Thunder Kid: Hunt for the Robot Emperor (PS4, PS5, Switch, Xbox One, PC)

Thunder Kid is a 3-D run and gun action game with retro-styled polygonal graphics that make it look like a PSOne game.  The story has something to do with a future war between the US and Canada, and robots taking over, but all you really need to know is that you are Thunder Kid and you must shoot all the robots.  The game is available to download on nearly all current consoles and PC, but reviewed on PS4 here.

In the game, you can move in any direction, jump, and hold down a button to fire.  And that’s it.  You’ll run down corridors shooting robots and avoiding their projectiles.  If you get hit three times you’ll have to start at the last checkpoint, but you have unlimited tries.  Sometimes defeated robots will leave behind an energy icon that’ll refill your health one notch.  And there are also branching pathways and you may find a hidden gold coin if you pick the right one.  Not sure what those coins do other than give you something extra to find, though.  At the end of each area is a diamond.  Snatch it to complete the level, and after a few levels you’ll defeat a boss.

The game kind of gave me some Mega Man vibes.  The primitive 3-D graphics made me think of Mega Man Legends.  And the way stages are laid out and the fact that you instantly die when you touch spikes made me think of what would happen if a more straightforward Mega Man game was in 3-D.  Luckily the play control is very good, and you have lots of control over your jumps, which is nice.  I kind of wish the game copied more of Mega Man’s tropes, like a stage select feature or bosses that give you weapons when you defeat them, just to give it a bit more variety.  As it stands, the game was just too repetitive and difficult for me to stay interested.  But it’s not a bad game, it just could’ve been a lot better.

Kid Factor:

Thunder Kid: Hunt for the Robot Emperor is rated E-10 with an ESRB descriptor of Fantasy Violence.  You just shoot robots with lasers, and when you get lose a life, you just get knocked back and explode in a flurry of light.  Reading skill is helpful for some of the text, and younger gamers may find it too difficult.

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