GDC 2019 Spotlight: Kunai

GDC 2019 Spotlight: Kunai

Kunai is an action platformer metroidvania being developed by TurtleBlaze and published by The Arcade Crew. It may not look like much at first, but its tight platforming and other features the genre is known for are sure to intrigue some players.

In Kunai, you play as Tabby, a tablet possessed by the spirit of an an ancient warrior in a world where most of humanity is gone and has been replaced by robots. The weapons Tabby starts out with are a katana  and a pair of guns, which can be used to get over certain obstacles such as spike filled pits by rapidly pressing the corresponding button. You also get a set of grappling hooks  which allow you to swing between platforms in a Spider-Man like fashion. While is took a couple tries to get used to the mechanics, once they clicked I was swinging around from wall to wall like it was nobody’s business. These were the only weapons I got to see in action, but according to the developers, killing enemy robots will reward players with new abilities, weapons, and ninja moves.

Once you have the controls down, the platforming element seems almost seamless, allowing players to traverse through an area pretty fast when they know what types of enemies to expect. It’s because of this seamless platforming that you’ll be able to find secrets and hidden passages along the way, which you wouldn’t be able to reach without your ninja abilities.

While the art style is minimalistic, its other features should keep players invested during the game’s development. Tabby makes a variety of different faces depending on the players action, including a “kitty face” when crouching, adding humor to our main character. While I didn’t get to see quite as much of Kunai as I would have liked to, the sleek platforming features has piqued my interest. I can only hope they reveal a bit more of what it has to offer leading up to release.


Kunai will be launching on PC and Nintendo Switch soon.

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