Kunai Switch Review
With the raging popularity of Metroidvania like games on the market, it can be hard to sift through all of the game titles and find a diamond amongst the stones. I’ve reviewed a few of these kinds of games before and while I find them enjoyable, they aren’t games I can say I can go back to whether it be the game got to a point where I couldn’t progress, or the lack of story didn’t keep my interest. I’m also not the best at these kinds of games but TurtleBlaze’s quirky title, Kunai, had all of the right things to keep me on the edge of my seat, glued to my screen and waiting to see what happens next.
Human life has nearly been vanquished due to a fatal mistake by a scientist and the world is suddenly overtaken by the evil AI Lemonkus. After a few robots attempt to capture the capsule that houses our protagonist, a larger droid shows up and chases the wrongdoers away not without damaging the area. Once the coast is clear our main character Tabby, the kunai slinging, the sword-swinging tablet has awoken and he’s out for… blood? Computer parts?
A once ordinary tablet now fueled by the soul of an ancient warrior, Tabby awakens amid war and must traverse through an intricate map while slaying numerous androids and find out the meaning of this war, if there are any remaining humans and what his purpose may be in all of this.
That’s some Ninja swinging, parkour fun
The first weapon you’ll obtain is a sweet samurai sword that glows a daring red can be used to fight and deflect enemy fire back whence it came. The more you fight, the more materials your sword absorbs which in turn also gives Tabby a bit of health. If you find yourself near a podlike machine, you can also use this to save your progress as well as replenishing your stamina.
Much like our real-life computers, you’ll need to get Tabby some upgrades to his weapons. You can do this with the red coins that are dropped by enemies and when you find yourself near a router, you can access the Tab store. The Tab store will provide you with necessary the necessary upgrades to your katana, Kunai, Shuriken and other weapons you can unlock as you traverse further into the game. From your Tab, you can also access your map, your H.A.T.S menu, which allows you to equip a plethora of different hats that you come across in the game as well as the settings and general main menu.
The gameplay is fast, fun and incredibly fluid and when you obtain your Kunai’s, being able to perform sweet parkour moves around the map slaying enemies and defeating bosses, is nothing short of amazing. The enemies in Kunai are also very well done. Some enemies will charge at you as soon as you enter the next area, exploding on impact while some are cleverly waiting for you under a bundle of leaves. At no point did I feel as though the AI was getting too stale or boring as the developers did a good job at keeping a healthy mix of aggressive and non-aggressive AIs coming. A lot of the AIs are also well designed and fit the aesthetic of the game and it’s single-toned environments while still having some uniqueness between each robot type.
As far as different game modes, I was a bit surprised that the developers didn’t implement a time trial or any other mode as I feel like Kunai would be perfect for one of these. Or perhaps a multiplayer mode where you can have two badass Tabby’s swinging around pulling off some sick parkour moves would be amazing but even without these extra features, Kunai packs enough of a punch on its own.
The pixel art style in Kunai is simple at best but boy, does it still do a great job in being beautiful. With a semi-detailed environment and excellent use of very few colour tones, the odd splashes of bright colours really makes everything pop even more. The chiptune background music is also very fitting and reminds me of the old Megaman games for SNES.
While the act of having a fast-paced platformer where you’re jumping off walls and going through enemies isn’t at all a new experience, Kunai really makes a name for itself. If you’re looking for a fast-paced, action-packed adventure where you can pull off some sweet parkour moves all the while wielding Ninja weapons, I highly recommend checking out Kunai. The controls are incredibly easy to learn but not easy to master, making this a superb game for beginners in the genre to our hardcore speedrunning fans. Not to mention paired with a unique if, albeit simple story, interesting story design and wonderful art design, you really can’t go wrong with this title.
***Nintendo Switch code provided by the publisher***
- Fast-paced fluid gameplay
- Beautiful and minimalistic art style and colour palette
- unique character and AI designs
- Lack of other game modes