Game Review: Kamiko

Release date: 2017
Version played: Nintendo Switch in 2019

Developed by Skipmore, and published by Flyhigh Works for the Nintendo Switch in 2017, Kamiko is a retro 2D action/adventure game. Players take control of one of three shrine maidens – the sword wielding Yamato, the bow using Uzume, and the boomerang/dagger fighter Hinome – as they seek to activate four shrines across large, puzzle filled levels using the essence dropped from slain enemies.

+ gorgeous pixel art style, which reminded me of my much loved Moonlighter and the older Passage, which I absolutely recommend giving a . The retro audio effects and background music are also really clean, and harken back to a simpler era of video games
+ simple, but effective and incredibly satisfying combat and puzzles. The three-attack combos of each character can be mixed up with a stronger super attack which will clear most of the enemies on screen. Boss battles between stages mix things up, but they too are quite simple
+ three distinct characters with unique playstyles. I found the most joy using Uzume, the ranged fighter, but I tried out all three. Melee combat was the most difficult, just because none of the trio have particularly high defence stats, so attacking from range was the safest in every regard

– the story is very bare bones, and the gameplay can be somewhat repetitive. You’ll need to find more replayability in the speed-running aspect
– getting a large kill streak, particularly using the special attacks, can lag up the Switch something fierce, and it takes a while for it to recover. It’s almost as if the console punished you for playing too well

Should you play this game: I bought this on a whim, and it was a solid purchase. This is a really good game to play in short bursts, and the simple controls and concept make for an experience you will enjoy.

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