Cave Story – Remember that game? I certainly do. I remember playing it on PC, my DSi, Wii, and my 3DS over and over again. That game set the standard for excellence for Studio Pixel, and that bar shows no signs of lowering with the release of the brilliantly fun Kero Blaster, an awesome run and gun game for PC and iOS.
In Kero Blaster, players take on the role of a frog who is tasked with defeating strange black creatures who are stopping up his corporation’s teleportation systems. Fans of Metroid, Castlevania, Megaman, and Contra will love the gameplay, as the game features a heavy influence on the Blasters that the player uses.
When moving through the scrolling levels, players can switch between four different weapons in order to efficiently defeat enemies and get around obstacles. Combat can be very fast paced and intense, especially during the boss battles, which can really test your skill.
Platforming is fairly simple, with little to no need to actually time the majority of your jumps. However, at least one of the boss fights will require some precision timed jumps, or you’ll be facing a ton of retries. Throughout the levels, you are able to switch your weapons on the fly, which makes it extremely easy to find new ways to tackle your environment and enemies.
Defeating enemies sometimes causes them to drop coins, which you can use to upgrade your weapons. These upgrades can sometimes change the way they work entirely, giving you a serious edge. There is also an item store which allows you to upgrade your character, giving him more health, lives, and even get a heal – for a price.
The music and art style of Kero Blaster take on a wonderfully NES type of a feel, with simple graphics and catchy tunes that get stuck in your head easily. It’s an awesome nostalgia trip, that sadly just doesn’t last that long. I beat the entire game in just an afternoon, but have gone back through the game multiple times since, just to fight bosses again and unlock more upgrades in different patterns.
The controls also leave a bit to be desired, and even though the keyboard controls are fully customizable, this is a game that is much better suited to a controller in my opinion, which is why I ended up plugging in my old SteelSeries controller and putting it to good use.
All in all, Kero Blaster is yet another shining example of what Studio Pixel can accomplish. With its nostalgic charms and fun gameplay, this is definitely one that I know I’ll be going back to again and again.
Kero Blaster was reviewed using a code provided by PLAYISM. You can find additional information about Niche Gamer’s reviews/ethics policy here.