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Kunai – Hands-On Demo

A cataclysm has occurred. Robots, that had once helped humans have now run rampant across the entire planet. A human resistance forms to fight and to resist, and they come across a special robot that may be the key to restoring the balance of the world. The Arcade Crew is bringing a special arcade action platformer to the Nintendo Switch, known as Kunai. The game was available to play at PAX EAST this year and became a special little surprise that I hope more people talk about in the coming months.

Kunai adopts an interesting and fascinating color palette that gives me the impression of the simple colors on a Gameboy. Featuring an extremely crisp SNES inspired graphical style, Kunai reminds me of the visual sharp, crispness of Gameboy pocket games from back in the day. Using its interesting shades of beige, grey, and red, Kunai already strikes and incredibly sharp and refreshing graphical style in the fields of nostalgic games. Additionally, the animation was extremely slick featuring rotoscope and parallax scrolling to make for fascinating level design. Of course, gameplay is the most important part of any game, and the gameplay of Kunai is already aiming to be as gripping and sharp.

Kunai is the name of the game but not the robot. The bot is named Tabby and has been infused with the soul of an ancient samurai warrior. Tabby expresses himself through the comm This machine is infused with the skills of a samurai with the superhuman abilities of a robot. This makes Kunai a unique take on gaming protagonists.  The gameplay is sublime in its gameplay and control. it’s slick, quick, brutal, and fast, creating a special type of kinetic energy of gameplay that is sorely missing. Armed with a katana, I jumped sliced, and dashed my way through the bad guys with ease, but had to utilize skill, speed, and patience. The enemy robots were fast and difficult to eliminate, but using my agility I was able to dispatch them with satisfying satisfaction. Kunai was wildly kinetic and it felt like a game that was truly distinct among other action and platforming games. As for Kunai on the Nintendo Switch, the fitting felt absolutely perfect. It felt like I was playing a great, fast Gameboy game on a giant Gameboy.

Perhaps my only setback in the demo was the use of the grappling hook, known as the kunai. The grappling hooks, which were given to me in the demo, allowed me to navigate the level quickly and take down enemies more efficient. I felt that the control of the grappling hook was off like it was more work to use the grappling hook then not use the hook. Using the hook was essential in the demo’s boss, which was significantly more challenging than expected. the robot used debris to protect and damage my bot. After a couple of death, I had immense satisfaction leaping into the air, and finally ending the evil robot’s reign. in a fiery explosion, the bot was defeated and the demo was over.

I learned that Kunai will actually be a Metroidvania, where players will explore a beautifully ruined world, and collect special weapons and parts. Expect the game to have a massive world, a solid story, all against a great presentation and a unique gameplay mechanic that puts man against machine, but where the main character is main merged with machine. I personally cannot wait until Kunai is launched and look forward to uncovering the secrets it hides. Kunai launches in 2019 for Steam and Nintendo Switch.

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