Kamiko (Nintendo Switch) Review

By Albert Lichi 03.05.2017

Review for Kamiko on Nintendo Switch

Fairune and its sequel were quasi-Zelda style adventure games that broke the genre's mechanics to its barest minimum. They effectively became puzzle game adventure games with an overhead perspective and tile-based movement. Combat was reduced to just walking into threats and winning if the character's level was high enough. The same developer is returning to the action-adventure genre with Kamiko for Switch and promises comparable bite-sized fun...

Kamiko makes a decent first impression thanks to its charming yet simple pixel art style and three characters to choose from, all of which have unique play styles. It even has very smooth and responsive controls with some fast and snappy action and lots of enemies on screen at once. However, underneath its retro exterior and fast action is an extremely short and ultimately hollow experience. It isn't even open-ended like the games it is obviously inspired from, it is level based. This is not inherently a bad idea, but it does arbitrarily cause the game to have a few missable upgrades... Not that it matters much because Kamiko is incredibly easy.

Much of Kamiko revolves around exploring levels to find keys and opening doors. Oftentimes, chests and some doors don't require a specific key, but rather points collected from killed enemies. This is probably Kamiko's most defining feature; being about to rack up a combo to reap high amounts of points. Sadly there is an arbitrary cap on the max amount of points that can be easily reached. It is possible to extend this cap (as well as max health capacity) by finding power-ups in the levels and these become ultimately necessary since the final boss is vulnerable to only the charge attack, which is powered by these points. It would make for an interesting system if there was a bit more going on the combat like a parry or dodge mechanic, but much like Fairune, Kamiko keeps things very simple.

Screenshot for Kamiko on Nintendo Switch

This is a short game. Kamiko is probably one of the shortest action-adventure games ever made. There are only four levels, and even when trying to get 100% completion it would require lots of bumming around doing nothing to get the game's clock to barely hit the hour mark. Even to replay the game with one of the other playable characters, a subsequent run will likely be about 30 minutes. Having three playable characters is also suspect since all of them could have been condensed into one because Kamiko wastes a lot of the Switch's buttons and makes about three of them the dash function. The three playable characters all have their styles, which fall into sword/melee type, archer/ranger, and the ranged/melee hybrid, and all share a powerful charge attack.

There is not much to Kamiko. It is a very simple action-adventure game with a thin story about a priestess making some kind of ascension, but really it's about activating four pedestals in each of the four stages to fight a boss. The puzzles don't amount to anything deeper than finding the right peg to fit into its respective hole, which entails carrying an item and frequently having to backtrack to the item's spawn point because the player-character drops anything when they get touched by any enemy. This is the only truly challenging part of Kamiko. Everything else is just so pedestrian and boring.

Screenshot for Kamiko on Nintendo Switch

Cubed3 Rating

Rated 4 out of 10


Kamiko costs about $4.99 and can be beaten in under an hour. Visually, it is nothing impressive or interesting... There are far better looking pixel art games out there on the Switch, such as Blaster Master Zero. The core mechanics aren't broken or anything, it is completely serviceable, but it just lacks anything of interest to make Kamiko worth any time at all.




Flyhigh Works


Action Adventure



C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  4/10

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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