Game: Krut The Mythic Wings
Genre: Action, Adventure
System: Nintendo Switch (Also on Steam (Windows & macOS) PS4 and Xbox)
Developer|Publisher: RSU Horizon, Pixel Perfex, Good Job Multimedia | Blowfish Studios
Age Rating: EU 12+ | US Teen
Price: US $9.99 | UK £5.99 | EU € 9,99
Release Date: July 12th, 2022
Review code provided with many thanks to Stride PR.
Film to Game
Krut The Mythic Wings is a 2D hack and slash platformer that is based of the 2018 Thai CGI animated movie Krut: The Himmaphan Warriors. The story is based on Southeast Asian mythology which piqued my interest pretty quickly since this is another area of mythology bizarrely not covered much in video games. The game certainly presents itself well with an appealingly low price point and impressive graphical presentation. But unfortunately, it’s let down by its gameplay and some pretty dated mechanics.
Looks the Part
The army of the Ogre has invaded the land of the Garuda race who look a lot like humanoid parrot warriors. After being attacked by surprise by a brave Garuda warrior, known as Veera the Krut, is badly wounded and restored back to health by a mysterious stranger. It’s then up to the warrior to search the land seeking out six macguffins to power up and once again bring peace to the land. The opening cinematic is presented in art stills and long text boxes which went on far too long.
This design also leaks into the game’s very basic-looking menu system which lacks flair and personality. Some of the story beats I read in the initial blurb felt like they would serve better as playable levels. But with the games, low budget feels, it’s understandable that that was probably not possible. When you actually traverse through the levels the flow of the plot becomes pretty formulaic. You journey to the end of the level finding the main boss who basically won’t give up the artefact unless you prove your worth. It felt like the text to explain this wasn’t needed and I would have been totally cool if they just left the plot to a minimum.
Kruts graphics are pretty impressive, it’s a 2D platformer with 3D graphics, and the levels feel alive and vibrant. You can often see enemies or animals roaming around in the background. Even the level environments themselves feel nicely diverse from coves pouring with rain, to dry desert wastelands with gusts of sandy wind. It’s a shame the actual gameplay doesn’t match the presentation.
Hack and Slog
The main feature of the gameplay is a familiar hack and slash feel. You have a standard and strong attack and a dodge move to avoid enemy attacks. You can also charge up a super move that lets you temporarily fly and fire projectiles at enemies but you can still sustain damage in this state. It’s a familiar formula but I found a lot to dislike about this design.
To start the game goes for a tired design choice of meat shield-style enemies which take far too long to put down. For so many encounters I essentially hit an enemy twice, then dodge rolled and repeated the process again. It became even duller with the boss fights which took even longer. This game actually started to make my fingers hurt as I was pressing the same buttons so much.
Stringing standard attacks with a follow-up combo is recommended and in some cases will stun enemies, but these windows of opportunity felt rare. If you get hit by enemies the damage is devastating and health pickups are very rare. To add to the frustration the game also features platforming with a temperamental jump button that doesn’t always seem to want to play ball. If you do take a dive into a pit at least you respawn at a cost to your health and not lose a life entirely. I would like to say that was my only problem, but it doesn’t stop there.
The attack range of your dual swords is awful. You have to be within cuddling distance of enemies to be able to even hit them. Yes, you do have sort of a projectile-like move but this just slows everything down even further. It may surprise you that the enemy that actually bugged me the most in the game was the darn flies. These are enemies which are usually gaming easiest foe, in Krut they were my greatest nemesis. When you try to leap at them the nasties actually retreat away from you while shooting projectiles, making for an infuriating encounter.
Upgrading and Content
Next, we come onto upgrading. You obtain orbs from downed enemies which can be used to upgrade your abilities at the checkpoints. But to be able to upgrade you have to spend 1000 orbs to unlock the checkpoint first to then be able to unlock more abilities. This felt like a baffling design choice since I often didn’t have enough orbs left to have a chance at upgrading an ability. And even if I did, I had to spend orbs to replenish my health. The game also uses lives, a design choice that really feels unnecessary in 2022.
I guess the somewhat saving grace from the design of the game is if you do lose all your lives, which of course I did, you only restart at the beginning of the level with all your upgrades intact. So in theory you can grind your way to upgrade your abilities but this just turns the game into more of a slog and not an entertaining one.
Krut features six levels and three difficulty settings. Even when switching to the easier setting I still had a frustrating time with the mechanics of the game making this hard to recommend to casual players. I guess if you have a fondness for retro design you might find something to like here. But even then you have to put up with the game’s challenging controls and grindy gameplay.
Stuck in the Past
Krut: The Mythic Wings could have been a really fun no thrill hack and slash platformer if it just tidied up some of its gameplay designs. It kinda feels like it’s just stuck in the past and not in a good way. This is a game that might have worked if it was released in the 90s on the Mega Drive. With combat that feels more of a slog than satisfying. Horribly cheap enemies and a maddening upgrade system make for an unpleasant formula that is hard to recommend even at the low price point on offer. The game has an excellent graphical style but this is one title based on mythology that I would rather read about than play.
Final Verdict: I Don’t Like It
The game looks stylish but, considering what you said about the game play, I’m not sure if I’d try it out. It sounds like the game play to Marvel’s Avengers, which made me feel weak playing superheroes.
Yes, the game really looks the part its shame the gameplay wasn’t up to par at least for me. Maybe if you really like your retro feeling titles with some jank you’ll be able to have some fun. Thank you for the comment.