Pankapu is a 2D platformer by Too Kind Studios and published by Plug in digital. The game focuses on a group of dream based warriors trying to fight back the evils of the nightmare realm. I have always loved the concept of dreams being their own entity that work to give you pleasant thoughts. Pankapu definitely feeds into a childlike joy in the base premise of the story, this was a huge plus for me.
The gameplay for Pankapu is incredibly simple to start with, gradually becoming more and more complex. I found myself bored at the beginning of the game, being only able to jump, swing my sword, and use a magic attack. As I progressed, and more abilities with entirely new ways of moving and fighting arose, my enjoyment of the game quickly increased. My biggest complaint is how cheap some of the deaths in the game feel. I’m someone that is always ready for a challenge, and if a game isn’t difficult I lose interest rather quickly. However having new enemies that one shot you their first attack directly before a checkpoint with a really long runback gets old and just annoying. Don’t get me wrong, I think the game is designed beautifully and feels good to play most of the time, it’s just the few times that things feel like there was no way to avoid a death your first way through that aggravated me often. The other thing that confuses me about the difficulty is that with all the inner dialogue between characters, it feels as if it is more of a game for children that this would be appealing to.
The opening of the game and how they set the story at the beginning blew me away. I didn’t expect a platformer of this nature to have such a cool concept of a story. Then the game started and I was greeted with dialogue from characters that felt like it wasn’t nearly as interesting as the intro made it seem. I read through all the dialogue boxes hoping that the dialogue would pick back up, but it never did. About halfway through the game I just found myself mashing buttons to get through the huge amount of dialogue and was just super bored with the tones that always seemed to be talking to me like I was five. The overarching story was really cool throughout, it’s just that all of the speech boxes felt like forced episodes of a children’s show I didn’t sign up to watch.
Throughout the game I really enjoyed the art style. It felt very cartoony and their were plenty of assets that were really detailed and designed in a way that made the general aesthetic of the game very pleasing to the eye. Overall Pankapu was a really fun game. My only problem with it is that the difficulty seems way too high for the audience it was meant for. Other than that Pankapu is a very fun platformer that any fan of the genera would enjoy. I give Pankapu 3.5 out of 5