Kaze and the Wild Masks: A Bunny-Hopping Experience

Apr 6, 2020 | 1 Votes by Mikhail 10 rate Your vote
Kaze and the Wild Masks manages to exceed expectations and set itself apart from other platformers. We've gained Closed Beta access and here's a preview of what it provides:
WWGDB - Kaze and the Wild Masks: A Bunny-Hopping Experience

Disclaimer: This is a preview of the beta version of Kaze and the Wild Masks, and is subject to change as the game moves towards its launch.

Platformers are one of the earliest and most staple video game genres. It’s usually one of the first video games someone got to play. If you ask older gamers what their entry title was, it’ll most likely a Mario or Sonic game.

Today though, platformers have evolved to be something other than straightforwardly going from destination A to B. Several games have managed to innovate and introduce unique gameplay mechanics, like how Celeste and Ori delivers. For example, you can change phases, dash in mid-air, and use various items which alter the way you interact with the environment.

With that said, this brings us to Kaze and the Wild Masks, a spanking new platformer in Closed Beta Early Access on Steam. It’s a 90s-inspired game that manages to dish out a fresh experience and sets itself apart from its contemporaries.

We’ve been an early access code to try it out. If you’re planning to pick it up, here’s a preview of what it provides:

A Rabbit vs A Horde of Vegetables

Spinning attack in Kaze and the Wild Masks

Kaze and the Wild Masks is a classic “character saves the world” story. Without diving deep into spoilers, you’ll play as Kaze and your goal is to save your friend, Hogo, and the Crystal islands which were affected by a curse. Your enemies take the form of a horde of vegetables ranging from potatoes, angry-looking carrots, grumpy jumping eggplants, and fiery pumpkins that erupt from the ground. You’ll hop, skip, and gain new powers from the four masks, Eagle, Shark, Lizard, and Tiger to master all terrains.

90’s-inspired but highly innovative

Secret level in Kaze and the Wild Masks

When someone says “90s-inspired” the thing that comes to mind first is a mass of pixels and simplistic gameplay. This is understandable, considering the technology of the time. However, Kaze and the Wild Masks doesn’t confine itself to its standards. Sure, it’s 90s-inspired but is in the level of the past decade’s platformers.

The first thing you’ll notice about the game is its art. It has a presentation style akin to late-90s platformers and it kind of looks like a light-hearted and better-looking Earthworm Jim game. It also has animated cutscenes that look similar to those of the time period. However, if you’re put off by old and classic-looking games, Kaze and the Wild Masks looks fresh, clean, and up-to-date. With one look, you can safely ascertain it’s a newly-made title with a classic aesthetic, not an old game with improved visuals.

Setting itself apart

Ice level in Kaze and the Wild Masks

The best and most renowned platformers manage to deliver memorable and innovative experiences. For example, Celeste dishes out a highly-exciting puzzle platforming experience where you’re up against the environment instead of individual enemies. In Mario Odyssey (a 3D platformer), there are simply a lot of elements in play, from intermittent 2D levels to merging yourself with enemies to gain their abilities.

Kaze and the Wild Masks doesn’t have the tightness and fast-paced feeling Celeste provides, nor does it have the many quirks and gimmicks Mario Odyssey delivers. However, it has its ace on its sleeves: the masks you’ll help Kaze collect. In a nutshell, these four masks will grant you abilities similar to the animals they depict. The shark mask lets you swim swiftly while the tiger one enables you to climb and latch on walls. In a way, the gameplay gets overhauled the moment you switch and unlock new masks.

To add to that, levels are vastly unique. Each provides a different challenge even in the early stages. However, the goals are relatively straightforward, and there are gems and letter plates - bearing K, A, Z, E - that you need to collect. Moreover, they also have the quirks and intricacies of traditional platformers like hidden paths and secrets.

Controller support

Flaming pumpkin enemies in Kaze and the Wild Masks

Playing a platformer on a keyboard isn’t exactly the best way to do so. Fortunately, Kaze and the Wild Masks has controller support and thankfully on Steam, you can use the Steam, Xbox, and PS4 Controllers. Using this input method is the best way to play the game. Unfortunately, I’ve encountered bug wherein the game’s audio completely shuts down when using this instead of a keyboard. This is no surprise given the game is in early access and we’re sure it’ll be fixed soon.

Overall, Kaze and the Wild Masks is a must-play if you’re totally into platformers. With its mask mechanic, you’ll be able to traverse the Crystal Island in new and unique ways, giving you something new whilst fighting off oversized carrots and eggplants. Though its presentation style is similar to late 90’s games, it dishes out a fresher and a much-improved look. Moreover, it has controller support as well.

Though still on Early Access, Kaze and the Wild Masks may very well be a game to watch out for. You can add it to your wishlist today on Steam and join its thriving Discord community.

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