Released: 1988 | Genre: Platformer | Publisher: Taito
Platforms: Arcade, NES, Commodore Amiga, Amstrad CPC, Atari ST, Commodore 64, ZX Spectrum, Sega Megadrive, Sega Master System, PC Engine, FM Towns, Sharp X68000
The Newzealand Story is a platformer by Taito and released in 1988, very much styled similar to games like the Bubble Bobble series from the same developer.
The game was inspired by one of Taito’s programmers who took a trip to New Zealand. You control Tiki, a kiwi who must save his girlfriend Phee Phee and several other kiwi chick friends that have been kidknapped by a large blue leopard seal.
Playing The NewZealand Story
You must navigate Tiki through a maze of levels and at the end of each stage you will save one of the kiwi chicks. Much like Bubble Bobble, you can collect letters to spell out the word “EXTEND”, this was a trademark for Taito in the late 80’s.
Each round has an invisible time limit, if you take too long on the level you will be met with a “HURRY UP” warning followed by a red devil which will chase you down and Tiki will lose a life if he fails to reach the end of the level.
The NewZealand Story was a huge hit for Taito and was inevitably converted to many game consoles and computers of the late 80’s and early 90’s.
It also came out for the Sega Mega Drive, but only in Japan, this version was based on a prototype arcade version Taito had made.
The Spectrum version had huge success and was much praised by it’s game magazines of the time, and went on to become one of the bigger hits for the ZX Spectrum.
Amiga Power also featured The NewZealand Story in their top 20 games of all-time. The game was a pack-in game with the Amiga 500’s Batman Pack, which was the most successful game bundle from Commodore, so a lot of Amiga owners would have had this game.
The FM Towns and Sharp X68000 both saw arcade-perfect versions of the game, however unless you were in Japan and had a boat full of cash, you probably didn’t play these versions.
Much later in The NewZealand Story Revolution came out for th Nintendo DS, unfortunately it failed to recapture the magic of it’s predecessor, yet another failed attempt to use the touch stylus for gaming.