Publisher: Plug In Digital
Developer: To Kind Studio
Rated: Everyone 10+
Release Date: September 28th, 2017
Platforms: Nintendo Switch
Being a product of the 90’s, there is nothing I like more than a solid platformer. The Switch is already home to several gems such as Shovel Knight: Treasure Trove, Shantae: Half-Genie Hero, Rayman Legends, and now Pankapu. The title actually takes slight aspects from almost all of those titles to make something that feels familiar but still manages to feel fresh in its own right.
Pankapu is polished in nearly every regard. The story is set up as a father reading his son a fairy tale, creating a unique storytelling experience that weaves between two narratives at once. The developers did an amazing job using digital paint to craft a world and characters to complement the story that haven’t popped off the screen like this since Rayman Origins and Legends. Even the soundtrack has been carefully composed to really make the entire experience memorable.
At its core, it plays like a standard 2D platformer, but mixes in a little extra action by giving the titular character a sword which you can change-up with various power-ups and upgrades. Just like a good platformer, it gets really tough, but a checkpoint system throughout each level will keep you from ripping your hair out too much. Each level features collectibles in the form of small creatures that are lost and waiting for you to find, some right in the middle of your path, some taking a bit more exploring to find. Finally, what type of platformer would it be without some excellent boss battles that require all of your abilities and experience to come together.
After playing through to the end of the story and making my way back to find every hidden nook and cranny in the game, there really is nothing negative to say about the game. The price alone makes it a must buy for every Switch platformer fan, but the game really does everything right. There were many times where I could point to some of the game’s various influences, so if there is anything bad to say, perhaps it’s that Pankapu doesn’t bring anything specifically new to the table. What it does do is bring together everything in one spectacular package for a fantastic game that is sure to stay with you after the end.