As the name suggests, Super Kiwi 64 is setup like the classic platformer model from Nintendo 64 games. The player embodies the titular kiwi bird and is presented with a series of tubes that lead to self-contained levels. There are eight visible pipes in this starting hub, some of which need to be accessed by performing light platforming actions.
The levels each contain a variety of item collection and challenges, which yield the location of a pink, gold-lined gem upon completion. The goal is to collect all these gems, to access unlocks in the main hub. There are six gems in each of the eight stages, plus one bonus gem in an unlockable area. Along with the gems, the user interface (UI) in the top left also indicates the amount of golden cogs that are spread across the stage. Other systems that unlock a gem include a number of rings that the kiwi needs to go through, bullseyes that need to be hit with a lunge and doors locked with a colored key card, much like classic first-person shooters like Doom. Collecting a gem triggers a small animation, where the kiwi triumphantly turns to the camera, like in the Mario franchise.
Visually, the game emulates the grimy, low resolution textures of the Nintendo 64 as well. Flat, green stretches represent grass. Sporadically, the monochrome textures are offset with blown out sprites of things like a window or a fire pit. A few lightly mummified skeletons are occasionally hidden in the environment as well and appear more frequently in later stages. A few environments feature samurai armor, both active and dejected.
Music emulates that of composers like Grant Kirkhope, who has credits on numerous Nintendo 64 games. As such, one of the instruments that strongly punctuate the natural vibe in Super Kiwi 64 is the pan flute. Each set of 2 stages gets a particular track, to symbolize their specific biome. The music changes in the main hub, despite the hub being a singular area.
- Stage 1-2: Forest
- Stage 3-4: Desert
- Stage 5-6: Dungeon
- Stage 7-8: Island
The kiwi sports aviator goggles, as well as a red backpack, reminiscent of its collect-a-thon inspiration, Banjo-Kazooie. There are a few items that protrude from the bag, such as a fan that activates when the sprint function. In Stage 8, there are three fans, as that area is much larger than previous environments. As kiwis are famously flightless birds, the backpack also provides the protagonist with a set of wings that helps them float, to access faraway parts of an environment. With the lunge function, the kiwi can additionally use its long, pointed beak to spear into walls. Doing this action repeatedly helps the character grapple up vertical inclines. Some verticality can simply be overcome by taking a short elevator. In later environments, some areas are locked off and need to be accessed by finding a key.
Completing the game requires 40 held gems. Doing so allows the kiwi to hop in a plane and fly off into the sunset. During this sequence, the credits will roll, which include the names from supporters on crowdfunding platform, Patreon.
By collecting all 48 gems, a pipe in the main hub will open, to a secret area. In this room, a puzzle is presented with five hieroglyphics, which could previously be seen in stages. For instance, the first stage has the combination to the puzzle solution in the hollowed out brown space with the skeleton inside. Solving the sequence successfully transforms the titular kiwi into the only other character in the game: a dog with aviator goggles in a tiny helicopter, akin to a League of Legends hero.
- Stage 1 - 28 cogs
- Stage 2 - 50 cogs
- Stage 3 - 33 cogs
- Stage 4 - 51 cogs
- Stage 5 - 34 cogs, 2 keys
- Stage 6 - 44 cogs
- Stage 7 - 50 cogs, 1 key
- Stage 8 - 55 cogs, 3 keys