Last week, a quaint little indie title called Kamiko released on Nintendo Switch. At £4.49, it's currently the cheapest title on the console – and it's worth every penny.
Just a glimpse at the game's artwork and trailer tells us that this is a retro-inspired homage to The Legend of Zelda. Hell, even the game's icon on the Switch's dashboard looks eerily familiar:
Sword-wielding fighter? Check. High vantage point overlooking a mountain range? Check. Picturesque blue, cloudy sky? Check.
Kamiko isn't Breath of the Wild, of course. At a mere tenth of its price, it doesn't come close to the magnitude or depth that Breath of the Wild gives us, but what it does provide is an enjoyable romp filled with puzzles and combat that bring back memories of Zelda games on the NES. That's never a bad thing.
It only took me about two hours to complete Kamiko with one of its three characters, and that time included me wandering around far more than I had to, having repeatedly missed some obvious puzzle solutions. Despite its short play time however, it packs in a lot of gameplay. Taking place over the course of four levels, each set in a different yet equally beautiful environment, Kamiko has you solving a number of puzzles in order to unlock 'gateways'. Opening four gates in a level will take you to a boss. It's highly formulaic, but for a game so simple and to-the-point, it really doesn't matter.
Besides a short exposition when you start the game, there isn't much story to be had – it's all about you fighting your way through enemies and making your way through each level, enjoying the scenery as you go. I'm not usually a big fan of pixel art, but even I couldn't help but be charmed by Kamiko's throwback vibe. The music, too, complements the game perfectly – it has a very subtle hint of Zelda about it, but it still maintains its own identity.
The boss battles are worth a mention, too. You're not going to find Dark Souls levels of challenge here; just good, old-fashioned attack patterns and a small amount of puzzle-solving on your behalf. Normally I suck at killing bosses, but I enjoyed besting all five of Kamiko's. That probably means they'll be very easy for most people, but it doesn't make them any less enjoyable.
Sure, Kamiko may not be particularly original or inventive – but for little more than the price of a coffee, you get a quaint and beautiful wee adventure that'll tingle your nostalgic receptors for sure. If you need a break from throwing red shells at your buddies in Mario Kart or if you've ran out of Korok seeds to find in Breath of the Wild, Kamiko offers a nice little respite for a couple of hours.