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Hands-On: KUNAI – PAX East 2019

Man, The Arcade Crew made a doozy with this one.

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Sometimes you play a game and wonder what was going through the head of the team that was making it. KUNAI is so totally one of those games, but I also say that in such an impressive way. This one is going to take some explaining.

So, in KUNAI, you play the role of a tablet that is also a ninja. You have to use your skills with a katana, kunai, and P90s to cut through your enemies and navigate through maps in this Metroidvania-style game.

Yeah, it looks weird written down. However, it’s a blast to play as the gameplay is quick and satisfying. Using the chain kunai to fling yourself around the map is a ton of fun, and the P90 guns are essentially just deadly jetpacks.

There’s a story somewhere in KUNAI, but when I played it, they hadn’t really gotten too far into anything outside of an intro at the start of the demo. I did get to fight a boss, however, and that was a fun ride that I was fortunately allowed to figure out for myself.

The boss would float up in the air and shield himself until he came down to briefly attack. Once that happened, you could pogo slice him and then set up another attack when he summoned a boulder to try to smash you. It involved moving around a lot, and it really made you make the most out of the skills you learned.

kunai pax east 2019 hands demo screenshot
Image: The Arcade Crew

In the brief time I got to play KUNAI at PAX East, I played a little bit of the story and even got to enjoy the time attack mode. The neat thing about time attack was that the game gave you all the gadgets to start, meaning I got a nice picture of what the full game should look like.

KUNAI will be releasing on PC and Switch when it finally comes out. Unfortunately, that is still to be announced at a later time.

Have any thoughts on Kunai? Let us know down below in the comments or carry the discussion over to our Twitter or Facebook.

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Longtime games journalist and Florida resident. I'm a Guinness World Record holder, wordsmith extraordinaire, MOBA fan, devoted dad and husband. I'm here to spread the gospel of video games.

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