiquitous a Taito title as Bubble Bobble, The New Zealand Story was one of the most polished, attractive and widely ported platform games in video game history.  

"Kidnap is a popular crime amongst video game villans"
Ewan Robinson

The name itself provides a hook of curiousity, but what attracted me most to the game was the effort put into it, transforming what at first seems a run of the mill platformer into a very challenging game with many different possible routes to victory in each level. 

Though Taito is perhaps better known for titles such as Bubble Bobble, Chase H.Q. and Operation Wolf, The NewZealand Story remains a strong pillar in the history of one of the most prolific and quality-drive video games companies of the 1980s and '90s.

Kidnap is a popular crime amongst video game villans, and for Wally the Harp Seal his victims are Tiki the Kiwi and his friends. Escaping through a hole in Wally's overstuffed kiwi-bag, Tiki must first escape the grounds of Auckland Zoo and travel the length of New Zealand's islands through 4 levels of 4 zones each, freeing a friend at the end of each level. 

At first, play seems fairly obvious; Kiwi walks at a good pace and has a solid jumping distance, as well as being a responsive little character which makes platforming up and down avoiding spikes, pits and villians very enjoyable. He also comes armed with a rapid-fire bow and arrow, which he can use to dispatch the hordes of nasty piggies, fire-demons, crocs, spikers and boomerang guys who try and block his way. 

If this wasn't enough, Tiki is an expert pilot of any and all aircraft, be it hot air balloon, normal balloon, giant goose or ufo. All of these can either be found in the level or "liberated" from his enemies. Tiki the Kiwi can also trade up his bow and arrow to a fireball-shooting magic wand, explosive bombs or even a lasergun, again which are taken from his foes or found scattered throughout the stages. 

The game levels are expansive in all directions, and there are often many paths to explore before you find the route to freeing one of Tiki's friends form his cage. Watertraps, spikes and inconveniently placed enemy spawn points must be overcome if you intend to thwart Wally's evil plan.

Review by Ewan Robinson

The New Zealand Story: Arcade Gameplay


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The NewZealand Story PCB Gameplay
  • Taito / Midway

  • FormatArcade & Video Games
  • TypePlatform & Puzzle
  • SystemArcade

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