Video Game Review: Bloodroots

Bloodroots offers cartoony action that lives to its name with bloodsoaked violence that is satisfying through every level. As my first new game of 2020, this is a strong start to the year.

Left for dead by his fellow criminals, Mister Wolf seeks out revenge upon the ones who betrayed him. The story has its twists and turns that make for a surprisingly well-written ride that guides me through the game. I did have points of not caring as it fell short with its cryptic storytelling that should have gotten to the point faster, but its quirky characters made up for some of its faults.

The platforming action indie mixes a style of combat that works as a puzzle. Observe the environment, see what weapons that only have one to three hits before breaking are available, and the enemies standing in the way. It delivers a challenge that did not usually meet infuriating peaks as respawning went to hyperspeed to get me back in action.

Okay, I did get pretty angry at some points.

The controls feel tight with the fast movement when navigating the world and its fighting mechanics. I did have issues of picking up weapons when they lay on top of one another, leaving me to juggle through guns and swords to get what I wanted. Another problem I found was sometimes I felt jumping or attacking was unresponsive, but it did not ruin my experience.

The variety of murderous utensils sprinkled through each level was an astonishing amount. Many of which had their own abilities with little crossover, or at least have a special quality to set one item from another. It could range from a silly killing tool like a giant boot or a Final Fantasy styled sword.

A little cherry on top when defeating the final foe delivers a quick execution that is unique for every weapon.

The enemies match the weaponry variety. Each new threat gets introduced slowly yet consistently to keep the gameplay fresh.

A highlight comes from the identifiable bosses. Each having a personable approach to dueling it out. While the first two had a balance of fun and challenge, the final battle felt cheap with it relying on luck more than skill in some phases.

Another way things never got boring was the level design. Constant new platforming obstacles rose up along with some light destructible environments to add to the chaotic nature of Bloodroots.

Random bonus levels would come in between the main missions. These time trials were fun with no reward and got in the way of the progress of the story.

One reward comes from hats, which are modifiers when replaying levels. It can enhance your chances of survival like a new ability or flips the controls for a greater challenge. I had no motive to go in to redo any level as the points and leaderboard aspects that heavily embedded itself into the end of each objective felt hollow.

The camera adds an extra depth to Paper Cults’ Western adventure. Going from a top-down perspective to a side scroller kept surprising me with its clever uses to give a different feel to various parts of my time killing endless hordes of people. Only once and a while, it did interfere with my vision, making certain spots unnecessarily tricky.

The Saturday morning cartoon style of the graphics brings me back to my childhood. Its nostalgic visuals lend to a show that would be great for adults as Mr. Wolf goes on massacre after massacre with each episode.

The music might be my favorite quality outside of the graphics. A wild amount of influence slides into the Western theme like electronic and rock music. It fits the tone and the high tempo gameplay.

Bloodroots is an endlessly fun adventure with amusing characters and thrilling gameplay. Though the humor falls flat and the story dips here and there, it has more to offer than just its platforming and bloodthirsty action. The price sits right when looking at its relatively short length, depending on how long it takes you to get through it compared to me, a guy who sucks at video games.

Score: 8/10

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