Hey! Did you know that there are games on the Switch that are not The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild? And that some of them are even pretty good? Interesting! Today Iím going to tell you about a Switch game that is definitely not the Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, but is still worth checking out. Its name is Kamiko. Are you ready?
Kamiko lets you choose one of three heroines on a quest to stop the world from being overrun by demons, each with her own unique weapon: a sword, a bow, or a knife (which also contains a projectileÖ kind of a combo weapon.) While this might not sound like a big choice, the battle system in the game essentially comes down to a handful of moves for this sole weapon, so this decision is a weighty one. Personally the trusty and predictable sword was my favorite, but your market may vary.
Finding a shrine is a very rewarding feeling.
The game follows a pretty predictable gameplay loop. Explore a top-down area, fighting off waves of enemies while solving the occasional, relatively simple environmental puzzle in order to find and unlock each of the four shrines (which also serve as checkpoints / savepoints), which will then open a portal to a boss fight. The enemy variety is decent but theyíre mostly fodder for a quick thrashing, while the bosses are a bit more substantial and can take some effort defeat. Along the way you will find some basic upgrades as well. If it sounds pretty simple, that is because it is pretty simple. Kamiko isnít necessarily offering anything new or innovative, but what is here is pretty solid. It almost feels a bit like a 2D Zelda or Secret of Mana or something along those lines, if you made it stage-based and stripped it down to a fairly simplistic battle system and even more simplistic exploration and puzzles, that is.
Kamiko is also a very short game. I wonít spoil how many stages there are, but my final time for my first playthrough clocked in at just over an hour (probably closer to an hour and a half if you count deaths.) My two subsequent playthroughs took even less time. While the different characters offer a slightly different experience, nothing else changes, so there really isnít too much of a reason to play through multiple times unless youíre really digging the game.
Whether you think Kamiko looks good or not probably has a lot to do with whether you are sick of retro, pixel-style games or not. Personally I think it looks great, and has a simple but clean style with a good choice of color that gives it a bit of an edge over some of the more mundane-looking pixel games out there. The soundtrack is great as well, very chiptunes-inspired with some excellent production.
Obligatory fire area, check!
I did have some issues with Kamiko. There are a few points where you have to hit a switch and then get across a bridge that spawns elsewhere temporarily before the counter runs out, but the controls are not quite as polished as they could be, so this was often more frustrating than fun. The game also has what appears to be a purposeful central mechanic of having to carry keys / orbs / etc. to the correct place to open the path forward, but a single hit from an enemy will break the object, at which point you will have to go all the way back and get a new one. The frustration of this is compounded by the fact that you canít attack or run while carrying objects, so youíre stuck trying to dodge large waves of continually spawning enemies while walking with no way to defend yourself, and said groups of enemies often spawn right in front of you. These sections are not the toughest to get through, but they donít feel particularly fair either.
There really isnít too much else to say about Kamiko. Itís a cheap, short, and fun (if imperfect) experience that is worth checking out if you want another Switch game to play. For only $5 on the (NA) eshop itís not a huge investment, though itís not a particularly long or deep experience either, so you get what you pay for.
Love the controls (the precise analog movement is beautiful and every game needs controls that accurate). It feels so good to sneak past an enemy with a key in hand and brush up against them only to slip by like a ninja. The tractor beam effect to your attacks is also quite nice.
Music is fantastic ("suffers" from some modern chiptune but also sounds GENUINELY retro at the same time). I got some NES and SNES vibes from it so far.
Art is great and I love that the game world takes itself seriously. It's very cohesive and consistent.
I'm currently at the third level.
Only legit complaint I have is lack of map, but it also doesn't feel necessary.