26th Nov2019

‘Bloo Kid 2’ Review (Nintendo Switch)

by Phil Wheat

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It should be obvious by now that, through the Nindies, the Switch has become THE home for retro-styled indie games. Games like The Messenger, an amazing homage to Ninja Gaiden; the amazing Venture Kid, a wonderful homage to the games that I truly loved on the NES like Adventure Island, Chip and Dale Rescue Rangers and Mega Man. Even titles like Raging Justice, which echo side-scrolling beat ’em-ups like Final Fight. Hell, we’ve even had a redux of The Ninja Warriors on the Switch too! As someone who grew up in the era of the NES and SNES, when game like these were the pinnacle of gaming for me I’m like the proverbial pig in sh*t when it comes to retro games on the Switch – and they keep giving us more and more and more!

In terms of platformers, I honestly thought that Venture Kid was going to be the height of the “modern” genre for me, however a mere six months later we have what – I think – is the greatest example of retro platform gaming EVER. Yes, the understated, some might say obtuse, title of Bloo Kid 2 is hiding a game that is right up there with the original Super Mario trilogy.

Do I need to say any more? Ok then, here goes…

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Visually, this is yet another retro-styled title that looks EXACTLY like games did back in the late 80s/early 90s. Though visually its more 16-bit than 8 as, surprisingly, the graphics look very reminiscent of the Amiga port of the Mario-esque Giana Sisters. Speaking of those plumbing brothers, there are shades of all three Mario games in Bloo Kid 2 – the game even has a desert zone which screams Super Mario Bros 2. But this game is much more than just a clone of old games, the mechanics of platformers has been perfected here; and I do mean perfected. There’s absolutely nothing to complain about when it comes to the platforming mechanics – so perfect that playing Bloo Kid 2 is like picking up a familiar favourite, you know how everything works from the get-go. There’s no learning here… and that’s a VERY good thing. Plus, as usual, those retro visuals are accompanied by a fantastic chiptune soundtrack that fits the overall style perfectly!

Unlike the Mario games, in fact more like the Megaman games of the same era, Bloo Kid 2 features epic boss fights, well epic in that the bosses are epically huge when compared to your character but less epic in the sense of being tricky or difficult. Seriously, if you’ve ever played a Megaman game and beat the bosses you’ll breeze through this games end of level bosses. However… patforming and boss battles are not just what this game is about. Nope.

You see Bloo Kid 2 expands on the traditional platforming tropes and throws in collectables and secrets hidden all over each level: be they stars, of two varieties; balloons; or beating the clock (which if you’re trying to collect EVERYTHING is a sheer impossibility); there’s plenty of extras side-quests to complete. Plus, by collecting enough stars, you can unlock 15 challenging bonus levels – which means there’s a TON of gaming to be found in Bloo Kid 2, making it well, and I do mean well, worth your hard-earned money!

***** 5/5

The best indie platformer on the Switch today, Bloo Kid 2 is available on the Nintendo eShop now, courtesy of HeadUp Games.

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