Battle Kid: Fortress of Peril (Switch, Xbox One)

In the future, two young dudes, Chester and Timmy, are training at an intense battle school.  But when Chester is caught cheating (possibly wrongly) and kicked out, he turns toward the forces of evil.  He then steals an important item from the school that can grant him great power, and now Timmy must don a special battle suit and face his former friend in the Fortress of Peril.  Battle Kid is a 8-bit homebrew NES game, but now you can play it on Switch and Xbox One.  It heavily borrows elements from games like Mega Man and “Metroidvania” titles.

Timmy can run, jump, and shoot as he runs through a maze of single screen obstacles and enemies.  There are branching pathways and areas you might not be able to reach right away, but as you explore you’ll find items like keycards to unlock doors, a map that shows your coordinates, and other helpful goodies like boots that let you jump higher.  Every so often you’ll come across rooms that’ll act as a checkpoint if you die, and will give you a password so you can start at that point later on.  Other rooms house huge bosses for you to defeat, too.  You can choose from five different difficulty levels as well.

Play control is very good, but there were some problems that kept me from staying interested.  I really wish you got a more useful in-game map.  And later on, the game relies too much on instant death spikes for my liking.  And while the bosses are kind of cool, the rest of the graphics are a bit uninspired, even for 8-bit.  I also don’t like how the save system works.  I know this was originally a NES homebrew and probably didn’t come with a battery backup.  But it would’ve been nice to have been able to save your game here instead of having to use a password.  Surely they could’ve modified it to do that.  At its current state, you’d better record your passwords if you want to come back to this one later.

Kid Factor:

Defeated enemies just poof out of existence after shooting them, and you just dissolve when defeated, but that’s about as violent as it gets.  I grew up with games like this and I turned out OK anyway.  Reading skill is helpful for the text, and younger gamers may find this one too difficult later on.  Battle Kid: Fortress of Peril is rated E for Everyone.

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