#Blud — now available for PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, and PC — is a fantastic and colorful addition to any gamer’s library. The top-down hack-and-slash is fun to play, with a solid mix of combat and exploration. More than anything, the game thrives with an art style that feels right out of late 90’s/early 2000’s Cartoon Network or Nick. While it may not be perfect, the presentation and execution scratch a very specific and entertaining itch.

Moving to a new town is never easy, especially for Becky Brewster. About to start at Carpentersville High and still reeling from a loss in the family, Becky just wants to join the field hockey team and make friends. Unforantly, she soon discovers that her new home is infested with more than just bugs, rats, and critters. A horde of vampires and demons are on the rise across town. Luckily, Becky discovers her lineage as a vampire hunter, making her a natural fit for contending with the problem. Along the way, she’ll discover her true potential, make friends, and try to stay alive.

Becky The Vampire Slayer

#Blud is a classic hack-and-slash with an interesting difficulty curve. Combat is easy to pick up and master, with a variety of upgrades that give players flexibility in combat style. The dodge mechanics are a little trickier, with the hitbox on Becky being particularly hard to gauge early on. However, continued play helps hone that movement-based combat, showcasing the ways players can dodge around enemies and counter otherwise unstoppable foes. The incorporation of ranged attacks like sharpened pencils and cherry bombs adds fun flexibility to the encounters, keeping the stakes high even while maintaining easy and light-hearted playability.

#Blud has tricky bosses and a generous respawn system, benefiting a combat-heavy play-style. This encourages exploration of the surrounding town, which benefits from bright graphics and likable characters. A social media app factors into the game’s hub system, keeping players engaged through selfies, DMs, and mission updates. It’s a clever way to approach the modern setting with a gameplay style that encourages NPC interaction and side missions.

Fangs For The Good Time

The best part of #Blud is found in the visuals and story, which genuinely does feel like it is pulled directly from the Saturday morning cartoon line-up. The characters are fun and distinct, with fun personalities that bounce well off Becky. The art style benefits the combat and quiet moments alike, bringing colorful life to the setting.

At its best, #Blud feels like stepping into a cartoon peer of Invader Zim or The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy. The writing and characterization is solid, and the world-building is frequently funny. Becky herself is a great protagonist, just the right mix of precocious but snarky. The throwback animation style benefits from the classic gameplay style.

The result is a game that feels like a lost classic of a bygone era of animation. Similar to Cuphead’s recreation of golden-age animation and old-school side-scrollers, #Blud remixes animation and gaming history. It’s the Mina and the Count game we never knew we needed and is well worth sinking your teeth into.

#Blud is now available on Nintendo Switch, PS4/PS5, Xbox One, and PC.

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