Kero Blaster is an 8-bit graphics Contra style game. It features horizontal scrolling platform shooting with a frog. First appearing in 2014 on the PC, Kero Blaster makes its way to the Nintendo Switch.
Brought to the Switch by Studio Pixel and developed by Daisuke Amaya of the previously released highly acclaimed Cave Story. The game is published by Active Game Media. My initial thoughts of Kero Blaster is that it is akin to Contra or even Mega Man.
With the focus of horizontal run and gun platform action across different levels. Follow my review to find out about the Frog who works for a Cat who must save the world armed with a blaster pistol.
How does Kero Blaster play?
As I mentioned earlier Kero Blaster is influenced by the 8-bit era of horizontal platform action shooters like Contra and Mega Man. When controlling the hero frog the buttons have the basic shoot, charge shot and jump that you would expect of the 2 button era controller.
With the addition of the shoulder buttons, you can switch between different weapons. You can collect currency in the form of gold coin disks to spend to upgrade your health, weapons and lives.
From the onset Kero Blaster is fun to play, you start with a measly 2 hearts of health and 3 lives. You have the most basic blaster pistol or “pea shooter’ and most of the enemies you find are easily dispatched.
As you progress through the levels the difficulty gradually increases with more enemies being introduced that require different fighting tactics. If you die you go back to the start, but you get to keep the gold discs that you collected!
I really liked how Kero Blaster has good accessibility for anyone interesting in playing this older genre of game. As back in the day games like Contra and Mega Man were very unforgiving. One of the highlights of the game are the boss battles. They are challenging but fair.
The boss battles are tough and memorable and really kept my thinking on my froggy webbed toes. Each boss battle will grant you better weapons which are necessary for progression on the next levels.
Presentation and Graphics
Kero Blaster has a distinct pixel style graphic design that would be more than at home on the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) back in the early 90’s. Daisuke Amaya aka Pixel is known for this particular style of game.
In fact, Kero Blaster is based on a comic book called Gero Blaster that Pixel drew when he was in college. In the comic, he was a frog and his girlfriend a cat!
The graphical style of the game contains the same humour that was present in Cave Story, with comical speech bubbles and 8-bit character acting.
Kero Blaster plays equally well in both handheld mode and in docked TV mode. There are no questions about frame rate or resolution as this game is strictly an 8-bit affair.
Kero Blaster is a strictly one player game. If you complete the story you unlock a harder version of the game. I didn’t get that far! As the Frog, you must save the day by completing your job “custodial sciences?” Which means killing everything on each level. Killing the enemies and destroying the fauna will grant currency to spend in upgrade shops.
In fact, the first shop on level 1 gives you the opportunity of upgrading your “pea shooter”. When you get to the end of each level you must beat a boss.
Complete the boss fight and off to the next level. If you die and run out of lives you’re off to the hospital and offered another go (something I did a lot!). I’m lead to believe that the story takes about 2-3 hours to complete to unlock the additional modes.
Yes, I’m still unable to finish the game! Note to self, I must keep practising.
Kero Blaster is fun to play and it would make a great introduction game to showcase older platform shooter style games to new owners of the Nintendo Switch.
I really enjoyed playing Kero Blaster and I felt like revisiting some of my older games on my NES afterwards.
Should You Play Kero Blaster?
Kero Blaster is a brilliant escape from modern gaming and a worthy purchase. You can revisit the great 8-bit era and enjoy a fun, challenging and humorous game. I really enjoyed reviewing this game.
Gamers who will suit this game…
Do you enjoy the 8-bit retro ear? Then yes! If you’re a fan of Cave Story, Mega Man or Contra then this game will have immediate appeal to you.
If you haven’t tried a retro styled game on the Switch or played any of these games before I encourage you to try out Kero Blaster, it comes highly recommend.
|The Good||The Bad||The Bugs|
|8-bit retro style||force feedback is a bit harsh||None during review|
|fair and challenging gameplay|
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