Connect with us
'Kunai' review: Don't sleep on this adorable metroidvania take


‘Kunai’ review: Don’t sleep on this adorable metroidvania take

Definitely not an idiot box.

It’s so great to see the metroidvania genre flourishing, especially under the guidance of new development teams that really know how to take it places. This goes for Kunai, a thrilling adventure from the team at TurtleBlaze. What it may lack in overall color, it more than makes up for with creative level design, fun enemy dispatching and, of course, a stylish hero that stands out in their own right.

The game puts you in control of Tabby, a tablet-like hero who uses special limbs to unleash weapons, as well as various guns. Over the course of the game, they’ll run into trouble, as well as challenging platforming segments where one wrong misstep easily spells death. Fortunately, you can utilize a pair of kunai spears to get across chasms, large gaps and more. It grapples on most surfaces, letting you swing and get to higher areas with ease. But you’ll still need to watch for foes, as well as troublesome areas where the kunai and the surface just don’t mix. (Looking at you, solid walls.)

Kunai benefits from a large, luxurious world, filled with secrets, new characters, memorable boss fights and more. At first, it looks small. But after the first hour goes by, you see it really start to open up, presenting more of the impressive story as it goes on. And the game doesn’t get boring, as it throws new challenges your way to keep you on your toes — so keep those kunai fresh by your side.

'Kunai' review: Don't sleep on this adorable metroidvania take
The combat in Kunai is something else.

While the game doesn’t go overboard with colors, it doesn’t need to. TurtleBlaze’s minimalist design works wonders here, particularly with the animations and the background design. Tabby’s reactions are well done, really giving him a level of personality most heroes are missing. And finding secrets can be a lot of fun as well. The game does have a little bit of backtracking, but it’s really not as severe as you might think.

I also enjoyed the weapon play within Kunai. Along with the two spear-like items to get around, your sword really makes a difference, and the amount of secondary weapons you come across are truly impressive. Just wait until you get your hands on a rocket launcher. FOOM!

'Kunai' review: Don't sleep on this adorable metroidvania take
Tabby’s reactions are definitely priceless.

I also enjoyed the soundtrack provided to the game, evoking memories of old-school platformers. There’s very little dialogue, but, again, TurtleBlaze does so much with so little. I’m fine with how this came across.

It can take a few good hours to get through Kunai — about six to ten — and finding all the bonus hats are really cool. Outside of that, there’s not too much else here, but the journey definitely pays off over the destination. In spades.

You may already have your fill of Metroidvania games on your Switch (or other system of choice), but don’t sleep on Kunai. It doesn’t look like much at first, but once you give it a chance, you’ll find that it really grows on you. The gameplay, the presentation, the secrets…it all comes together. Not bad for a game that has you playing a hero made up of a simple tablet. Well, maybe not that simple…

Kunai is available on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, Microsoft Windows, Linux, and macOS.

'Kunai' review: Don't sleep on this adorable metroidvania take
Is it good?
Add Tabby to your collection without hesitation.
Excellent Metroidvania-esque game with beautiful presentation built on minimalistics.
Fun and exciting gameplay, and the combat really mixes up as the game goes on.
Doesn’t look like much at first, but stick with it.
A minor bit of backtracking.

Like what we do here at AIPT? Consider supporting us and independent comics journalism by becoming a patron today! In addition to our sincere thanks, you can browse AIPT ad-free, gain access to our vibrant Discord community of patrons and staff members, get trade paperbacks sent to your house every month, and a lot more. Click the button below to get started!


In Case You Missed It

'Nocterra' #2 cranks the darkness up to full throttle 'Nocterra' #2 cranks the darkness up to full throttle

‘Nocterra’ #2 cranks the darkness up to full throttle

Comic Books

'The Swamp Thing' #2 review: A war of ideas 'The Swamp Thing' #2 review: A war of ideas

‘The Swamp Thing’ #2 review: A war of ideas

Comic Books

Crime Syndicate #2 Crime Syndicate #2

‘Crime Syndicate’ #2 provides more style, but not much substance

Comic Books

Batman 107 cover by Jorge Jimenez Batman 107 cover by Jorge Jimenez

‘Batman’ #107 promises to explore the Unsanity Collective in a classic Batman way

Comic Books

Newsletter Signup