[Nintendo Switch] Pepper Grinder Review

by EdEN, Owner

Pepper Grinder from Devolver Digital and Ahr Ech is a fun 2D action adventure in which you must give it your all to recover your lost treasure. Check our Pepper Grinder review!

Pepper Grinder from Devolver Digital and Ahr Ech is a fun 2D action adventure in which you must give it your all to recover your lost treasure. You’ll be taking on the role of the titular Pepper, a seafaring individual who has been shipwrecked and finds herself with no treasure. She’ll be joined by the titular Grinder, a mighty super-powered drilling device that certainly packs a punch. You must help them find the Narlings and reclaim what is rightfully hers before it’s too late.

Pepper Grinder Review - 1

It’s thanks to Grinder that Pepper will be able to quickly dig through dirt while also flying through the water at a steady pace in a 2D adventure that is a blast to play through on Nintendo Switch. And yes, there’s more stuff that you’ll be able to do with Grinder by unlocking new abilities as you progress through the game. This one sometimes reminded me of the excellent Drill Dozer from Game Freak and Nintendo. This game launched on the Game Boy Advance back in 2006 on a special cartridge with rumble support, which was a key component that helped to enhance the overall experience. You will also end up getting some Donkey Kong Country vibes as well, which is not a bad thing!

Once the initial story cutscene ends, you’ll gain control of Pepper and Grinder. You’ll walk around with the left analog stick or the D-Pad as you jump with the B button. Jumping won’t be your main method for completing platforming segments since you’ll need to rev up Grinder with the ZR button as you attack enemies, destroy objects, and use Grinder to dig through different surfaces to explore each location. There’s also the option of boosting Grinder while digging by pressing the B button to get an extra kick and gain extra height and length for your jump once you dig out.

Pepper Grinder Review - 2

As you defeat enemies, destroy objects, and dig, dig, dog, you’ll get to collect gems and coins. Doing this in quick succession will allow you to build up a combo chain to boost how much loot you earn. You can also search for the five special skull coins located in each stage. This adds some replay value since you’ll have to find all coins in order to get 100%, and there are 95 skull coins in total for you to find. And after you complete a level, you can return and take on it under the new Time Attack Mode option!

What can you do with the loot you collect and the special skull coons that you find along the way? Loot can be used at the Gacha-like machines at the curiosity shop to try and complete each sticker set in the game. You can also spend your hard-earned money on temporarily boosting your overall health so that you can withstand more damage. As for skull coins, you can purchase cosmetic items to change the way your character looks, or you can buy shiny golden keys to unlock bonus levels. Oh, and you can also purchase sticker pages for your sticker collections!

Pepper Grinder Review - 4

Grabbing yourself some extra health slots – as well as some extra health – might be a good idea before you dive into a boss fight. Yes, Pepper Grinder does feature boss fights, and they require that you pay attention so that you can better understand the movement and attack patterns of each boss. Take, for example, the boss you’ll run into at the end of the first location in the game.

Its name is Beetle Rider, and it consists of, well, a Captain Narling who is comfortably riding a beetle. It’s up to you to find a way to bring the pain! The beetle will walk around the area, slowly clinging to the walls and ceiling while the Captain shoots at you. Thanks to the handy marks on the sand on the ceiling, you’ll realize you need to boost into the beetle as it walks over the roof so that you can then mash on the ZR button to knock it down. Once the Captain has fallen, drill into him to deal some damage.

Pepper Grinder Review - Boss

Pepper Grinder is a fun 2D action adventure in which you must give it your all to recover your lost treasure. As the seafaring Pepper, you’ll explore alongside your trusty and powerful drilling device, Grinder. By using Grinder, you’ll dig through sand and snow and swim around water at high speed, all while collecting loot to get your treasure back. It’s a game that reminded me of the excellent Drill Dozer on the Game Boy Advance, with a dash of Donkey Kong Country here and there for good measure. You’re looking at around 4-6 hours of gaming with this one, which feels just right. Pepper Grinder is out on Nintendo Switch with a $14.99 price tag.

This Pepper Grinder review is based on a Nintendo Switch copy provided by Devolver Digital.

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