[Beyond PlayStation] Kero Blaster Review

by the_nmac

Control a frog wielding really cool weapons as you clear anomalies out of areas of your world while you work for the Cat and Frog company. Learn more in Kero Blaster review!

Kero Blaster – Nintendo Switch Announcement Trailer

You play a bipedal frog employed by the mysterious start-up company “Cat & Frog Inc.” Fend off enemies seeking to stop you and overcome the challenging landscape as you head toward your destination.

When you start the game, you’ll likely be surprised by your skimpy amount of life and your crappy weapon. And when the frog runs out of life, he “enters the hospital” and has to restart from the beginning of the stage. But you can keep collecting and saving up money to go “shopping” to increase your life and carefully select powered-up weapons to take down enemies you couldn’t defeat before. The further you get, the stronger you can feel yourself becoming – and it feels good.

The characters appearing in between stages are the game’s other charm point. You’ll meet your coworker, who is a cat (for some reason), your president (also a cat), and an office lady of indeterminate species. They work like us, slog through overtime like us, complain, get chewed out, and even comfort each other, just like us.

Experience the unique and intricately detailed world of Kero Blaster!

The creator of Cave Story is back with a new addictive title: Kero Blaster. It’s a simple but fun 2D action platformer in which you play as a frog who is sent on missions on behalf of the C & F Company – Cat & Frog, to clear out bad things (almost virus-lie) from the different areas you visit. You start off very simply with a pea blaster with limited range and power, and with two hearts. As you make your way through the levels, you will unlock different new weapons and powers by beating the bosses. You can also add to your arsenal a fan weapon, a bubble blaster, and a flamethrower, as well as a jetpack that allow you to double jump. This is when the game reels you in. As you play, you may find yourself not quite ready to handle a stage so you will die. The good news is that you can take the money earned on the level to power up your weapons with new abilities so that you’re fully loaded by the end of the game – be sure to buy some extra hearts as well!

What you will find out though is that some weapons work better in certain levels. The flamethrower, for example, melts everything including projectiles and blocks in the snow based levels. When playing the water levels, the bubbles from the bubble blaster will float to the top of the water, making it not as effective in said scenarios. As you play the levels and experiment, you will get a better feel for how they work in each themed location, so that you can grab what is best for a particular scenario.

I did find the boss battles to be very fun. I mean, I did die a lot during them, and sometimes I would need to restart the level again after being revived, but I found myself learning after every interaction – I was learning their patterns and figuring out what weapon worked best. And once you beat the game, they have harder versions waiting for you so that you can dive right back in again with what you learned from your initial playthrough so that you can once again tear them to pieces!

The controls are deceptively simple since you have to worry about shooting and jumping. You can aim your gun up, right and left, but you can’t change direction while firing since you need to stop shooting and then aim before continuing with the onslaught. Once you receive the jetpack, you will be using it for double jumps, and that means you’ll run into bigger gaps, so you’ll need to plan accordingly so that you can keep your momentum going.

The game has a retro feel in its design, right down the pixelated graphics and chiptune music. It would fit right at home in, say, a late NES library. All of the characters are designed with interesting flair, and the enemy types will keep you guessing on what the best weapon is for the job. What I found most charming about the game though was the conversations between characters as you go from one level to the next. They focus on things you wouldn’t expect, like trying not to make the president mad, not wanting to work overtime anymore, and trying to stay out of harm’s way.

Final Thoughts

Kero Blaster was a ton of fun, and I just couldn’t put it down as I kept going on and on. The gameplay loop was addictive and rewarding as I took on some really entertaining levels and great boss battles. The pixelated graphics are excellent and make it look like a game that could definitely have found a lot of love on the NES. It’s short, but it can definitely be replayed over and over as you take on a harder difficulty that ups the challenge without feeling unfair. Go play it today!

This Kero Blaster review is based on a Nintendo Switch copy provided by Active Gaming Media.

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