Bloodroots (Nintendo Switch) Review

By Thom Compton 21.04.2020

Review for Bloodroots on Nintendo Switch

Chaotic top-down bedlam, Bloodroots is aiming to be difficult. A revenge tale, you'll be tasked with taking down the bad so-and-sos who left you for dead. Taking inspiration from games like Hotline Miami, Bloodroots is a tough as nails brawler where you'll die as fast as you kill. It's nice to see this title nail a lot of what it's going for. It's also sad to see it stumble on one key component, though. Here's a look on the Switch version.

Bloodroots is clearly designed to be difficult. Heck, if you try to turn on any of the Assist Mode options, this will actually warn you that it was designed to be difficult. The fact that everyone, enemies and the player alike, die in one hit, drives this point home. Fortunately, the combat is fluid and rewarding. The platforming though? Not so much.

Bloodroots nails top down action. Almost everything in the environment can be used as a weapon. Everything from normal weapons, like hatchets and guns, to more bizarre types like carrots and rubber ducks, acts as one. Every item has its own special qualities, which means you'll be learning how a lot of weapons work. For instance, the oar seems to make you jump higher, while a musket allows you to hit enemies from a distance. The sword allows you to clear large distances quickly, and smaller devices like pots can be chucked at enemies. Fortunately, things are kept simple enough players can grasp every weapon skill set with little difficulty.

Screenshot for Bloodroots on Nintendo Switch

While each weapon has a certain number of uses, these only apply to killing enemies. For instance, the hatchet can only be used three times, but it can be used to help you knock down a tree and climb it to reach an otherwise unreachable area. This won't count against your three uses, as those only deplete when you kill an enemy. This only applies to melee weapons though, as throwing a pot, or firing a bullet seem to exhaust those weapons, regardless what the action accomplishes.

This isn't to say that combat will be easy. Enemies are grouped, and levels are designed, in smart ways that make failure just as easy as success. A cliff edge with three tightly knight enemies doesn't need the same approach as an enemy firing a musket at you from a distance. It's important to learn how each weapon fits into a given situation (if it does at all), and environmental hazards add to that learning experience.

Screenshot for Bloodroots on Nintendo Switch

As an example, the aforementioned sword dash helps clear spiked walls that smash you into bits very efficiently, while the hatchet probably won't help keep one from being creamed. This kind of light puzzle solving is genius, and allows players to feel rewarded, even when they are getting pummelled to death regularly. Sure, that feeling wears off on the fifth run through of a level, but it's definitely nice while it lasts.


As compelling as combat is, platforming is far less enjoyable. Thanks to the fixed camera and the isometric view, it's very easy to fail a jump. It's also hard to judge where to go in the environment at times because of the perspective, and many misplaced leaps can result in dying. In short, there's not a ton of precision in jumping, which makes the platforming kind of a bust.

Screenshot for Bloodroots on Nintendo Switch

Honestly, sections that require tight platforming are obnoxious, and make playing the game far more frustrating than it should be. This isn't helped by the somewhat floaty controls. It's great when you're flying through enemy cadavers like a baseball flying through a sheet of paper. They don't work quite as well when you have to slow to a crawl to navigate a section of moving platforms, or cross gaps over water, with any precision, and it feels like the brakes get pumped hard.

Really though, the platforming, is the main complaint. The art direction is stellar, and the sound design compliments it perfectly. The difficulty is definitely there, and outside the platforming sections, it's fun figuring out the best weapons to use to take down a segment of enemies. Enemy types are also introduced often enough to keep the experience constantly riveting, even when it often feels like a slog to jump through. Additionally, frequent enough checkpoints make each condensed segment of a level feel more manageable, setting you back only a little bit, and making each failure a bit easier to swallow.

Screenshot for Bloodroots on Nintendo Switch

Cubed3 Rating

7/10
Rated 7 out of 10

Very Good - Bronze Award

Rated 7 out of 10

Bloodroots is madness in all the best ways… and in one of the worst. Difficulty is well balanced, and even when combat gets truly maddening, the experimentation the title offers is so much fun, it's hard to complain. However, when trying to platform through the many perilous environments, it becomes obvious where its faults lie. The camera and controls in these sections work against what's otherwise a very fun brawler, and drag the experience back from true excellence.

Developer

Paper Cult

Publisher

Paper Cult

Genre

Action

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  7/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date Out now   Australian release date Out now   

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