LadiesGamers Akka Arrh

Akka Arrh Review 

Game: Akka Arrh
Genre: Action, Arcade
System: Nintendo Switch (Also on Steam (Windows), PS4 & Xbox)
Developer|Publisher: Llamasoft | Atari
Age Rating: EU 3+ | US E
Price: US $19.99 | UK £17.99 | EU € 19,99
Release Date:  February 21st, 2023

Review code provided with many thanks to Uber Strategist

Remade and Reborn

Akka Arrh is a classic arcade title from the 80s, which never saw a full release as playtesters found the game too hard; that’s been brought back to life and released onto modern systems. Unlike with games today, which can be easily patched online, the prospect of fixing the game and trying again was deemed not worth the risk until now.

Akka Arrh comes from famous developer Jeff Minter of Llamsoft, who has a thing for visual psychedelic graphics. He worked on classics like Tempest 2000 on Jaguar and one of my favourite Vita games TxK. Akka Arrh is a title that sounds like a pirate having dental surgery. In fact, stands for Also Known As Another Ralston Production in reference to the original creators of the game (at least that’s what the internet says). Akka Arrh is a solid arcade game, but just like those arcades back in the day, its design will suit some gamers and not others. But if you love your retro, it’s well worth a go. 

LadiesGamers Akka Arrh
Seeing stars

Be the Sentinel 

There isn’t any semblance of a story. You insert a coin and get playing. Back in the day, some arcade games described the plot on the cabinet or leaflets. So I did an internet search and came up with what all the fuss was about here.

Basically, you play as the Sentinel, a turret part of the Atarian Federation, who uses an ancient star cannon Akka Arrh, which you must harness to beat back the evil Jarzan forces. You, as the player, control the turret in the centre of the screen, which looks a lot like an angry deer head. The enemies themselves consist of random shapes, circles, and many colours. Hey, it was the 80s; you had to kinda use your imagination and roll with it. 

LadiesGamers Akka Arrh
The ripple effect

Easy to Pick Up

The default controls make use of dual analogue control. Point your sentinel with the analogue stick and push a single button to launch a little bomb to land on the nearby platform. Once this explodes, it causes a ripple effect and small enemies caught in this will be destroyed, causing a brand new ripple effect. This can create a satisfying destruction combo as multiple enemies get caught in these ripples and explode.

But not all enemies perish by the ripples. Those bigger suckers need some more firepower. Provided you have charged up from defeating the small enemies, you can hold the fire button down to shoot bullets which will take care of the bigger enemies. If an enemy does get close to your turret, they will attempt to steal one of your health pieces on the lower level below your turret. A tap of the shoulder button will send you down to the lower level to take care of the intruder before you lose a vital piece of health.

Balancing Act

The key to success is balancing all these elements to survive the level and gain a high score. Things start off pretty easygoing, but it doesn’t take long before the game becomes much more hectic. It certainly fulfils the design of an easy-to-start but difficult-to-master. The difficulty does steepen a bit fast, but that is a standard affair for arcade games, and I appreciate the developers maintaining it rather than dumbing the experience down. 

There are fifty levels total to conquer. A modern feature added is if you fail, you can restart the game from any of the levels you previously finished. Or go old school and start again from the beginning. You are able to adjust the controls in the options switching to multiple buttons over one but I found the default setting easy to use. The controls feel accessible for all audiences, whether you are new to the arcade scene or experienced.

LadiesGamers Akka Arrh
save your health shards

Play or Dance

Psychedelic would be an understatement when it comes to the game’s graphics. Playing Akka Arrh is like witnessing the most unusual video game firework display on Nintendo Switch. There are flashing lights, exploding pixels and even the occasional odd slogan scrolling across the screen, only adding to the oddball design of the game. While this continues, you have a thumping soundtrack that suits the arcade tone or may want you to get up and do a dance, depending on how you feel that day.

If you’re familiar with Jeff Minter’s prior games like TxK, you’ll be in familiar territory. If you’re new, it may feel like an acquired taste. Either way, it is unique and quite unlike anything else in the arcade genre. If flashing lights are a problem, this can be turned off in the options menu. This may be an arcade title, but it runs great on Switch in TV and handheld modes.

LadiesGamers Akka Arrh
Who are you gonna ring?

Conclusion  – An Arcade Relic

When it comes down to it, Akka Arrh is a fun arcade game but probably an acquired taste. If you think back to the old days when you walked through the arcade, you could watch the game’s demo before you decided to slip a coin in. If I go by this logic, I would slide in a few coins and play Akka Arrh. But I’m unsure I would return to it once I had my fill. If you love your retro or looking for a quick arcade fix, I absolutely recommend Akka Arrh, and if this leads to more relics from the past getting tuned up and re-released today, then I’m all for that. 

Final Verdict: I Like it

I like it


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