First Impressions: KUNAI

First Impressions: KUNAI

KUNAI is a game where you play as a tablet computer who is also a ninja. And based on the first few hours, it’s a fast-paced, challenging, and fun metroidvania. The full review is in the works, but in the meantime, read on for some first impressions!

The story seems to be about a group of Resistance fighters, working to save the world from an evil AI who’s taken things over. The story starts with a group of Resistance robots awakening our hero from a pod where he’s been locked away. TBY-1134 (or just “Tabby”) is some sort of “chosen one”, which is a perfectly good excuse to kill some baddies.

Tabby quickly gains a variety of weapons and tools that he can use on his journey. The first is a katana, which can be swung in any direction, can be used to deflect bullets, and which also heals Tabby as he takes out foes. Not bad for the first weapon. Before long, you get your hands on a pair of kunai, which are used to climb walls, swing from ceilings, and make your way around the map with style. And finally, the shuriken, projectiles that can also be used to activate contraptions.

There was a lot of variety in the first two hours of the game, from perilous dungeons and autoscrolling stages, to a disorienting Lost Woods-like area and some impressive boss fights. The story is told via well-made cutscenes, and the game really does a lot with its limited color pallet and jaggy-edged pixel art, including some very neat lighting effects. Tabby himself is fun to watch, with different goofy facial expressions displaying on his tablet head for nearly every action.

The moment-to-moment gameplay is fast-paced and fun: Tabby can use a downward slash of his katana to bounce off the heads of his enemies, the grappling hook-like kunai feel fun and fluid, and an upgrade system unlocks new active and passive abilities at a quick pace. The game doesn’t waste time in making you feel powerful!

KUNAI is out on Nintendo Switch today so we wanted to let you know our first impressions; our full review is in the works!

Thanks to The Arcade Crew for providing a review code!