• The Switch continues to be a new home for many an indie title, so it stands to reason it would get some more platformers. And those types of experiences are always welcome. Pankapu is such a game, but while it’s enjoyable it doesn’t do much to stand out.

    The game seems to be a story that a father tells his scared child to get them to calm down, and hopefully go back to sleep. So he tells them about the tale of a warrior named Pankapu who saved the world from an encroaching darkness. What follows is a family friendly action platformer that adds a dose of cute while still becoming increasingly more challenging. You select the levels you’d like to play via a map selection screen. Once you are in a level, gameplay plays like a typical platformer. Pankapu can jump, attack with a sword slash, and block. Although as you play the game, you can learn new abilities like a downward slash or mid ranged sword throw that defeats otherwise invincible foes. Along the way, there are some story bits that aren’t voiced, save for some gibberish one liners. The levels get progressively harder, and the number of well hidden secrets increases. You can’t expect to find them all within a first run, since some places aren’t immediately accessible, meaning that you’ll have to return with new abilities. Finding the other collectibles often adds to your health points or attack power.

    The game is enjoyable enough of an experience and the Switch version is great to play the game on the go if needed, but it has a few issues. The first would be that beyond some enemies being obstacles that may need to be defeated, you don’t need to fight them. The game does give you numbers indicating how strong your attacks are, but there’s also no reward for defeating most enemies, save for rare health drops or restoring mana via blocking attacks. If you want to restore health, you’ll have to make it to the next checkpoint. Otherwise if you can jump over or otherwise avoid an enemy, you probably should just do that. The other issue is that some of the game’s challenge is artificial. The control scheme can’t be altered in any way, and that makes pulling off some abilities harder than it needs to be. It would have been nice if the game at least added more button functions for blocking and downward thrusting. The downward thrust itself has it’s own button. It would have made more sense to press down and the attack button, but what ever. And blocking makes more sense to place it on the trigger button. But outside of these issues, Pankapu is an otherwise above average platformer that is not too shabby. It’s just not exemplary. The game is about $12, so at least it’s not too expensive of an investment.

    Pankapu - Review
    An enjoyable, if not mostly average platformer that could have been improved with some better controls.
    Our Score6.5
    Positives
    • The secrets are actually pretty well hidden.
    • The art design is fantastic.
    Negatives
    • The button layout makes some actions a bit more cumbersome to execute.
    6.5Overall Score
    Reader Rating: (0 Votes)
    0.0

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