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Bonesaw Review: Kirby Meets Hockey Fights

When you think “hockey,” do you think of a “Kirby”-style platformer with NES-style graphics? That’s what I thought, and clearly Kyle Pulver didn’t approve of that fact. Based on a college-hockey game, and their prime method of cheering - referring to a bonesaw cutting of a man’s arm -”Bonesaw” combines fighting and platformer exploration all into one game. You play a young Golden Knight, a hockey player, off to rescue your teammates who have been placed in the penalty box by the all-powerful referee.

Through fighting and using weapons, including the almighty Bonesaw, against fellow hockey teams, monsters, and large bosses to locate the golden pucks and clear every stage. Simplistic in it’s graphics and gameplay, the learning curve is quite high but not impossibly; game overs are easily solved with continues, while lives are hard to come by. On that same note, monsters are formidable, yet require simple measures to defeat.

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The graphics are heavy on the 8-bit, combined with a curved pixel backdrop reminiscent of “Kirby” and slightly-3d platformers like “Gunstar Heroes” and “Dynamite Heady.” With simple pastel colors and bright effects bordering on over-the-top, the player is put in a world of extreme action and adventure on the highest order, and it makes your know it. Each and every time you bring up the game, the MIDI soundtrack and bouncing main character introduce you to intense action right from the get-go. Combine that with the Spider-man “Bonesaw is Ready!” when the yellow-green energy explodes in a hackblade of extreme energy, and every time you use it, you feel a little more badass.

Of course, once you realize the music is only variations on the same song played at the beginning of the game, it starts to lose it’s flair. Despite this fact, the music and sound effects are engaging and powerful, pumping up the player, especially during the boss and challenge enemies. In addition, the forceful noise is quite invigorating. Just be sure to turn the volume down. You’ll thank me. “Bonesaw” took a hefty love for the game hockey through a specific team, and transformed that same experience and power from the sports event into a platformer which is a good idea to pick up when you have the time.

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Rating: ★★★☆☆

“Bonesaw” is an indepenent PC release by Kyle Pulver. You can find out more about the game here.

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