I think I’ve already mentioned in my previous Previews for this year’s PAX that it was pretty much the year of the Ninja. I played a handful of fantastic ninja-themed games this year, and I’m perfectly content with that, because ninjas are awesome.
Kunai is a game that, despite being mostly black and white, is FULL of life and vibrant, eccentric characters. The main character (and many others) have large, CRT monitors for heads that display their faces (think Pathfinder’s chest monitor from Apex Legends). Every action you perform, whether it be an attack, moving, jumping, using your grappling kana, has a facial expression that goes with it. It’s pretty cute, even when you’re cutting dudes in half with reckless abandon. The titular Kunai that you use throughout the game to grapple with are an absolute BLAST to use, sort of like a 2D version of that old Spider-Man 2 game. The best part about using the grappling kunai is that you can do other things while you’re using them. You can grappling right up to an enemy on a ledge and slice and dice em before even letting go of the wall.
Control is definitely the name of the game when it comes to any good Ninja game, and Kunai definitely has it. Once I had the pretty simple controls down, I was tearing through bad guys right up to the boss of the demo I played. The boss was a classic platformer big bad boy, leaving himself open once every so often after doing some kind of attack. His pattern kept changing though, which meant you really had to listen for those audio cues to know what attack he’d be doing next. Figuring out on your own how your kunai and movement abilities fit in with the boss’s attack pattern was really satisfying. I only played for about ten minutes when I was there, but that was enough to get me hooked (Like a grappling hook, get it?)
The music, art, gameplay, and everything about Kunai is fantastic, and I can’t wait for it to come out fully and for more people to get their hands on it. The one thing I hate about PAX is that I have so many fun games to talk about, but no one knows what the hell I’m talking about unless they were there too. Maybe in the future I’ll be able to bring little holograms of my friends to the convention and have them play everything with me.
Or something, I dunno, this game rocks, be excited.
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